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Thursday, 30 September 1971
Page: 1734


Mr SINCLAIR (New England) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The primary purpose of this Bill is to amend the Northern Territory Supreme Court Act to make provision with respect to the tenure of office of judges of the Northern Territory Supreme Court. The Bill also includes several amendments relating to the procedure of the Court. The need for amendment of the Act in relation to the tenure of office of judges was disclosed by the decision of the High Court of Australia in the case of Capital TV and Appliances Ltd v. Falconer. The effect of that decision was outlined in my second reading speech to the House on the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court Bill (No. 2) 1971, and I will not detain the House by repeating what I then said. It will be sufficient, I think, for me to point out that the same need for legislative provision exists in the Northern Territory as in the Australian Capital Territory, and the amendment effected by this Bill is identical with that of the earlier Bill. The judge appointed under sub-section (1.) of section 7 of the Act (there is provision for only one such judge in the Northern Territory) will hold office until he attains the age of 70 years. An additional judge will hold office whilst he continues to be a member of another court created by the Parliament, and the provisions governing removal from office will be the same as those applying to judges of Federal courts. Of the remaining amendments effected by this Bill the following have their counterparts in the Bill already introduced to amend the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court Act: (1) clause 4, relating to the exercise of jurisdiction by the Master of the Supreme Court: (2) clause 6, regarding the use of affidavits; and (3) clause 7 (b) relating to the execution of the process of the Court outside the jurisdiction.

The one amendment that is peculiar to this Bill is to be found in clause 7 (c). The purpose of the amendment is to bring the Northern Territory provisions regarding disallowance of rules of court into line with those in the Australian Capital Territory as amended by the recently introduced Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court Bill. The remaining amendments effected by the Bill are all merely drafting changes made necessary by the other amendments I have discussed.

Debate (on motion by Mr Whitlam) adjourned.







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