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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2663

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - There is no problem if the person tells the advocate that he or she wants a reconciliation or anything at all which might appear to the judge or magistrate to mean that there is a reasonable possibility of a reconciliation. The advocate would simply mention this to the judge on behalf of the person, and that would be enough. The problem would be solved. I think that Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson is worrying about something that does not exist. There is nothing in the Bill which says that an advocate should not mention to a judge that his client would like to explore the possibility of reconciliation or does not really want the marriage to be dissolved.

Imagine an occasion when somebody went along, was in the course of some proceedings and then, half way through, said: 'I really do not want to carry on with it. It has come this far because I wanted to bring him to his senses. Now I really do not want to continue.' If she has an advocate, in the situation which Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson mentioned she simply tells her advocate, he puts it to the judge and the process then begins whereby the judge may adjourn the proceedings to afford the parties an opportunity to seek counselling. He may nominate a marriage counsellor or some other person if he thinks that that is desirable, and reconciliation procedures will be invoked. I do not think that there is really much problem. Frankly, it would not make a great deal of difference whether we left it one way or the other. I think that that would be a fair assessment. If we left it either way it really would not make any great difference. There may be a difference from a drafting point of view but I do not think that it matters much.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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