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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2756

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - There is one point here on which I seek some clarification. I feel, in the light of what has been said, that sub-clause (4) of proposed new clause 17C ought to be omitted. Proposed new clause 1 7C provides for the appointment, resignation and removal of judges. It also provides that the judges be styled, in true legalistic manner, 'The Honourable'. The proposed sub- clause (4) states that a person who is a judge of the Family Court may be a judge of another court or other courts. That seems to me to be totally inconsistent with the concept which has been argued for by those who urged the Family Court some time ago. As I understood the argument- I think it was either Senator Missen or Senator Murphy who expressed it- the ideal is to have a judge who is not versed in and concerned day by day with other matters of litigation. That, it is said, is the vice of the present system and what is wanted are judges of the Family Court who will concern themselves totally and exclusively with Family Court matters. That was urged very strongly as a reason why we should have a Commonwealth Family Court, against arguments which I raised that the State Family Courts system ought to be preferred.

Now we find in this proposed sub-section a provision that a judge of the Family Court may hold office as a judge of another court or of two or more other courts created by the Parliament. It provides, of course, that he should draw only one salary and one allowance. That is reasonable. I feel that the proposed sub-clause (4) ought to be omitted.

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