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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2888

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - I move:

Insert the following new section: 17G. A judge shall, before proceeding to discharge the duties of his office, take, before the Chief Justice or a Justice of the High Court of Australia or a Judge of the Family Court or of another court created by the Parliament, an oath or affirmation of allegiance in the form in the schedule to the Constitution and also an oath or affirmation in the following form:

I.   , do swear that I will well and truly serve in the office of the (Chief Judge, Senior Judge or Judge, as the case may be) of the Family Court of Australia and that I will do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or illwill, So help me God '. or

I, , do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that . . . (as above, omitting the words 'So help me God ').

In the proposal I am putting the judge will take an oath of allegiance and also will swear that he will carry out and serve properly in the office to which he is appointed. It seems to me, in all reason, that this is sufficient, proper and consonant with what has been put. Senator Greenwood seems to think that this is some kind of traditional thing and that forever there must be written into an oath of allegiance an oath to serve the Queen, her heirs and successors according to law- that this must be done every time one opens one's mouth. I have been reminded that the Justices of the High Court of Australia do not have to say anything about the 'heirs and successors according to law'- it is just not in their oath. There have been variations on this. In al) reason, an obligation has now been included in what I have put to swear an oath of allegiance, to swear that the person will serve properly in the office and do right to all manner of persons. I suggest, with great respect, that we ought not to go on putting in any more of these old fashioned matters. We will go back in time and put Queen Victoria and everyone else in the proposal if he wants us to do so. I think that what I have put is a reasonable proposition. I ask the Senate to accept it.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! Mr AttorneyGeneral, if you were to seek leave to insert the words that you propose to be inserted, and if leave were granted, your amendment would then be in order. We would then be in a position to see whether any amendment to it is sought.

Senator MURPHY -I seek leave, Mr Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN - Is leave granted? There being no objection leave is granted.

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