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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . .

Page.. 2347..


Mr Rattenbury: Madam Speaker, I seek your guidance. Is the royal commission a court for the purposes of your ruling? Does it have that status?

MADAM SPEAKER: The standing order, the number of which I cannot remember, states:

A Member may not use offensive words against the Assembly or any Member thereof or against any member of the judiciary.

To say that the royal commissioner was conducting a show trial is, by my ruling, offensive against the royal commissioner.

Mr Rattenbury: May I seek your guidance then? Mr Wall made a range of assertions about the likely outcome of that royal commission. I think that is interesting in the context of the royal commission not drawing its conclusions yet. Can I seek your guidance on where the boundary lies about what one is able to say, and also presumably about the conduct of the royal commission?

MADAM SPEAKER: What I am saying on this occasion is that standing order 54 says that you will not say offensive words about a member of the judiciary. I have ruled, and I am still waiting for Mr Gentleman to withdraw the words "show trial" in relation to that. When he does that, I will discuss that issue.

Mr Rattenbury: On your ruling, Mr Gentleman's comments referred to the construct of the royal commission, not the member of the judiciary who is conducting the royal commission.

MADAM SPEAKER: I am sorry. My ruling is about saying that the royal commission is a show trial, and the constraints of the standing orders in this place, which say that a member may not use offensive words against a member of the judiciary. I would like that withdrawn. I have heard it said out in the public domain, but that is not this Legislative Assembly. I am not the Speaker out there; I am in here. Would you withdraw, please, Mr Gentleman?

MR GENTLEMAN: I will withdraw.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before we proceed, and before I call Mr Gentleman, I think you were present, Mr Rattenbury, when I made some comments earlier in the piece about this. I said there could be no discussion of charges before the courts, and there has been no discussion of charges before the courts, and that I expected this to be respectful. For the most part it has been, but I do not recollect that Mr Wall hypothesised about—

MR GENTLEMAN: Madam Speaker, could we please stop the clock?

MADAM SPEAKER: I am sorry; I thought I had already asked for the clock to be stopped some time ago. I do apologise. I did not hear Mr Wall hypothesise about an outcome. Also, in referring to the standing orders, I did make the point that on page 174 it is stated:


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