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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 3506 ..

Mr Wood: Sorry?

MR HUMPHRIES: I very much doubt whether Mr Munday would ever count as a vexatious litigant. He does not fall within what I would see as the definition in the legislation.

Mr Wood: Give us the justification.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Wood, with great respect, I do. It is in the Bill. Read the Bill. I do not think Mr Wood has read this legislation.

Mr Wood: I have indeed, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: If he did he would not have said what he just said, which was that there is no definition about who a vexatious litigant is.

Mr Wood: No. I said you have not explained this in sufficient detail to satisfy me.

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, that may be, but I suspect that in your present frame of mind I would not be able to do so, no matter how long I spoke for or what I said. The fact of the matter is, Mr Speaker, that vexatious litigation is defined in this legislation. It is defined in proposed new section 67A. It is a definition which, if not the same as those used in other jurisdictions - in fact, every other State in Australia - mirrors very closely what happens in other places. This reflects what is in legislation in, I think, Queensland. It has been picked up from the Queensland Vexatious Litigants Act and - - -

Mr Wood: That does not convince me. I have been there. I have been to Queensland.

Mr Stanhope: They have the Nationals and One Nation up there. You would expect the people up there to be vexatious.

MR HUMPHRIES: That is a nice summary of the people of Queensland, Mr Stanhope. You cannot rely on the legislation because they all vote for One Nation. That is a fine comment to make. Mr Speaker, I will not detain the house by speaking very long on this because I think the arguments put forward by the Opposition have been so palpably stupid that they do not need much rebuttal. The case has not been made out by the Government and these provisions are rarely used. Indeed, they are rarely used, Mr Stanhope, because, fortunately, we are not often beset by vexatious litigants. But you would know, as a lawyer, that there are such things as vexatious litigants.

Mr Stanhope: There are annoying litigants.

MR HUMPHRIES: The fact remains that if there is the potential for such people to clog up the processes of the court then the court, not the Government, deserves to have the power to deal with that problem. We are lucky. We have not had a major problem with vexatious litigants in the past, but they do occur. They occur in other jurisdictions

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