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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 3507 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

and they probably have occurred in the past in the ACT, and they have enormous capacity to severely delay the proceedings of the court in the way in which acts are initiated and begun in the courts.

You want examples, Mr Wood. Here is an ACT example. Mr Speaker, I am aware of a case where I understand one particular party in the ACT - - -

Mr Wood: I did ask you for them, Mr Humphries. They were not there at the

MR HUMPHRIES: I am giving them to you now, Mr Wood. You will have to calm down a little bit. Have a glass of water and calm down and I will tell you about a case, quite recently, I understand, where one individual had something in excess of 20 separate applications in relation to the same matter running in the ACT court system at the one time. I cannot be certain, and I will not give you more details of the case in these circumstances because of that, but I understand that it was partly as a result of that matter that the need to deal with vexatious litigants has arisen. That is why it is in this legislation now. It does arise, like it or not.

Mr Stanhope said, "Why should the newest judge be paid at the level of the other three?". Because, Mr Speaker, his workload is as great as the other three. There is no question but that the newest judge works as hard and deserves money and conditions and entitlements at the same level as the other three judges. There is no question about that. I think it is unfortunate that those opposite would seek to separate him in any way from the other three judges.

Mr Wood made an extraordinarily inaccurate statement about some comment I am supposed to have made about how Justice Crispin would not have a full workload; that he would have less to do than the other judges and therefore we give him some other jobs to do. Nothing of that sort was said by me, Mr Speaker. I have no idea what Mr Wood was referring to. The fact remains that Justice Crispin has, as far as I am aware, an equally heavy workload as other members of the court, as well, of course, as the other obligations he shoulders, including his chairmanship of the Law Reform Commission of the ACT for which he is not paid a separate remuneration, incidentally.

Mr Wood said that it was outrageous to vet people's access to the courts. Well, the courts themselves view the capacity to vet that access on occasions as being very important, and every other court except the courts of the Territories has that capacity, as I understand it. We are simply adding it today. I reiterate my assertion to the Assembly that this is not legislation about Mr Munday. It is quite unfortunate that Mr Wood has chosen to name him in respect of these proceedings because that is simply untrue. As I say, I very much doubt that Mr Munday would fall within that category.

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