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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (13 October) . . Page.. 3100 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

In this process, Mr Osborne amended the Bill to provide that the designation of the Deputy Children's Court Magistrate would be for at least one year. In the meantime - and the Attorney has just confirmed this - the magistrates are said to have objected to Mr Osborne's Bill. While it may be going too far to say that they actually refused to cooperate in its introduction, I think it can be safely said that no genuine commitment was made by the court to the implementation of the proposal. If that is true, and the Attorney has alluded to that in his presentation today, then I think it really raises some questions about the commitment of the magistrates to the rule of law. I have heard it suggested that it does raise some questions about the extent to which they understand the separation of powers. It is of interest to me that if there was this rebellion that the Attorney is - - -

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. The standing orders make it clear - I am attempting to find where they do so at the moment - that attacks on members of the judiciary are quite out of order. To suggest that members of the judiciary of the ACT- - -

MR SPEAKER: Standing order 54, Mr Humphries.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I quote:

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

To suggest that a member of the judiciary of the ACT does not understand the concept of the separation of powers is a pretty serious allegation to make. I think it falls squarely within "offensive words" under standing order 54, and I ask that Mr Stanhope withdraw those words.

MR SPEAKER: Let us remove any doubt, Mr Stanhope.

MR STANHOPE: Certainly. I will just repeat what I said, Mr Speaker. What I said was that I have heard it said that some people believe - - -

Mr Humphries: Oh, come on.

MR STANHOPE: This is what I said.

Mr Humphries: You cannot get out of it by doing that.

MR STANHOPE: On the point of order, I am explaining what I said, and I will go on. What I said was that I have heard it said that some people believe this behaviour raises questions.

Mr Humphries

: Mr Speaker, I want to take a point of order on that. It is quite a sly tactic to get up in this place and say, "I have heard it said that Mr X beats his wife". A member might not actually be making the allegation because they are quoting somebody else, but they are repeating it on the floor of the chamber, and it is no less

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