Page 1560 - Week 04 - Thursday, 29 March 2012

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Sub judice rule

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, you will recall that on Tuesday this week the Leader of the Opposition requested that I make a ruling on comments made by the Chief Minister and whether they offended the principles of sub judice. I have sought advice from the Clerk, and I will now table that advice for the benefit of members:

Sub judice convention and Continuing Resolution 10—Advice from the Clerk to the Speaker, dated 29 March 2012.

As members will be able to read for themselves, the advice makes two clear points: firstly, the advice explains that the practice of the Assembly has been to allow points of order to be raised within a reasonable time of proceedings. Generally, this has been at the time the comments are made or a reasonable period of time after, for example, to allow time for members to check Hansard. The advice notes that the comments from the Chief Minister were made 7½ months ago and the Clerk is not aware of a previous instance where a Speaker has been asked to rule on a matter that occurred a significant time ago.

Secondly, the advice also addresses the question of whether the comments offend the principles of sub judice. Based on the written advice I have received and tabled today, I am not prepared to set a new precedent where Speakers in future Assemblies will be asked to rule on comments made a significant amount of time ago. For that reason I have decided to follow the advice and decline to give a ruling.


Ms Gallagher presented the following papers:

Breast cancer awareness—Statement in response to the resolution of the Assembly of 26 October 2011, dated March 2012.

Management of food safety in the Australian Capital Territory—Progress report, dated March 2012.

Unplanned Return to the Operating Theatre—Corrigendum—Covering the ACT Public Health Services quarterly performance report, the Health Directorate Annual Report, the Chief Health Officers Report and the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards—For the financial years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, dated March 2012.

ACT Public Service Workforce Profile 2010-2011.

Calvary Agreements, including the Calvary Network Agreement, dated March 2012.

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