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3-260 (Text)

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addressee author,male,Lutwyche, J.,un
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Bennett, 1979
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3-260-plain.txt — 3 KB

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26. Will you explain how the sittings and business of the Supreme Court are regulated? They are regulated in reference to the state of the business of the court, the terms, the insolvency days, the equity days, and the circuits. 
27. Have the judges the sole power of regulating that business? Yes; that is inherent in every court. 1 may add, though, that, by statute, the Governor in Council has power to appoint the places where the assizes shall he held leaving the judges the power to name the times when they shall he held.
28. In reference to the appointing of times, is the Bar, or the legal profession generally, consulted - is their convenience consulted? Their convenience is certainly consulted by the action of the judges; but they are not personally consulted. On one or two occasions, when the arrangement was found to be inconvenient, a representation was made to the judges, and the following year the arrangement was altered. For instance, we used to go up to Maryborough before we went to Rockhampton; and that was found to be rather inconvenient. There was a good deal of time to spare at Maryborough, and very little at Rockhampton; and it was thought that the holiday would come best at the close of the circuit.
29. Are you aware, Judge Lutwyche, that complaints are made by the Bar, and the other branch of the legal profession, that their convenience is not sufficiently consulted? I am not aware of it.
30. What are the usual hours of sitting in your court or courts? In term time, ten o'clock till four, with an interval of adjournment - generally half-an-hour. At the sittings in assize, from ten o'clock till any hour the presiding judge thinks proper to sit, with the usual interval of adjournment of an hour for lunch. In insolvency, from eleven o'clock to four, generally; sometimes, longer, if the business requires it. If the business is very long, or likely to be very long, an adjournment takes place at four o'clock, and the court sits the following day. On many occasions, I have had to sit for upwards of a week together in insolvency.
31. Are those hours strictly kept? Well; pretty strictly kept. Yes. Sometimes, especially in term time, the Chief Justice and I have to confer before we go into court on some point that has arisen on the previous day, or on some matters of practice; and, as we see very little of one another, except during term time, that is a very convenient time to dispose of any points of law, or matters of practice, that may have arisen.
127. Do you think that the business of the Supreme Court is such, that the time has arrived for the appointment of a third judge? No, I do not. Whenever the judges find that they cannot do their work, they will make application to the Executive for assistance.
128. Do you not think it would be more satisfactory to litigants that there should be a third judge sitting in cases of appeal, or three judges? No; I do not, as matters stand. Prima facie, it may seem objectionable that one judge, the Chief Justice - who, after all, is only primus inter pares - should have a double vote; but in practice, the regulation has worked well. We have very rarely differed in opinion - very rarely indeed; and when we have differed - perhaps not half-a-dozen times in half-a-dozen years that we have sat together - it has been upon points of minor importance.
129. Are appeals against judgments in Queensland as frequent as in New South Wales? We have never had an appeal since the Supreme Court was instituted.