Courts Legislation Amendment (Civil Juries) Bill
Debate resumed from 28 November.
Mr HARTCHER (Gosford) [10.03 a.m.]: The Coalition does not oppose this bill and has no objection to the amendments circulated by the Attorney General. Obviously, those amendments will be dealt with in Committee. In the history of development of the common law the role of the jury is one of enormous significance and dates back even earlier than the Norman Conquest, which revolutionised England and the English legal system. It is not incumbent on us today to detail the history of juries. This bill does not abolish juries in civil jurisdictions. It simply requires that there be a special need before a jury can be empanelled in a civil matter, other than in some civil jurisdictions such as motor accident claims, for which juries were abolished some years ago. The bill provides for juries to continue in defamation proceedings.
A jury acts as the community panel, taken at random, to ensure that the community participates in the justice system. A jury ensures that the justice system reflects as far as possible the prevailing views of the community as to what is reasonable and what is unreasonable. The Coalition's position is not endorsed by the New South Wales Law Society; nor is it endorsed by members of the New South Wales bar who have been in contact with us. Indeed, I am not aware of any official position adopted by the Bar Association. However, it is incumbent on us to have regard to the views of the Law Society, which is a respected body that represents the majority of legal practitioners in this State. The Law Society wrote to the Attorney in November commenting on the amendments to the bill. In that letter the Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society, Mr Mark Richardson, said:
The recent case of Hogan versus the Roman Catholic Church led me to comment to the media that the role of juries in civil actions needed to be re-examined, and I do not resile from that comment now. I take comfort from the fact that the Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the jury in Hogan's case. As is well known, the Hogan case involved the strapping a student received while at school some years ago. He sued the school and church authorities as the owner of the school. The Court of Appeal found that the verdict was wrong and ordered a retrial. The advice I received from Mr Semmler, QC, goes to the heart of this matter. In a letter to me he said:
The use of juries in civil trials and the reform of the jury system has been the subject of extensive examination in recent years. As you will appreciate, historically the determination of the facts in common law proceedings has been a matter for the jury; in cases where a jury has been empanelled, the law applicable has to be the subject of explanation and direction by the presiding judge so that a jury can at least appear to understand it. Due to media attention, there is extensive community interest in the jury system arising out of the reporting of high profile cases. That attention frequently gives rise to debate, and the principal non-economic areas in which there appears to be a degree of pressure for reform relate to the nature of the jury's verdict, the composition of the jury and the notion of community involvement, based on the ability of jurors to reflect community standards in their determination. There is no doubt that "most ordinary jurors experience gross difficulty in following the argument and retaining in their minds all the essential points of issues, particularly in a long hearing of complex character. The jury was identified by Lord Simon in the UK debate over the Juries (Amendment) Bill "as a microcosm of democratic society".
I appreciate that there was a great deal of consternation about a jury's decision in one case earlier this year, Hogan v Trustees of the Catholic Church. However the result in that case which was probably wrong, was corrected on appeal on 31 October 2001: see Trustees of Roman Catholic Church v Hogan  NSWCA 381.
The Hogan case, which was featured in the media, raised a degree of concern. I believe that the verdict was wrong. Indeed, it was so gross as to merit some investigation of the role of juries. I do not agree with the contention by the Law Society or members of the bar that it should be treated as a one-off case. The verdict shows there is a defect in the system, which needs to be addressed. I do not know whether the proposal to abolish juries in all these cases is appropriate. Perhaps judges could be given a different system of directions, or we could remove the right of juries to assess the amount of damages. Juries could find the facts and judges assess the damages, as occurs in defamation cases. There are a number of ways to handle the situation. The Government has taken a step to remove juries from civil actions. The Coalition does not quibble with that. All honourable members would be familiar with the situation in the Australian Capital Territory where juries do not hear any civil actions at all, including defamation cases.
Mr Debus: And in South Australia.
Mr HARTCHER: In South Australia too, the Attorney tells me. There have never been any complaints of concern among the bar, from the Law Society or from the community generally that the community is missing out or that justice is not being seen to be done. Honourable members would be aware that many high-profile figures prefer to take their proceedings, particularly defamation cases, to the Australian Capital Territory rather than risk the lottery that a jury represents. Juries are unaccountable and nothing is known of their antecedents, other than that they comply with the requirements of the Jury Act: they are of a certain age, they are citizens, they are on the electoral roll, they do not have criminal convictions and they do not serve in certain occupations. Nothing is known about the deliberations, compromises or discussions that take place in the jury room, unless an offence is alleged, which is rare. The community has largely been in ignorance as to how juries reach their decisions. In the administration of justice as the twenty-first century advances, one would expect to have an accounting for the way in which juries, if they have a role, carry out their role. Mr Semmler went on to say:
… the right of a party in a civil action to requisition a jury has existed since 1844, since Richard Windeyer introduced in the NSW Council the Bill which was to become 8 Vic. No. 4.
That right is a very historic one. The community has not shown much concern about this legislation. When juries were abolished from motor accident cases 20-odd years ago, there was an enormous amount of concern, led of course by the Labor Council of New South Wales. The Labor Council strongly objected to the abolition of juries in motor accident cases. The Labor Council has not offered a view on this matter. Other than the Law Society and some members of the bar, there has not been a great deal of concern expressed to the Opposition. Mr Semmler went on to say:
The importance of civil juries has been recognised at the highest level of the judiciary in this country. Justice Kirby referred to the history of civil jury trials and of their importance in his judgment in Pambula District Hospital v Herriman (1988) 14 NSWLR 387.
In a speech given to the Australian Legal Convention on 10 October 1999 (and reported in the Australian Law Journal in March 2000) the current Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia said that juries, including civil juries, represented an important point of contact between the administration of justice and the community. He said that the common law tradition of having disputed issues of fact determined by a jury did much to keep the courts in touch with the public and with community standards. Jury trials continue to serve a number of important purposes which include citizen participation in the administration of justice.
Mr Semmler went on to say:
There are lots of advantages to civil juries so far as the administration of justice as a whole is concerned. Most importantly in terms of moving cases in crowded court lists, in my experience civil jury cases are more likely to settle than cases before judges whose predilections are predictable. Juries in a sense are a "wild card" and because of that are a potent force for settlement of civil cases. Although a jury trial, if it proceeds, will take longer than a trial before a judge alone, it is simply wrong to assert (as was done in the Second Reading Speech) that civil jury cases take three or four times longer to conclude than cases heard by judges alone. Please see the enclosed research paper by Joanne Harrison (now Master Harrison of the Supreme Court) para 4.1 on this point.
The most important thing about civil juries is that in the limited number of cases in which they can now participate they introduce a refreshing common man's approach to the factual issues to be decided which is broader, and often more in touch with what actually happens in the real world, than the more narrow view of judges who are usually in late middle age, and the product of tertiary education and professional practice, and moving sometimes in a narrow social circle and unacquainted with or out of touch with life in the raw.
The Attorney should not feel that those comments apply to him. The civil jury has fulfilled a valuable role. All of us in the community are grateful to those members of the community who give up their time, often at personal sacrifice, to participate. But all of us would be conscious of the fact that the legal system as it evolves must serve the needs and requirements of society. I personally believe, and it is a view endorsed by my colleagues in the Coalition, that it is important that the whole process of justice be transparent. I do not believe that the introduction of wild cards into the equation whose views are unaccountable and unpredictable is a good component for a justice system. The community is entitled to expect certainty, transparency and an understanding of how a decision was reached.
Why then should there be an exception for defamation cases? I suppose it is more traditional that defamation has to reflect community values, as matters of reputation change in the community. Matters that 20 or 30 years ago people would take very seriously, they no longer take so seriously. For example, allegations of sexual misconduct 30, 40 or 50 years ago had an enormous impact in society. They no longer have such an impact. Certain views on, say, racism, which 30 or 40 years ago were common place, the community now regards as unacceptable. Therefore, a person's reputation in the eyes of his peers changes as community standards change. That is why a jury has an important role in defamation cases.
Juries in civil actions were abolished in the home of juries, the United Kingdom, nearly 60 years ago in the late 1940s under the Attlee Labour Government. However, it is interesting that juries were maintained for defamation and for actions that were seen as personal matters, such as breach of promise of marriage and, I believe, when people sued the Crown for personal injuries. Juries were used in those cases to ensure that the standards of the community were more adequately maintained. Actions for breach of promise of marriage have been abolished for many years. Only defamation is seen as a cause of action where the community's views on what is acceptable conduct and an acceptable standard are paramount in the determination of a decision. That is why defamation is exempted. I have assured some people that their views would be brought to the attention of the Parliament on this important matter. In a letter to me T. D. Kelly and Co, which has a long reputation as a firm of solicitors specialising in personal law injury, wrote:
The Carr government has no mandate for this measure. It seeks to abolish on what amounts to 24 hours notice a right that has existed for all in our community for the last century.
The letter went on to state:
The reference in Mr Debus' speech to retained judges' discretion is illusory window dressing, and indeed quite misleading.
The proposition advanced in the second reading speech that jury trials make a greater demand on the Courts' time than non-jury trials is factually incorrect.
That comment is supported by the report that was produced some years ago and I think it is the same report that has been referred to by Mr Semmler. The letter went on to state:
The central flaw of this argument is that it takes no account of the different statistical likelihood of settlement between jury and non jury cases.
Mr Semmler also made that point. The letter continued:
The further proposition that the Court is least disrupted when a jury trial settles on the morning of hearing is also factually inaccurate....
Civil juries are presently available as of right in all of the Australian States except in South Australia and Western Australia.
A very legitimate point that has been missed is the definitional aspect of when a party is to be entitled to ask of a judge to grant a jury hearing. My understanding is that it is when a party demonstrates a special need to the judge. Section 76A (2) (b) states:
the court is satisfied there is a special need for the action to be tried by a jury.
"Special need" is not defined and it will obviously be a matter for judicial discretion. One would hope that over a period judges will evolve a process of determining what is "special need". It has been put to me that "special need" should be replaced by more traditional words that have a greater tradition of judicial interpretation—a term such as "in the interests of justice". The section would therefore read, "the court is satisfied that in the interests of justice the action be tried by a jury". That would maintain the judge's discretion, obviously, but would also at least give judges a reference point when making their determination after an application for a jury trial has been made. What will constitute a special need? Well, who knows? The point has been made, and it may result in an amendment in the Legislative Council. As I have indicated, the Coalition's position at this stage is simply to support the bill but if an amendment is proposed in the Legislative Council, obviously the Opposition would need to consider that aspect. Having made those comments, the Coalition does not oppose the bill.
Mr LYNCH (Liverpool) [10.22 a.m.]: The Courts Legislation Amendment (Civil Juries) Bill in essence provides that civil actions in the District and Supreme Court are to be tried without juries unless the court otherwise orders. My own knowledge of juries in civil actions stems from my time as solicitor acting for plaintiffs in common law actions for damages in what are, or were, generally termed industrial accident cases. These were largely claims for damages against negligent employers whose employees were injured at work. Certainly, in my experience there are a number of issues with the use of juries. Almost without exception, defendants—more specifically, the employers workers compensation insurers and its solicitors—would elect to have the claim heard by a civil jury of four, by filing a requisition for a jury. This was done on the basis that some jurors and juries would be far more niggardly and far more anti-worker than most judges.
Of course, visions of niggardly juries have sometimes proved to be spectacularly wrong, requiring the subsequent intervention of the Court of Appeal, as happened recently with one well publicised case. However, despite those occasional failures of the theory, it was largely accepted that requisitioning a jury was a tactical decision aimed at disadvantaging workers. It was obviously believed by defendant solicitors who requisitioned juries almost without exception, and it was equally believed by plaintiff solicitors—I include myself—who tried to have juries dispensed with at every conceivable opportunity. I always thought that part of the problem was frankly a class issue: workers from western Sydney would face civil trial by a jury who were in no sense their peers—at least on these sorts of issues. The drawing pool for juries sitting in the Sydney central business district [CBD] Supreme and District Courts tended not to have much in common with many of my plaintiff clients.
There were also practical problems with civil jury trials. Most obviously, there was the expense of the trial. A trial with a jury inevitably took longer. More had to be explained and had to be explained more slowly when a jury was involved. The longer the time taken, the greater the costs involved—both to the parties and to the court system. It also meant more witnesses in this sense: In a trial by a judge alone, medical reports could simply be tendered to the court. In a trial before a jury the doctor has to be physically present to give evidence. That was obviously going to take longer and thus be more expensive. Additionally, plaintiff solicitors would normally receive an extortionate bill from the medical practitioner for his extraordinarily valuable time. I must say that getting doctors to court to give evidence in jury trials was the bane of my life as a practitioner. It was, I think, worse for the plaintiff than for the defendant.
The defendant used medico-legal experts who generally expected to go to court when they wrote a report and indeed it was their business to do so. The plaintiffs usually wanted their treating specialist to come to court. By definition, that doctor's main role was treating people rather than giving evidence. In one case of mine, about which I still have nightmares, I acted for a woman who injured her hand in an industrial accident. Her treating specialist, a quite well-known specialist in Sydney, refused to come to court. If he had not come to court, the client for whom I acted would have lost her case. A subpoena was served upon him and he still refused to come. Eventually the process server of the subpoena had to give evidence before the court to allow the issue of a warrant to have the doctor dragged along to court. Apart from raising everyone's aggravation levels, this was, obviously a much more expensive process.
Having said all of that, I make the point that there is another side to this argument. The comment I have made about the unrepresentative nature of juries is in fact an argument that is easily countered. Whatever the weaknesses of jury panels, they are in fact more representative than judges. There may well be a North Shore bias in some jury pools, but if there is there is still a much higher proportion of judges living on the North Shore than there are jurors. There is an even more fundamental objection to all this, at least as far as industrial accidents are concerned. There is an even more fundamental objection to the complaints that the juries have been removed from industrial accident cases. That argument is that the frequency of civil actions with juries reduced because industrial actions generally were much reduced after 1987 and, most particularly in my view, in practical terms have now been abolished.
The legislation that was considered last week and that dealt with the recommendations of the Sheahan report effectively ends common law claims for damages for industrial accidents. There has been all sorts of bipartisan rhetoric suggesting that some damages claims will continue, but I just do not think that that will be the case. In that sense, the concerns I have expressed about juries are probably not terribly relevant now because I just think those claims will not exist. There are, however, other potential civil claims in which juries may have been able to be continued to be used more frequently than they would be after the passage of this legislation. The use of juries has had a long tradition and has many defenders. One of its defenders is T. D. Kelly and Co., who sent me a facsimile dated 29 November 2001 on this topic. That letter cited the view of Judge Lord Atkin in 1922 which in turn was cited by President Kirby who was then of the Court of Appeal in Pambula District Hospital v Herriman. The comments from Lord Atkin were as follows:
Of course, one could object that this language is somewhat archaic, with its references to protection from encroachments of the Executive. In fact, those comments, whilst framed by Lord Atkin as being based on English Civil War battles was really about conservative fears in England in the 1920s about the social democratic challenge of the labour movement.
… for the first time in history the British subject is permanently deprived of his right to have common law actions tried by a jury. For the future the right to a jury is taken away. Whether a jury shall try a dispute is left to the uncontrolled discretion of a master or a judge—I speak reluctantly because I cannot bring myself to believe that this far-reaching result was intended by the legislature. Trial by jury, except in the very limited classes of cases assigned to the Chancery Court, is an essential principle of our law. It has been the bulwark of liberty, the shield of the poor from the oppression of the rich and powerful. Anyone who knows the history of our law knows that many of the liberties of the subject were originally established and are maintained by the verdicts of juries in civil cases. Many will think that at the present time the danger of attack by powerful private organisations or by encroachments of the executive is not diminishing. It is not without importance that the right now taken away is expressly established as part of the American constitution.
… there already existed a rule that a judge might direct trial without a jury in cases where an action required prolonged examination of documents or accounts or any scientific or local examination which … could not conveniently be made by a jury … I do not myself see any inconvenience in trying before a jury contested facts, even though upon their ascertainment questions of law may emerge. It seems to me to be everyday practice to try such cases with a jury…
Mr Hartcher: Oh, here we go, it's a class war.
Mr LYNCH: That is perhaps an explanation of some of the comments that are made and if the honourable member for Gosford could get his ideological blinkers off and attempt to understand the relationship between changes in law and changes in society he might understand the legislative process a lot better than he evidently does at the moment. Despite that, it is certainly true that Lord Atkin and those that follow him make a substantive and substantial point. To placate the honourable member for Gosford, it is perhaps worth noting that it is not merely those with conservative pedigrees who speak in the sorts of terms that Lord Atkin did. E. P. Thompson in his work Whigs and Hunters spoke of the particularly obnoxious piece of legislation called the Black Act and wrote as follows:
Of course, Thompson there is talking in the context of criminal trial by jury, although many of the points he makes apply to civil juries as well. There are, equally, examples in Australia of acquittals by juries, from the acquittal of the Eureka rebels to Lionel Murphy's declaration of his faith in the jury system after his acquittal. In the first case there was clearly evidence that could go to a jury. In the second, of course, Murphy should never have been prosecuted. On the other hand, juries are not a perfect solution. Juries convicted shearers after the 1891 dispute over the shearers strike. They convicted the IWW 12 in 1916. On the other hand, when the State is uncertain of its case and cannot risk acquittal, it resorts to removing juries, as in the Diplock tribunals in the northern counties of Ireland or the Ashcroft military tribunals in the United States.
It was a power which made nonsense of a whole costly historical paraphernalia whose proclaimed object was to safeguard the liberty of the subject. One part only of the traditional procedures of inherited law remained as a safeguard for the accused—the jury system. The acquittal of John Huntridge by twelve men, who knew themselves to be exposed to the retribution of 'interest' and who were probably astounded at their own temerity, provided a salutary check to the growth of arbitrary power. Men will, on occasion, act not according to their own interests but according to the expectations and values attached to a certain role. The role of juror carried (and still caries) such an inheritance of expectations.
But this bill does not propose removing jury trials for criminal matters. That would obviously be intolerable and would have unmitigated opposition. Many of the principles, however, that are relevant to that debate are also relevant to civil juries. What this legislation does in relation to civil juries is to attempt to walk a middle path. The present position allows anyone in a civil trial who wants a jury to have one. This bill says you can have a jury trial if you can establish a need for one. It does not, as I understand it, abolish jury trials for civil actions. If it did, I would be expressing considerable opposition to the bill. The weakness of the bill as it is drafted is that it provides no indication of the bases upon which a special need for a jury can be established. I understand from the Attorney that he will suggest to the relevant judicial officers that practice notes be issued setting out the criteria that are relevant.
My fear is that if those criteria are not set out, with the pressure that is currently on lists and on senior judicial officers to get through lists, it will be only too easy for applications for a civil jury to be rejected by list judges just to speed things up. If that were to happen, I believe justice would not be done. If I have been too optimistic about what I think this bill does, and the end result is indeed that civil jury trials are abolished by this legislation, I will obviously be happy to have it revisited. That is not, as I understand what the Attorney says, the aim of this bill. I would have considerable concerns if that were the aim. As I say, that is not what I think is intended and I assume that the Attorney and his department will monitor the situation.
The defence of civil trials by jury can be put in very simple terms by saying that civil juries allow the commonsense of ordinary citizens to replace what is sometimes the overly conservative approach of sometimes hidebound judges. That is putting, somewhat more forcefully, the words from Peter Semmler that were quoted earlier by the honourable member for Gosford. I have spent a lot of time over the years reading advices from Mr Semmler. I usually end up agreeing with them. It seems to me that the general position of principle he puts is right, but I do not think this legislation is about abolishing civil juries. If it was about doing that completely across the board, there would be a lot more opposition to it than there currently is.
Mr DEBUS (Blue Mountains—Attorney General, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts) [10.33 a.m.], in reply: I thank the honourable member for Gosford and the honourable member for Liverpool for their contributions to the debate. I assure my colleague the honourable member for Liverpool that I certainly do not intend that this legislation should in any way lead to the virtual abolition of civil juries and I assure him that it would always be my intention that the effects of the bill should continue to be monitored. If its effects were in anyway substantially different to those that we now propose, we would revisit the whole measure. As I said in my second reading speech, this bill does not abolish civil juries. Rather, it seeks to strike a balance between the various competing priorities and to simplify the law with respect to civil juries.
Courts need to be able to efficiently manage their lists and resources; lawyers should not be able to requisition jury trials simply to gain a tactical advantage; jurors—who perform a valuable community service—should be inconvenienced as little as possible; and parties with a special need for a jury trial should be able to have their matters heard before a jury. Parties will have to demonstrate to the court that there is a special need for a jury trial before resources are allocated to the matter. The bill, as has been indicated on a number of occasions, is not prescriptive about the special need that must be shown because it is intended that each case will be considered on its merits. There will be some areas where it is likely that judicial officers would continue to use a jury. They could certainly include actions where there might be questions of fraud or major issues of credibility involving either the plaintiff or defendant. That is obviously where the common experience and commonsense of a panel of jurors has the most utility.
Once the bill is enacted, as I have also indicated, I will suggest to the Chief Justice and the Chief Judge that they issue an appropriate practice direction about the matters which the court would consider when deciding that a special need exists. The judges will decide and, as I have said, it is most likely that the special need will exist in those cases where the credibility of a party is directly of concern. The bill retains the status quo with respect to defamation in the Supreme Court Act for the time being. My department is presently consulting the Australian Press Council about that council's proposals for reform in this area. Any proposals for legislative reform in the area of defamation will have to be considered after this process has been completed.
I should mention that earlier this year I wrote to the Chief Justice, the Chief Judge of the District Court, the Law Society and the Bar Association about these proposed amendments. Indeed, I provided each those heads of jurisdiction and the professional organisations with a copy of the bill once it had been prepared, in order that they might comment upon it. The Law Society and the Bar Association have raised concerns about reducing the role of civil juries. The Bar Association has argued that the attainment of quicker and cheaper adjudication of disputes could be enhanced by more, not less, frequent use of juries. It has argued that sensible advocates will not risk trying a jury's patience by needlessly wasting time. It has argued that case management techniques should make use of this capacity to combine an advocate's brevity and the jury's rapid, and virtually inscrutable, decisions.
A range of factors contribute, I believe, to the parties' ability to achieve quicker and cheaper adjudication of their disputes. The Government has increased the resources available to the courts. It has increased the number of judges and magistrates, and the expenditure on court administration, and put in new management systems. Waiting times and hearing times have improved in virtually all jurisdictions. Well-prepared practitioners who avoid wasting the court's time also contribute to a quick and efficient justice system. Advice that I have received does not support the view that disputes could be resolved more quickly and cheaply by a greater use of juries. For example, in the District Court, parties often estimate that a case involving a jury will last three or four times longer than a case without a jury. Jury decisions can be appealed as can other decisions of the court.
The legislation seeks to strike a balance between various competing priorities. Courts need to be able to efficiently manage their lists and resources; lawyers should not be able to requisition jury trials simply to gain a tactical advantage; and jurors should be inconvenienced as little as possible. But, in the end, parties who have a special need should be able to have their matters heard before a jury. The Law Society has pointed to the jury's ability to offer a balanced community view and to the wide satisfaction that community views are reflected in a jury's verdict. It is concerned, however, that the "special need" tests may be onerous. As I said earlier, there will be cases in which it is appropriate to have a simple jury. In those cases the jury's decision will reflect the views of the members of the community who serve on it. It should also be recognised that judges themselves are members of the community with a range of different experiences. Ultimately, as I have said, it will be a question for the courts to decide the "special need" that has to be demonstrated before a jury trial is ordered. It is intended always that each case will be considered on its merits. I commend the bill to the House.
Motion agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 to 4 agreed to.
New clause 5 and schedule 2
Mr DEBUS (Blue Mountains—Attorney General, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts) [10.41 a.m.], by leave: I move Government amendments Nos 1 and 2 in globo:
No. 1 Page 2. Insert after line 10:
5 Amendment of Defamation Act 1974 No 18
The Defamation Act 1974 is amended by omitting "To the extent that section 88 of the Supreme Court Act 1970 applies to proceedings for defamation, it" from section 7A (5) and by inserting instead "Section 86 of the Supreme Court Act 1970".
No. 2 Page 6, schedule 2 , proposed section 86 (2), line 9. Omit "and". Insert instead "or".
Amendment No. 1 makes a consequential amendment to the Defamation Act 1974. It clarifies the link between the Supreme Court Act and the Defamation Act to ensure that the status quo is maintained in relation to defamation matters. Section 7A (5) of the Defamation Act currently refers to section 88 of the Supreme Court Act. The bill omits section 88 of the Supreme Court Act, which provides that defamation proceedings are to be tried with a jury. The provisions of section 88 in relation to defamation matters are incorporated into new section 86 (1). Amendment No. 2 simply corrects a typographical error. Proposed section 86 (2) incorporates the provisions currently contained in section 89 (2) of the Supreme Court Act. The word "and" was inadvertently transposed into section 86 (2) instead of the word "or".
Amendments agreed to.
New clause 5 and schedule 2 as amended agreed to.
Schedule 1 agreed to.
Bill reported from Committee with amendments and passed through remaining stages.