Estimates committees commence operation
Senate calls for government responses to committee reports
The bill, which sought to abolish the death penalty under the laws of the Commonwealth and its territories, was referred to the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee for inquiry and report despite Senator Murphy’s fears that it was ‘a device to bury the Bill’.
The Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee presented its report on 2 December 1971 in which it identified technical matters that in its view should be considered by the Senate. Senator Murphy proposed five amendments to the bill to deal with questions raised in the report, all of which were passed by the Senate.
The bill’s referral was the first practical realisation of the potential for legislative committees to ‘shape Bills both as to policy and detail’.
Protesters in Melbourne against the decision to hang convicted murderer Ronald Ryan, 29 January 1967. The Age, FXJ352892.