Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACT 1918 - SECT 354

The Court of Disputed Returns

             (1)  The High Court shall be the Court of Disputed Returns, and shall have jurisdiction either to try the petition or to refer it for trial to the Federal Court of Australia (the Federal Court ).

             (2)  When a petition has been so referred for trial, the Federal Court shall have jurisdiction to try the petition, and shall in respect of the petition be and have all the powers and functions of the Court of Disputed Returns.

             (3)  The High Court may refer to the Federal Court part of a petition in respect of an election or return, being a part that consists of a question or questions of fact.

             (4)  Subject to any directions by the High Court, if the High Court refers part of a petition to the Federal Court under subsection (3):

                     (a)  the Federal Court has jurisdiction to deal with the part of the petition that has been referred; and

                     (b)  the Federal Court has, in respect of the petition, the powers and functions of the Court of Disputed Returns, other than the powers referred to in paragraphs 360(1)(v), (vi), (vii) and (viii) and in section 379; and

                     (c)  subject to any directions by the High Court, further proceedings in relation to the part of the petition are as directed by the Federal Court.

             (5)  The High Court may have regard to the findings of the Federal Court in dealing with the petition and may in its discretion receive further evidence on questions of fact.

             (6)  The jurisdiction conferred by this section may be exercised by a single Justice or Judge.



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