Category: Constitutional Law (page 1 of 5)

Section 44, Interpretation and Changing the Law

BY DAVID TAN

In the Engineer’s case, Higgins J stated:

‘The question [of constitutional interpretation] is, what does the language mean; and when we find what the language means, in its ordinary and natural sense, it is our duty to

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Public Servants, Social Media and the Constitution

BY GARY HANSELL AND ADRIENNE STONE

Although the implied freedom of political communication is now a well-established principle of Australian constitutional law, it does not appear to be widely understood. Some evidence of this is seen in the recently promulgated  … Read the rest

Knight’s Watch: Ad Hominem Parole Legislation Hits the High Court

BY SARAH MURRAY

Section 74AA of the Corrections Act 1986 (Vic) is an extraordinary provision. Ad hominem in nature, it is directed at Julian Knight. Knight, perpetrator of the Hoddle Street massacre, was sentenced in 1988 by the Victorian … Read the rest

The 2017 Australian Marriage Law Postal Plebisurvey: Issues and Controversies

BY MICHAEL MALEY

On 9 August 2017, a government move to restore to the Senate Notice Paper the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016 was voted down.  Had the Bill been passed, it would have provided for the conduct by the … Read the rest

The Rule of Law as an Assumption of the Australian Constitution

BY LISA BURTON CRAWFORD

In Australian Communist Party v The Commonwealth, Justice Dixon famously asserted that the rule of law ‘forms an assumption’ of the Australian Constitution. This has been cited and repeated with such frequency that it … Read the rest

The Uluru Statement: Towards Federalism with First Nations

BY DYLAN LINO

A momentous thing happened on 26 May 2017. Gathered together in the shadow of Uluru for an unprecedented National Constitutional Convention, over 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates ‘coming from all points of the southern sky’ … Read the rest

Plaintiff M96A and the elusive limits of immigration detention

BY SANGEETHA PILLAI

In Plaintiff M96A/2016 v Commonwealth, the High Court unanimously held that a mother and daughter, who were transferred from detention in Nauru to Australia to obtain medical treatment, were validly held in immigration detention during their … Read the rest

Clive Palmer and the bankruptcy ‘Star Chamber’?  The granting of powers of inquiry to courts under Ch III of the Constitution

BY DAN WESTBURY

In Palmer v Ayers, the High Court considered the congruence of powers of examination given to the Federal Court in its supervision of bankruptcy with Chapter III of the Constitution. In modern constitutional law, the separation … Read the rest

Burns v Corbett: the latest word on State tribunals and judicial power

BY ANNA OLIJNYK

We live in an age of tribunals. Although tribunals existed at the time of federation, the framers of the Australian Constitution could never have imagined the prominence of administrative tribunals in our justice system today. Small wonder, … Read the rest

Close of Day

BY TONY BLACKSHIELD

Bob Day’s financial problems came to a head through the collapse of the South Australian division of his company Homestead Homes. His constitutional problems arose through his insistence on having his Senate electoral office in his own … Read the rest

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