The High Court of Australia

Constitutional Law Cases

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Definition:
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Constitutional law refers to the the body of rules and doctrines that govern the operation of political landscapes, mainly nation states. This law outlines how a nation state operates and the powers it can exercise and not.

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Case Studies:
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Chaplains Case:

  • At two seperate times the H.C ruled against the CMW's usage of various sections of the constitution.

  • At first it ruled against the nature that the CMW said that it had the right to rule under executive power (s61).


 Spence vs Queensland (2019):

  • In 2018, QLD made ammendments to their electoral laws stating that property developers couldn't donate to registered political parties. Later, the CMW made an ammendment to it's electoral law adding a new clause - 302CA that allowed for donations to political parties which could be used at a state level - bypassing state.

  • Spence, argued that QLD law was invalid because it clashed with CMW law and hence s109 came into play.

  • QLD argued that their law was valid since it is within their state powers to control state elections. QLD argued the 302CA clause was invalid because it affected state powers in controlling donations which may impact a state level.

  • The H.C. dismissed Spence and upheld QLD's arguement, meaning that clause 302CA was invalid.

3) Citizenship Case (2017):

  • The case was initiated by a member of parliament who discovered they retained citizenship of another country whilst having australian citizenship. 

  • The H.C, by taking a literal and narrow approach ruled that any members in parliament which attained a citizenship of another country (within immediate reach, i.e., they still have rights of that country), cannot serve in parliament and are disqualified under s44.

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Roles & Powers of the High Court
Common Law Cases
Constitutional Law Cases
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