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Peter Francis Hughes © Legal Studies 2012 Unit 3 CHAPTER THREE PART E The Constitution
Roadmap to Holidays l l l SAC Monday 16 April (bring it on!) Case Study done over lesson 4 & 6 Covering all aspects of the Constitution. This week – today finish PPT on the Constitution Unpack Minister Matthew Guy’s visit Revison and SAC preparation
High Court Interpretations of the Constitution l Creates a division of law making powers with case law. l Know the following 2 cases
R v Brislan (Brislan Case) Facts l S 51(v) gave the Commonwealth powers to legislate in the are of post and telegraph. l Technological changes brought radios into homes after the 1901 enactment l In 1905 the Commonwealth created an act to collect licence fees from people who owned radios.
R v Brislan (Brislan Case) l l l Brislan refused to buy a licence Brislan challenged the wording of the Constitution regarding the Commonwealth’s ability to legislate for radio fees. = State vs Commonwealth
R v Brislan (Brislan Case) Result l High court ruled that the Commonwealth can legislate in this area l Wording – other like services = radios l The ruling increased the residual powers of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Australia v The State of Tasmania The Tasmanian Dam case 1983 Facts: • Tasmania passed a law that would create a dam to produce electricity. • The Tasmanian State had residual power that enabled it to create that law. • Protests occurred by from various groups to ensure the Commonwealth intervened.
Commonwealth of Australia v The State of Tasmania l l l Commonwealth passed the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983 The act preserved the area that the Tasmania government needed to create a dam (Lower Franklin and Gordon Rivers) This area had received listing as world heritage under an international treaty along with places like the Great Barrier Reef.
Commonwealth of Australia v The State of Tasmania p 119 Commonwealth’s argument l S 51(xxix) Gives it power to create laws relating to external affairs. l The Lower Franklin and Gordon dam was an external affair because it was covered by World Heritage Listing (International Treaty)
Commonwealth of Australia v The State of Tasmania Decision (High Court) l All aspects of Australia’s relationships with other countries are ‘external affairs’. l The Franklin Dam was to be created in an area covered by an International Treaty. l Therefore this area was included in ‘external affairs’ of Australia.
Commonwealth of Australia v The State of Tasmania Inconsistency between the Commonwealth Act and the Tasmanian State’s dam legislation. Ruling: State was in conflict with Commonwealth l
Commonwealth of Australia v The State of Tasmanian Dam case ‘final wash up ’ l Commonwealth powers increased in the residual area. l Commonwealth can move into state areas where international treaties are applicable.
Commonwealth of Australia v The State of Tasmania Deakin University School of Law, Waurn Ponds, Geelong. 1977 © PF Hughes Let the Franklin flow, Let the wild lands be. The wilderness, Should be strong and free. From the song ‘Let the Franklin Flow’ by Shane Howard 1983 (ex Deakin Grad 1979)
Referral of Law Making Powers l l States can refer law making power to the Commonwealth in matters concerning residual law. Creates uniform laws where required. Doesn’t happen often. S 51(xxxvii) The power referred to the Commonwealth by the states can only operate in the states where that power has been referred from.
Referral of Law Making Powers l l l Changes the division of powers between the states and the Commonwealth. The states involved give more power to the Commonwealth. Example: terrorist acts
Referral of Law Making Powers l l 2003 The expansion of the defence of Australia to include internal security (Homeland) S 51(v) All states referred their power to make laws regarding terrorism to the Commonwealth.
Referral of Law Making Powers Consequence l Commonwealth expanded Federal Police and their powers l Hold suspects for extended periods. l Monitor suspects l Offenders have been caught and prosecuted for planning attacks on various facilities in NSW and Victoria
Referral of Law Making Powers Page 124 Various examples of the states referring powers to the Commonwealth. Know them (at least one) and be able to apply this knowledge. l Murray Darling Basin = The Water (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2008 (Vi. C)
Uncertainty with the Referral of Powers l Can the powers referred to the Commonwealth be revoked? l Has not been tested in court. Would it require a referndum to return the powers to the state? l
Uncertainty with the Referral of Powers l Is the referral of powers exclusive? l After the referral of power by the states, can they still legislate in that area? Has not been tested in court either. l
Questions Page 127 1 a, b, c 2 a, b, c, Question (6 marks) The Tasmanian dam case has taken power away from the states. It was caused by pressure groups. Do you agree or disagree? Explain your response.