Australian Constitutional Law Exam Notes

Tags: Commonwealth v Tasmania, WorkChoices, Treaty

Constitutional Law Exam Notes
Introductory Cases
Amalgamated Society of Engineers v Adelaide Steamship Co Ltd (“Engineer’s Case”) (1920) 28 CLR 129 – Cth introduced industrial law – applied to state governments and entities within s51(xxxv) (arbitration power) as employers re industrial disputes. Said Cth could not make binding award over State governments. Abolished STATE RESERVED POWERS doctrine (that Cth could not intrude) – shifted balance of power to Commonwealth. High Court stated must look at words of constitution and give them their natural and ordinary meaning – no assumptions nor presumptions, give full effect, interpret grants generously, not restrictively. Federal overrules State. Melb Corp notes restrictions though… Melbourne Corporation v Commonwealth (“Melbourne Corporation Case”) (1947) 74 CLR 31 – Cth introduced Banking Act, prohibited private banks conducting business with State unless Cth Treasurer agreed. Cth laws invalid if they ① deny existence or ability of State to govern itself OR ② single out any one State. Implied limitation on the constitution. 2 limbs – discrimination limb (against State govt/entities), guarantee limb (guarantee exists that we are a Federation). Commonwealth cannot legislate so as to curtail the capacity of State government entities. O’Sullivan v Noarlanga Meat Ltd (1954) 92 CLR 565 – (incidental s51(i) scope) – Cth statute states regulations that meat being prepared and sorted for export must be stored in a certain way. Goes to “quality and standard of export product” = CORE. Regulations dictating things such as drainage systems and hygiene incidental to core power (way before actual exportation) = sufficient connection. Must be a physical connection, not merely economic, under incidental scope. Murphyores Inc Pty Ltd v Commonwealth (1976) 215 CLR 185 – s51(i) case – mining on Fraser Island, conservation lobby – Cth changed export provisions – cannot export unless provide satisfactory environmental impact...
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