Friday, February 22, 2013

Judgments next week in the High Court of Australia

Next week, on Wednesday 27 February 2013 the High Court of Australia will deliver two judgments in cases that consider the scope of the implied freedom of communication.
The first is Attorney-General for the State of South Australia v Corporation of the City of Adelaide which raises the validity of a local government by-law prohibiting preaching, canvassing or haranguing or the distribution of leaflets in Rundle Mall, and in particular whether the by-law contravenes any constitutionally-implied freedom of communication.
The second is Monis v The Queen in which the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal held that the offence of using a postal service to menace, harass or cause offence (section 471.12 of the Commonwealth’s Criminal Code), does not infringe upon the implied constitutional freedom of political communication. The Court held that the while the law effectively burdens the freedom, it does so in a way that is consistent with the maintenance of the system of government prescribed by the Constitution.

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