Secrecy law a burden: HRC

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 5 : 18-Oct-19

Details of submissions to News Corp Australia’s legal challenge to the validity of a police raid on the home of journalist Annika Smethurst have been released. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s submission has broadly supported News Corp’s stance, although it has taken a different legal approach to the issue, arguing that secrecy laws limit the freedom of political expression. Constitutional law expert George Williams, says the two approaches could both support the media group’s view that the raid on Smethurst was unlawful.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

ABC loses bid to see federal police reasons for search warrant

Original article by Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 21-Aug-19

The Federal Court has ruled that the ABC had no "proper basis" for its claim that the Australian Federal Police failed to consider public policy factors when it applied for a warrant to search the public broadcaster’s Sydney offices in June. These factors included the protection of journalists’ sources and the implied freedom of political communication in the Constitution. The ABC is seeking to have the AFP’s warrant declared invalid and return of documents that were seized in the raid.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Lawyer flags Frydenberg eligibility challenge

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 4 : 17-Jul-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the Coalition is confident that all of its MPs are eligible to be in parliament. However, the Kooyong Independents Group is said to be planning to challenge the citizenship status of Frydenberg, arguing that he is a Hungarian citizen by descent. The Kooyong Independents Group is associated with Oliver Yates, who contested Frydenberg’s seat of Kooyong at the 18 May election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, KOOYONG INDEPENDENTS GROUP, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, COURT OF DISPUTED RETURNS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Dutton puts end to MP eligibility row

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 6 : 28-Jun-19

A spokeswoman for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says he formally relinquished his interest in a family trust before nominating for the 18 May federal election. Dutton’s eligibility to be in parliament came under scrutiny in 2018 due to his pecuniary interest in a childcare centre which is owned by his wife and which had received federal government subsidies. The spokeswoman has stressed that two constitutional law experts had previously advised Dutton that he was not in breach of section 44 of the Constitution.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, RHT FAMILY TRUST, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

News takes AFP raid fight to High Court

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 25-Jun-19

The ABC and News Corp Australia will both challenge the constitutional validity of the Australian Federal Police’s recent media raids. The ABC will ask the Federal Court to rule that the AFP’s warrant was invalid on a number of grounds, including that it infringed the public broadcaster’s implied right of political communication. News Corp Australia will use similar arguments in the High Court; it will also seek confirmation from the AFP that it is no longer investigating the media group itself or journalist Annika Smethurst.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE

Labor plan to criminalise wage theft may backfire

Original article by Anna Patty
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 5 : 3-Jan-19

University of Melbourne researchers Melissa Kennedy and John Howe have questioned the constitutional validity of Labor’s proposal for state laws aimed at addressing wage exploitation. They say the proposed laws in New South Wales and Victoria could conflict with federal laws such as the Fair Work Act, raising the possibility of a constitutional challenge. They have also raised concerns that criminalising wage theft could undermine the Fair Work Ombudsman’s ability to recover workers’ entitlements.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN

Dual citizenship crisis could have been avoided

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 2-Jan-19

Former attorney-general Daryl Williams proposed changes to section 44 of the Constitution in 1997 which would have avoided the need for MPs to resign in recent years due to their dual citizenship status. The National Archives has released cabinet papers which show that the Coalition government was open to holding a referendum on the issue if it had bipartisan support in parliament. The total cost of by-elections and legal bills arising from the dual citizenship crisis is tipped to exceed $24m.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS

Send them all to the High Court

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 5 : 29-Nov-18

Independent MP Kerryn Phelps has declined to release legal advice regarding her eligibility to be in parliament, but says she will do so if she is referred to the High Court. Phelps adds that she is examining legal advice on the eligibility of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and will decide whether to support his referral to the High Court in due course. Meanwhile, crossbencher Andrew Wilkie says every MP whose eligibility to be in parliament is in doubt should be referred to the High Court at the same time.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Eligibility case to test Morrison minority

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 6-Nov-18

The federal government’s loss of its majority in the House of Representatives means it will require the support of at least one lower house crossbencher to pass bills. However, some crossbenchers have requested access to legal advice on the eligibility of Liberal MP Chris Crewther to be in Parliament, amid speculation that they may seek a motion to have his case referred to the High Court. There are concerns that Crewther’s investment in Gretals Australia may breach the Constitution, given that the pharmaceutical company has benefited from taxpayer-funded research grants.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, GRETALS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Coalition MP on brink

Original article by James Campbell
Herald Sun – Page: 1 & 6 : 2-Nov-18

Liberal MP Chris Crewther could be referred to the High Court over concerns that his investment in pharmaceutical company Gretals Australia may breach Section 44 of the Constitution. Gretals has received direct grants from the federal government, as well as linkage grants. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has also been under scrutiny over claims that his pecuniary interest in a childcare centre may breach the Constitution. The federal government would have 74 seats in the lower house if Crewther is disqualified.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, GRETALS AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY