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High court levy decision



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NEWS RELEASE

ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

The Ho n . D aryl W illiams a m qc mp

1 A ugust 1997 318

H IG H C O U R T L E V Y D E C IS IO N

T he H igh C o u rt’s decision in the Levy case has further clarified the constitutional freedom o f political com m unication.

In this case, all m em bers o f the C ourt upheld the validity o f the W ildlife (G am e) (H unting Season) R egulations 1994 (Vic). It was decided that even if the R egulations burdened the freedom o f political com m unication protected by the C onstitution, they w ere reasonably appropriate and adapted to serve a legitim ate end.

It w as accepted by the C ourt that conduct such as protests, and not ju st speech, can be political com m unication and therefore attract constitutional protection.

H ow ever the C ourt also acknow ledged that such constitutional protection w as lim ited, as in this case, w hen the purpose o f the law was legitim ate and reasonably appropriate.

This case and the recent High C ourt decision in Lange have provided further guidance by defining the scope o f the constitutional protection o f freedom o f political speech and com m unication.

M e d ia c o n ta c t: N icholas H arford (06) 277 7300

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY