Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11285

Australian Constitution

Dear Mrs Wicks

Thank you for your letter of 17 September 2018 regarding Petition EN0672 on constitutional heads of power for Commonwealth legislation. I appreciate the time you have taken to bring this to my attention.

I refer to my letter of 13 July 2018 on the same topic. When the Government proposes new or amending legislation it considers a range of matters, including the constitutional basis for the legislation. A number of government agencies have responsibility for considering the constitutional basis for legislation, including the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and the Attorney-General's Department, which includes the Australian Government Solicitor.

The proposal in the Petition, to include provisions in Commonwealth legislation detailing the underpinning head/s of power, would not be determinative of the validity of the legislation. Under the Australian Constitution, the judicial branch of government has responsibility for determining whether legislation is constitutionally valid. Only the courts can determine this question. As Australia's highest court, it is the High Court of Australia which has the power to finally determine whether a law is within the legislative powers of the Commonwealth.

Thank you for raising this matter with me. I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

from the Attorney-General, Mr Porter