High Court hears WorkChoices arguments

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High Court hears WorkChoices arguments

The States, Territories and unions are in the process of arguing in the High Court that the WorkChoices legislation is unconstitutional.

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The States, Territories and unions are in the process of arguing in the High Court that the WorkChoices legislation is unconstitutional. The Federal Government will be putting arguments in support of the legislation soon.

Corporations power

The technical legal arguments revolve around the extent of the Corporations power in the Constitution. The opponents of WorkChoices are arguing that the legislation oversteps the boundaries intended in the Constitution. These arguments are variations on the proposition that the Corporations power was never intended to cover all possible business functions of a corporation. The argument goes on to note that the Constitution provides a separate power to manage industrial relations at the federal level and due regard should be paid to this express power rather than relying on the back-door approach of the Corporations power.

The broader picture has also been touched upon - i.e. if the very wide interpretation of the Corporation power is accepted then the Federal Government could control virtually all aspects of Australian law - with only the presence of a corporation in the chain being required to validate a federal law.

Submissions are expected to conclude this week or early next week and the High Court's judgment will be handed down in about four months time.

Transcript

State of New South Wales & Ors v Commonwealth (AKA Workplace Relations Challenge) [2006] HCATrans 216 (5 May 2006) 
 
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