Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Williams v Commonwealth
 The shrinking scope of the Executive Power of the Commonwealth and the increased role of the Australian Parliament in authorising its exercise
Professor Geoffrey Lindell
11.00 am Thursday 6 December 2012
Committee Room 2R3
Mr Williams challenged the validity of the National School Chaplain’s Program by reference to section s116 of the Constitution and also a long held assumption about the scope of the executive power of the Commonwealth under section 61. The Court upheld the challenge not by relying on s116 but by destroying that assumption and finding a deficiency in the same power: William V Commonwealth [2012] HCA 23.

This address will analyse the scope of the executive power of the Commonwealth in the light of this case and the future implications of that case in relation to the Commonwealth’s ability to spend money and enter into contracts with and without the approval of the Parliament when that approval extends beyond the normal need to appropriate funds for that purpose. It will also explore the nature and effectiveness of the swift legislative response to the case.

The Department of the House of Representatives extends an invitation to members of the Alumni Association to attend this parliamentary Briefing.  Please confirm your attendance by emailing Alumni.Reps@aph.gov.au 
no later than Monday, 3 December 2012.