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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Five leave the Parliament

On Wednesday 9 May the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, ruled that ACT senator Katy Gallagher was ineligible to be elected at the 2016 election due to British citizenship, and ordered a special count of the ballot papers in order to determine her replacement. Shortly after this judgement four more MPs announced their resignation from Parliament, likely triggering by-elections. This brings the total number of parliamentarians who have left the current Parliament due to ineligibility under the Australian Constitution to 17. Read more...

Senate terms following the dual citizenship disqualifications

Following the 2016 double dissolution election the Senate resolved to allocate senators to long and short terms on the basis of their order of election. On 13 February 2018, for the first time in its history, the Senate revisited senators’ terms, resolving that, for senators replaced according to special counts ordered by the Court of Disputed Returns, the long and short terms are to be based on the order of election arising from these counts, rather than on the order of election arising from the original 2016 election. Read more...

The departures continue: constitutional disqualification from Parliament

Western Australian Green Scott Ludlam and Queensland Green Larissa Waters are now the third and fourth senators to have left the Senate since the last election due to ineligibility. Prior to the current term of Parliament, only five parliamentarians had ever lost their seats due to Constitutional eligibility reasons. Read more...

High Court rules on ACMA powers

The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) has the power to determine whether a licensee has committed a criminal offence when deciding whether to bring enforcement action, according to a High Court ruling. Read more...

High Court strikes down Minister's decision to cap permanent visas for refugees

On 20 June 2014 the High Court unanimously upheld separate challenges by two asylum seekers who questioned the ability of the Minister to limit or cap the number of protection visas that can be granted. On 4 March 2014 Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, made a determination limiting the number of permanent protection visas that could be granted during the 2013/14 financial year. The limit of 2773 was reached only three weeks after the cap had been set. The principle question before the Court was whether section 85 of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act), which enables the number of visas to be granted in a financial year to be capped, was capable of applying to protection visas when the Act s... Read more...

High Court to decide if mutual trust and confidence is implied in employment contracts

The High Court has granted the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (the Bank) special leave to appeal the Full Federal Court’s decision in Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Barker[2013] FCAFC 83. The case will be significant as it will be the first time the High Court has considered if an implied term of mutual trust and confidence exists in employment contracts.   What is the mutual duty of trust and confidence? The Full Federal Court was the first Australian superior appellate court to consider the issue, and found that the mutual duty of trust and confidence exists as an implied term in employment contracts. It defined the implied term as providing that an:   … e... Read more...

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