Recent public law cases of interest

Chetcuti v Commonwealth of Australia [2021] HCA 25: Scope of the Commonwealth’s “aliens” power under s 51(xix) of the Constitution. 

Cotterill v Romanes [2021] VSC 498: Whether Victoria’s COVID “stay at home” directions offended the implied freedom of political communication. 

McHugh v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs (No 2) [2021] FCAFC 152: Whether equitable estoppel is available to control or prevent the exercise of statutory power. 

Commonwealth of Australia v AJL20 [2021] HCA 21: whether the Commonwealth’s power to detain an unlawful non-citizen under ss 189(1) and 196(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) ceases where its officers fail to remove the person as soon as reasonably practicable; whether the Parliament’s power to authorise detention for the purpose of removal is limited by implications of Ch III of the Constitution. 

Patrick and Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Freedom of Information) [2021] AATA 2719: whether an intergovernmental body described as a “National Cabinet” is a “committee of Cabinet” under freedom of information laws. 

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 720 (under appeal): Crown immunity and derivative crown immunity in the context of privatisation effected by a statutory mechanism. 

Sharma v Minister for the Environment [2021] FCA 560 (under appeal): whether the Minister has a common law duty to take reasonable care not to cause children injury arising from the effects of climate change in exercising her power under s 130 and s 133 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).

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