High Court of Australia

Australian Education Union v General Manager of Fair Work Australia [2012] HCA 19

246 CLR 117; 86 ALJR 595; 286 ALR 625

4 May 2012

Case Number: M8/2011

Before

French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ

Catchwords

Statutes – Acts of Parliament - Interpretation - Presumptions as to legislative intention - Presumption against retrospective operation - Full Federal Court of Australia held that registration of Australian Principals Federation ("APF") under Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) ("WR Act") invalid because of absence of "purging rule" terminating membership of organisation of persons no longer entitled to be members - WR Act renamed Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Cth) and s 26A inserted validating purported registrations made invalid because of absence of purging rule - Whether s 26A operated to validate registration of APF.

Constitutional law (Cth) – Judicial power of Commonwealth - Constitution, Ch III - Whether s 26A in substance dissolved or reversed the orders of the Full Federal Court - Whether s 26A impermissibly usurped or interfered with exercise of Commonwealth judicial power - Whether s 26A invalid.

Words and phrases – "registered organisation", "retrospective operation", "usurpation of judicial power".

Constitution – Ch III.

Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) – s 8.

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Cth) – ss 26A, 171A.

Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) – Sched 1B.

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