High Court of Australia

Attorney-General (NT) v Emmerson [2014] HCA 13

88 ALJR 522; 307 ALR 174

10 Apr 2014

Case Number: D5/2013

Before

French CJ, Hayne, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell, Gageler, Keane JJ

Catchwords

Constitutional law (Cth) – Judicial power of the Commonwealth – Constitution, Ch III – Section 36A of Misuse of Drugs Act (NT) and s 94 of Criminal Property Forfeiture Act (NT) effect statutory scheme for forfeiture of property – Section 36A provides that Supreme Court can declare a person to be a "drug trafficker" – Section 94(1) provides for forfeiture to Northern Territory of property subject to restraining order that is owned, effectively controlled or given away by that person – Where Director of Public Prosecutions successfully applied to Supreme Court for declaration that first respondent was a drug trafficker – Whether statutory scheme enlists Supreme Court to give effect to decisions of Executive – Whether statutory scheme compatible with independence and institutional integrity of Supreme Court as repository of federal jurisdiction.

Legislative power – Acquisition of property on just terms – Section 50(1) of Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 (Cth) provides that power of Northern Territory Legislative Assembly does not extend to making laws with respect to acquisition of property otherwise than on just terms – Where statutory scheme provides for forfeiture to Northern Territory of property subject to restraining order that is owned, effectively controlled or given away by person declared to be a "drug trafficker" – Whether statutory scheme effects acquisition of property otherwise than on just terms.

Words and phrases − "acquisition of property" – "forfeiture", "institutional integrity", "just terms", "Kable principle".

Constitution – Ch III, s 51(xxxi).

Criminal Property Forfeiture Act (NT) – ss 3, 10, 44, 52(3), 94.

Criminal Property Forfeiture (Consequential Amendments) Act 2002 (NT).

Misuse of Drugs Act (NT)
– s 36A.

Northern Territory (Self –Government) Act 1978 (Cth), s 50(1).
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