High Court of Australia

Alley v Gillespie [2018] HCA 11

21 Mar 2018

Case Number: S190/2017


Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon, Edelman JJ


Constitutional law (Cth) – Parliamentary elections – Common informer action – Where plaintiff commenced common informer action in original jurisdiction of High Court – Where liability to penalty under Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth) requires determination of whether defendant incapable of sitting as member of House of Representatives – Whether High Court has jurisdiction to determine eligibility of member of House of Representatives in common informer action – Proper construction of s 46 of Constitution – Proper construction of s 47 of Constitution.

Words and phrases – "common informer", "common informer action", "Court of Disputed Returns", "declared by the Constitution", "declared by this Constitution", "exclusive cognisance", "incapable of being chosen or of sitting", "jurisdiction", "until the Parliament otherwise provides".

Constitution – ss 44(v), 45, 46, 47, 49.

Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (Cth) – s 3.

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) – s 376.

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