The Ramifications of Pape v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation for the Spending Power and Legislative Powers of the Commonwealth
Monash University Law Review, Forthcoming
28 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2011
Date Written: January 1, 2011
There is nothing quite like money to divide families, friends, or the High Court it seems. Pape v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation, the third case in which the High Court has directly considered the constitutional basis of the federal Executive’s general capacity to spend money, has, on the one hand, provided important clarification as to the basis of the power, but on the other has again given rise to a multiplicity of reasoning between the justices of the Court as to the exact breadth of the power. The Court accepted a more limited basis for the spending power than had previously been assumed by many in Government. This conclusion serves to highlight the importance of the breadth of the other heads of Commonwealth power for the Commonwealth’s ability to engage in spending activities.
Keywords: Spending Power, Commonwealth Legislative Power, Federalism
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