Commonwealth Executive Power and Australian Federalism

43 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2014

See all articles by Andrew Lynch

Andrew Lynch

University of New South Wales

Shipra Chordia

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

George Williams

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 31, 2014

Abstract

A majority of the High Court in Williams v Commonwealth held that the Commonwealth executive does not have a general power to enter into contracts and spend public money absent statutory authority or some other recognised source of power. This article surveys the Court’s reasoning in reaching this surprising conclusion. It also considers the wider implications of the case for federalism in Australia. In particular, it examines: (1) the potential use of s 96 grants to deliver programs that have in the past been directly funded by Commonwealth executive contracts; and (2) the question of whether statutory authority may be required for the Commonwealth executive to participate in intergovernmental agreements.

Keywords: High Court, Australia, Williams v Commonwealth, Federalism, Commonwealth Executive Power

Suggested Citation

Lynch, Andrew and Chordia, Shipra and Williams, George, Commonwealth Executive Power and Australian Federalism (July 31, 2014). Melbourne Univeristy Law Review, Vol. 37, 2013; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2014-34. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2474719

Andrew Lynch (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney NSW 2052
Australia

Shipra Chordia

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

George Williams

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
51
Abstract Views
417
rank
388,160
PlumX Metrics