'The Work Choices Case: Analysis and Implications' in 'Work Choices: The High Court Challenge 2006'
WORK CHOICES: THE HIGH COURT CHALLENGE 2006, pp. 1-78, Lawbook CO., 2007
Posted: 12 Mar 2007
On 14 November 2006, the High Court handed down its decision in New South Wales v Commonwealth (2006) 156 IR 1; 81 ALJR 34;  HCA 52 (Work Choices case). The decision was eagerly anticipated, both for its potential to affect federal government policy on industrial relations, and for its bearing on constitutional law. This commentary explains the substance of the decision and explores its implications, with frequent reference to paragraphs (eg ) of the judgment which is reproduced in its entirety later in this work.
Part 1 of the commentary summarises the facts of the case, the issues that arose for decision and the reasoning that led the majority and the two dissenting judges to their conclusions.
Part 2 explores the constitutional dimensions of the decision, including its importance for establishing the reach of Commonwealth powers and for federalism in Australia, its approach to constitutional interpretation, and its engagement with principles of the rule of law.
Part 3 examines the impact of the decision on industrial relations and labour law in Australia, particularly the uncertain reach of the new legislation, how it bears on practical workplace issues such as rights of entry, and what the Work Choices decision means for the future of labour regulation in Australia.
Keywords: workchoices, Australia, industrial relations, constitution, implications
JEL Classification: J5, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation