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Express law

19 June 2014

High Court holds legislation authorising expenditure for the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program to be invalid

Earlier today, in Williams v Commonwealth (No. 2) [2014] HCA 23, the High Court held (6:0) that legislation authorising expenditure for the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program is invalid. The Court held that s 32B of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and its subsidiary regulations are not valid laws of the Commonwealth in their operation with respect to the Program. It was not necessary for the Court to decide whether s 32B and its subsidiary regulations, which authorise a range of Commonwealth spending activities, are wholly invalid.

AGS will shortly publish a more detailed Express Law outlining the reasons for the Court's decision.

For further information please contact:

Guy Aitken

Chief General Counsel

T 02 6253 7084

guy.aitken@ags.gov.au

Leo Hardiman

Deputy General Counsel

T 02 6253 7074

leo.hardiman@ags.gov.au

Steffen Etherton

Counsel

T 02 6253 7175

steffen.etherton@ags.gov.au

Andrew Chapman

Counsel

T 02 6253 7206

andrew.chapman@ags.gov.au

Important: The material in Express law is provided to clients as an early, interim view for general information only, and further analysis on the matter may be prepared by AGS. The material should not be relied upon for the purpose of a particular matter. Please contact AGS before any action or decision is taken on the basis of any of the material in this message.