Interstate Disputes: The Supreme Courts Original Jurisdiction

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The legislative powers of the States are general or plenary ss. By contrast, the legislative powers of the Commonwealth are limited to specific topics ss.

Article of the Indian Constitution

The exclusive Commonwealth legislative powers relate to the Australian Capital Territory, places acquired by the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth public service s. The Commonwealth has broad legislative power with respect to its Territories generally s. Concurrent federal legislative powers s. The States continue to legislate, regulate, and provide services in important areas such as education, hospitals, policing, and civic infrastructure, but the Commonwealth now exercises substantial regulative control in several of these fields by placing conditions on financial grants to the States s.

The general principle is that the State constitutions can be altered by an ordinary statute of the State parliament, either explicitly or by implication State parliaments have sought to entrench a range of constitutional provisions in this way, including provisions relating to the governor 16 , the composition, procedures and electoral basis of the parliament 17 , and the Supreme Court Manner and form requirements were originally binding on the Australian colonial Parliaments due to the Colonial Laws Validity Act U.

K , a British statute that operated within Australian with paramount force. They are now binding on the Australian state Parliaments due to the Australia Acts , enacted simultaneously by the British Parliament and the Commonwealth Parliament with the consent and request of the State Parliaments. There has been some discussion of alternative grounds upon which State constitutional provisions might be entrenched, but the effectiveness of these grounds is subject to serious doubt While provisions of the Commonwealth Constitution limit State powers e. The constitutional jurisdiction of the High Court is enlivened either when its original jurisdiction is directly engaged or when in the course of ordinary litigation, a party raises a constitutional issue and the matter is removed into the Court or comes before it upon appeal The High Court controls its workload by insisting that appeals from state supreme courts and the Federal Court be heard only by special leave 27 , and by remitting matters commenced in its original jurisdiction to federal or state courts The independence of the High Court and other federal courts from interference by legislative and executive branches of government is safeguarded by the requirement in the Constitution that judges appointed to these courts enjoy tenure to age 70 The High Court has vigilantly protected its independence, drawing on the separation of powers implied by the distinct investment of legislative, executive, and judicial power in the legislature, executive, and judiciary ss.

Constitution in this respect It interprets the legislative powers of the federal Parliament in a manner that excludes from consideration a need to reserve any particular powers to the States. The basis for this approach is the view that the Constitution originally derived its legal force from its enactment by the British Parliament and that it obtains its continuing legitimacy from the support of the Australian people considered as an undifferentiated whole The States continue to play an important role in federal politics and remain vigorous centres of regional and local political engagement.

Why is this so? One reason is the sheer size of the country. Another is the continuing popular attachment to the States as locations of political participation and activity. For example, in a recent case, the then Chief Justice of the High Court began his judgment by quoting from an observation of one of the framers of the Australian Constitution, Andrew Inglis Clark, which articulated a robust view of the existence and powers of the states.

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In that case the High Court held that the executive power of the Commonwealth did not extend to the entry into contracts and the expenditure of money on projects that are not authorised by either the Constitution itself or by legislation ordinarily enacted by both houses of the Parliament. And in a companion case the Court held that the Parliament did not have the legislative power to authorise the particular payments that had been the subject of those contracts This insistence by the Court that the Commonwealth must remain within the limits imposed by the Constitution is perhaps a promising sign for the integrity of the federation, but given the twists and turns that have occurred in the history of Australian federalism, it is difficult to predict where current trends are likely to lead The Attorney-General is required to consult with the State attorneys-general 47 , but the nature and extent of this consultation is not transparent, and there have been calls for reform.

Relatively few appointees have had political careers Typically, court budget proposals are prepared annually by the Commonwealth Attorney-General 53 , with some input from members of the judiciary, and then put before Cabinet for review Ultimately, Parliamentary approval must be given to all appropriations from the Consolidated Revenue Fund A similar process occurs in each of the States: court budget proposals are formulated by the executive branch 56 , funds are appropriated from State revenue funds and must be approved by the legislature It also extends to the review of all decisions of Federal, State and Territory courts and tribunals and all measures of local governments.

Territory laws must also comply with applicable provisions Constitution, but there is some doubt about the particular provisions of the Constitution that apply within the Territories.

Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Key Points, Original Exclusive, Original Concurrent and Appellate

Regulations and executive actions undertaken by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments must comply with the Constitution and all applicable statutes If a Commonwealth, State or Territory statute is found to be constitutionally invalid the courts may declare it to be void and will refuse to enforce it. Accordingly, the High Court can be asked to determine cases involving the interpretation of the State constitutions and the constitutional effectiveness of their manner and form provisions. This means that it has no general advisory jurisdiction.

When a case involving constitutional issues comes before a court, the court must satisfy itself that notice of the case has been given to the Commonwealth, State, and Territory attorneys-general to enable them to consider intervention in the proceedings or seek removal of the cause into the High Court It is common for attorneys-general to intervene in constitutional cases, especially those involving questions about the distribution of power between the Commonwealth and the States.

The Court has only infrequently granted leave to persons and representative groups to appear as amici curiae.

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At the least, they must demonstrate that their legal interests are liable to be substantially affected by a decision in a case and that the Court would not receive submissions relevant to the matters in issue without their intervention Testimony by spouse after attack on character or conduct. Actions by spouse to recover separate property. Physicians not to disclose information. Surviving party as witness, in case of death, mental incapacity, etc. Incompetent witnesses.

Witness competent to testify against interest; to become competent upon release of interest. Competency of surviving party. Examination of person adversely interested. Medical testimony by deposition. Persons who may be compelled to testify. Confidential communications to news reporters. Confidential communications to clergymen.

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Confidential communications to psychiatrists or licensed psychologists. Confidential communications to school personnel. Confidential communications with sexual assault.

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Confidential communications to crime stopper or similar anticrime program. Confidential communications with human trafficking caseworkers. Competency of certain witnesses where political subdivision is a party. Immunity of witnesses. Confidential communications to qualified professionals. Confidential mediation communications and documents. Confidential communications involving law enforcement officers. Confidential communications involving public safety responders and corrections officers.

Confidential communications to peer support members. Securing Attendance of Witnesses in Criminal Proceedings. Summoning witness in this Commonwealth to testify in another state. Witness from another state summoned to testify in this Commonwealth. Exemption from arrest and service of process. Rendition of Prisoners as Witnesses in Criminal Proceedings. Summoning prisoner in this Commonwealth to testify in another state. Court order. Terms and conditions. Prisoner from another state summoned to testify in this Commonwealth. Child Victims and Witnesses. Rights and services. Videotaped depositions Repealed. Recorded testimony. Testimony by contemporaneous alternative method. Admissibility of certain statements.

Use of dolls. Victims of sexual or physical abuse. Victims and Witnesses with Intellectual Disabilities or Autism. Rules of Evidence. Documentary Evidence. Judicial notice of official seals. Effect of official records generally. Acts of notaries public. Certified exemplifications of records.

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Judicial notice of certain local government ordinances. Business records. Photographic copies of business and public records.

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Registers kept by religious societies and municipalities. Introduction of parole evidence after refusal to produce documents.