Attorney General for New South Wales v Trethowan [1932]

  • Created by: channyx
  • Created on: 20-03-20 18:59


At the time this appeal from the High Court of Australia was heard, New South Wales, Australia, was a colony of the British Empire. Its law-making institutions were subject to, inter alia, the provisions of the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 of the Imperial Parliament at Westminster, and its own Constitution Act 1902, as amended.

In narrow terms, we are concerned with the consequences flowing from the introduction of s. 7A into the 1902 Act by the Constitution (Legislative Council) Amendment Act 1929. The Court was asked to assess whether a provision in s. 7A of the Constitution Act 1902 was capable of preventing the passage of Bills passed after its introduction where those Bills did not comply with the terms of that provision. In 1930 two Bills were introduced to the legislature of New South Wales that sought to abolish the jurisdiction's Legislative Council in a two-stage process.

The first Bill repealed the provisions of s. 7A and the second Bill abolished the Council. The 1902 Act said such action could only be authorized if approved by a referendum…


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