Recent Cases

LibertyWorks Inc v Commonwealth of Australia [2021] HCA 18 (16 June 2021) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Gordon, Edelman, Steward and Gleeson JJ)


Constitutional law (Cth) – Implied freedom of communication about governmental or political matters (“implied freedom”) – Where Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 (Cth) (“Act”) included registration requirement for persons undertaking communications activity on behalf of foreign principal for purpose of political or governmental influence – Where foreign principal defined to include foreign political organisation – Where plaintiff undertook registrable activities on behalf of foreign political organisation in holding annual Conservative Political Action Conference events which constituted communications activity – Whether Act to extent it imposes registration obligations with respect to communications activity undertaken on behalf of foreign principal effectively burdens implied freedom ­– Whether provisions for legitimate purpose – Whether provisions suitable, necessary and adequate in balance.

Words and phrases – “adequate in its balance”, “burden”, “communications activity”, “compelling justification”, “disclosure”, “foreign influence”, “foreign interference”, “foreign political organisation”, “foreign principal”, “legitimate purpose”, “narrowly tailored”, “necessary”, “political or governmental influence”, “prior restraint”, “register”, “registration”, “scheme information”, “structured proportionality”, “suitable”, “transparency”, “undisclosed influence”.