Recent Cases

Ruddick v Commonwealth of Australia [2022] HCA 9 (25 March 2022) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Gordon, Edelman, Steward and Gleeson JJ)


Constitutional Law (Cth) – Parliament – Elections – Senate and House of Representatives – Senators and members of House of Representatives to be “directly chosen by the people” – Where amendments to Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) (“2021 Amendments”) constrained political party applying for registration from using name, abbreviation or logo which had word in common with name or abbreviation of prior registered party without that party’s consent – Where 2021 Amendments provided that existing party could not remain registered if earlier registered party objected to existing party’s name or logo and that name or logo had word in common with name or abbreviation of earlier registered party – Whether 2021 Amendments precluded direct choice by the people of senators and members of House of Representatives.

Constitutional Law (Cth) – Implied freedom of communication on government or political matters – Whether 2021 Amendments infringed implied freedom.

Words and phrases – “ballot paper”, “directly chosen by the people”, “implied freedom”, “informed choice”, “legitimate purpose”, “registered political parties”, “voter confusion”.