Upcoming event on the Commonwealth’s spending power from the Australian Association of Constitutional Law

The South Australian Chapter of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law is proud to host

The High Court’s New Spectacles:
Re-envisioning executive power after
Williams v Commonwealth

On 20 June 2012, the High Court changed our understanding of the nature of the Commonwealth’s executive power. With some exceptions, the Commonwealth may not enter into contracts or funding arrangements without legislative backing. The vehicle for this change was Williams v Commonwealth, a High Court challenge to the Commonwealth funded National School Chaplaincy Program.

This seminar will explain the reasoning adopted by the High Court in Williams, before turning to an analysis and critique of the Court’s approach to the question of the Commonwealth’s capacities, the role of the principles of federalism and representative and responsible government, and the repercussions of the decision for government at both the federal and state level.


 Gabrielle Appleby

University of Adelaide

Stephen McDonald

Hanson Chambers

Michael Wait

South Australian Crown Solicitors Office


1:00 – 2:00 pm, Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Venue: Pilgrim Hall, 12 Flinders Street


Members and non-members welcome.

GDLP students will receive credit for attendance towards GDLP requirements

(subject to application to the Law Society).

Attendance at this seminar may be recognised for MCPD purposes.

RSVP by 19 July 2012 to Mike Wait by email (


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