Report

The High Court’s decision in the second School Chaplains case (Williams No 2)

Publisher
Schools Federal government Church and state State governments Courts Constitutional law Australia New South Wales
Resources
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apo-nid40189.pdf 115.18 KB
Description

This paper explains recent High Court decisions on the constitutional validity of a funding agreement under the Commonwealth's National School Chaplaincy Program.

Introduction

In July 2012 the NSW Parliamentary Research Service published an e-brief on the High Court’s decision in the first School Chaplains case – Williams v Commonwealth of Australia. That case concerned the constitutional validity of a funding agreement under the Commonwealth's National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP), specifically an agreement between the Commonwealth and Scripture Union Queensland (SUQ) for the provision of chaplaincy services at a State school in Queensland. The funding for the NSCP was not provided under specific legislation or further to s 96 of the Constitution. Rather, the funding was made under a series of funding arrangements administered by the Commonwealth and only authorised by the relevant Appropriations Acts.

The purpose of this e-brief is to update the position by reference to the second School Chaplains case - Williams v Commonwealth of Australia– the decision in which was handed down on 19 June 2014.

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