High Court of Australia upholds laws that protect people from being accosted and harassed outside abortion clinics

Kathleen Clubb v Alyce Edwards & Anor; John Graham Preston v Elizabeth Avery & Anor [2019] HCA 11 (10 April 2019)

In this landmark decision, the High Court upheld the constitutional validity of safe access zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania, in particular, provisions that prohibit certain communications and protests about abortion within 150 metres of abortion clinics.

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NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal awards compensation to Aboriginal tenants for uninhabitable housing

Various Applicants from Santa Teresa v Chief Executive Officer (Housing) [2019] NTCAT 7

The Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) has awarded compensation to Aboriginal tenants in the remote community of Santa Teresa over the Northern Territory government's failure to provide habitable public housing. Residents of 70 households in Santa Teresa brought the action against the Northern Territory government. In this decision, the first four of these cases proceeded to hearing, and the Tribunal awarded compensation in each case.

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High Court holds that lower caps on third party electoral expenditure breach the implied freedom of political communication

Unions NSW v New South Wales [2019] HCA 1 (29 January 2019)

The High Court of Australia unanimously held that a NSW law that imposed a lower cap on the allowable electoral expenditure for third party campaigners compared with expenditure allowed for political parties and candidates was unconstitutional, as it impermissibly burdened the implied freedom of political communication.

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Supreme Court of Canada upholds constitutional right of non-resident Canadians to vote in elections

Frank v Canada (Attorney General), 2019 SCC 1 (11 January 2019)

Non-resident Canadian citizens who had been residing outside of Canada for five or more consecutive years (Non-Residents) lost the right to vote in Canadian federal elections under provisions of the Canada Elections Act, S.C. 2000, c 9 (the Act).  Two Non-Residents Gillian Frank and Jamie Duong (Appellants) challenged this under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter) and ultimately succeeded as the infringements on their voting rights were held to be unconstitutional.

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