REFERENDUM IS A TRICK QUESTION

Tony Morris QC says councils can't impose fines.

Tony Morris QC says local councils can’t impose fines.

(Larry Pickering) If the law bores you then read no further, but if you actually care what you are being asked to vote for [in September] then don’t expect either party to explain, they won’t and they haven’t, because they can’t afford to.

Julia Gillard will welcome this silly referendum as another diversion but Abbott curiously gives it his blessing. Why?

The real reason Federal governments want councils to have Constitutional recognition is that councils have historically acted illegally when imposing fines. They simply do not have the necessary statutory power to impose default judgments.

If you are fined by a council for a parking offence or for any other “offence” you are assumed liable for a default judgment they have no statutory power under the Constitution to enforce. That could open a Pandora’s box rendering every council in the country insolvent via class actions.

So, I walked into the chambers of Tony Morris QC who specialises in Constitutional law.

Not only did he agree with me but he suggested that even the default judgments of Government Agencies were unlawful, but no-one had ever challenged them on Constitutional grounds. Read more

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