Archive for June, 2009

Did Ansett v Wardley actually do anything for constitutional law in Australia or just women?

I keep reading how it was an important case for Australian constitutional law but I can’t see how. To me it was more about equality between men and women.

In Ansett v Wardley, Ansett argued that the Airline Pilots Agreement gave it an unqualified right to dismiss pilots, inconsistent with the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act (1977).

Ansett argued that as the Agreement was decided under the auspices of an Commonwealth law, and was a "manifestation" of that law, it must prevail over state laws, by virtue of s109 of the Constitution.

The court simply said that the Agreement did not confer an unqualified right to dismiss pilots, nor was there any direct or indirect inconsistency within the meaning of s109 between the Conciliation and Arbitration Act and the Victorian Equal Opportunity.

I don’t think this is the most important case in the area of inconsistency of laws, but its one example of what is NOT an inconsistency.

1 comment - What do you think?
Posted by mark - June 5, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Categories: Constitutional Law   Tags: