Opinion Number. 292

Subject

COURT OF DISPUTED RETURNS WHETHER DECISION MAY BE REVIEWED : WHETHER ELECTION OF SENATOR BY STATE PARLIAMENT MAY BE REVIEWED

Key Legislation

CONSTITUTION, s. 15 . COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACTS 1902-1906. s. 201

Date

To carry out the suggestion in the annexed memorandum(1) would necessitate the reopening of the case of Blundell v. Vardon(2) decided in the Court of Disputed Returns. The decision of the Court of Disputed Returns is declared by section 201 of the Commonwealth Electoral Acts 1902-1906 to be final and conclusive and without appeal.

Since the decision in the case was given several steps have been taken under or in consequence of it; amongst others, Mr J. V. O'Loghlin has, in pursuance of section 15 of the Constitution, been elected by the Parliament of South Australia as a senator for that State.

It would seem therefore that the case could not be reopened without nullifying some at least of the steps which have been taken under or in consequence of the decision-including Mr O'Loghlin's election. As Mr O'Loghlin's election was made under section 15 of the Constitution, it could not, if valid, be nullified otherwise than by an Imperial Act or an alteration of the Constitution.

The opinion of the Attorney-General of 18 September 1907(3) appears to be in point.

[Vol. 6, p. 168]

(1) Not found.

(2) 4C.L.R. 1463.

(3) Opinion No. 291.

(4) This opinion was endorsed