Skip navigation
The Australian National University

Why These Three? The Significance of the Selection of Remedies in Section 75(v) of the Australian Constitution

Lisa Burton (2014) 42 (2)

Section 75(v) of the Australian Constitution gives the High Court original jurisdiction to hear ‘all matters … in which a writ of Mandamus or prohibition or an injunction is sought against an officer of the Commonwealth.’ This is said to guarantee the Court’s
ability to ensure that officers of the Commonwealth act within the law. Yet the s 75(v) jurisdiction is clearly limited. The Court is not authorised to hear all matters in which it is alleged that an officer of the Commonwealth has acted unlawfully; it is only given
jurisdiction to hear matters in which a (somewhat surprising) selection of remedies are sought. This is confusing in itself, and it has caused broader confusion about the purpose and scope of this important constitutional provision. This article examines the historical ambit of the judicial review remedies and evidence from the Constitutional Convention Debates in order to determine why s 75(v) only gives the High Court jurisdiction to hear matters in which mandamus, prohibition and injunction are
sought, and the significance of this for judicial review under the Australian Constitution.

Vol 42, Issue 2, 2014

Table of contents

Updated:  19 May 2017/Responsible Officer:  FLR Business Managers/Page Contact:  FLR Web Publishers