|R v Burgess; Ex parte Henry|
|High Court of Australia|
|Full case name||The King v Burgess; Ex parte Henry|
|Date decided||November 10, 1936|
|Citations||(1934) 55 CLR 608|
|Judges sitting||Latham CJ, Starke, Dixon, Evatt & McTiernan JJ|
|(5:0) The Commonwealth government's power to regulate interstate trade and commerce does not extend to intrastate trade and commerce (per Latham CJ, Starke, Dixon, Evatt & McTiernan JJ) (3:2) The implementation of an international treaty is valid where the treaty is bona fide and the subject matter is of international concern (per Latham CJ, Evatt & McTiernan JJ; Starke & Dixon JJ dissenting)|
R v Burgess; Ex parte Henry (1936) 55 CLR 608 was a case decided in the High Court of Australia regarding the scope of the trade and commerce power and the external affairs power, in sections 51(i) and 51(xxix) respectively, of the Constitution. The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. Events 1444 - Battle of Varna: The crusading forces of King Vladislaus III of Varna (aka Ulaszlo I of Hungary and Wladyslaw Year 1936 ( MCMXXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Sir John Greig Latham KBE CMG PC ( 26 August 1877 &ndash 25 July 1964) was an Australian Judge Sir Hayden Erskine Starke KCMG (1871 &ndash 1958 Australian judge was a justice of the High Court of Australia. Sir Owen Dixon OM GCMG KBE PC (1886 - 1972 Australian Judge and Diplomat, was the sixth Chief Justice Herbert Vere Evatt, QC MP ( April 30, 1894 - November 2, 1965) was an Australian Jurist, politician Sir Edward Aloysius McTiernan KBE ( February 16, 1892 - January 9, 1990) was an Australian jurist lawyer and politician The Commonwealth Law Reports ( CLR) are the authorised reports of decisions of the High Court of Australia. The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. Section 51(i is a subsecton of Section 51 of the Australian Constitution enables the Commonwealth Government of Australia both to Section 51(xxix of the Australian Constitution is a subsection of Section 51 of the Australian Constitution that gives the Commonwealth Parliament of The Constitution of Australia is the law under which the Australian Commonwealth Government operates
Henry Goya Henry was an aviator who had his aviation licence suspended. Two days after the suspension he nevertheless flew a plane, setting off from Mascot airport and then flying around, over and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney Airport (also known as Kingsford Smith International Airport), is located in the Sydney suburb of Mascot. } The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a Steel arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail vehicular and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business He was convicted of breaching regulation 6 of the federal Air Navigation Regulations which prohibited an unlicensed person from flying an aircraft "within the limits of the Commonwealth". The regulations were made pursuant to section 4 of the Aircraft Navigation Act 1920, which authorised the Governor-General to make regulations to give effect to the Convention for the Regulation of Aerial Navigation. He challenged the constitutional validity of the regulation.
The Constitution gave no express power to the Commonwealth to regulate aviation, a subject that did not exist when the Constitution was drafted at the end of the 19th century. The Commonwealth argued that its rules were made in pursuance of an international convention and were, therefore, laws with respect to external affairs.
The majority (Latham CJ, Evatt & Mctiernan JJ) took a broad view of the external affairs power, and accepted that the Commonwealth could enact legislation pursuant to a bona fide international treaty. Latham CJ dismissed arguments attempting to exclude the external affairs power from encompassing certain domestic subjects. Evatt and McTiernan JJ concluded that once a treaty was signed and entered into, the provisions contained therein were brought under the external affairs power by virtue of their inclusion in the treaty.
The minority (Starke & Dixon JJ) took a narrower approach, with Starke J arguing that the treaty had to be 'of sufficient international significance to make it a legitimate subject for international co-operation and agreement'. Dixon J considered that the power of the Commonwealth to implement treaties through legislation was necessarily limited by the federal nature of the Constitution, so the subject matter of the treaty upon which it was based had to be 'indisputably international in character'.
Even under the broad view of the external affairs power, the Court invalidated the regulations on the grounds that they did not carry out and give effect to the conventions of the treaty.
The only other power that seemed available was 'trade and commerce with other countries and among the States'. Mr Henry however, had not been flying from or to any other state or country. The Commonwealth argued that the commingling in air routes and airports of aircraft proceeding intrastate with those travelling interstate, enabled it to control all aircraft. The Court rejected the commingling argument, preferring to maintain an arbitrary distinction between interstate and intrastate trade. Mr Henry could not be prevented by the Commonwealth from stunt-flying around Sydney Harbour under the commerce power. The Constitution clearly distinguished between intrastate and interstate commerce, and confined the Commonwealth to the latter.
The Commonwealth held a referendum in 1937 to have the Constitution amended to give it express power over aviation. Constitution Alteration (Aviation 1936 sought to give the government legislative power with respect to air navigation and aircraft Year 1937 ( MCMXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Although the measure received 53. 56% of the 'yes' vote nationwide, it did not gain a majority support in a majority of states, with only Victoria and Queensland supporting the measure.