Full Court Minute Books

Case M105/2017

Wilkie & Ors v. The Commonwealth of Australia & Ors

Case No.


Related matter:

M106/2017 – Australian Marriage Equality Ltd & Anor v. Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann & Anor

Case Information


 Constitutional law – Constitution ss 51(xi), 61, 75(iii), 75(v) – Postal survey of opinions on same-sex marriage – Where Advance to the Finance Minister Determination (No 1 of 2017-2018) (“Determination”) increased departmental item for Australian Bureau of Statistics by $122m to make funding available for “voluntary postal plebiscite” – Whether Determination invalid because Minister’s satisfaction “urgent need for expenditure” under Appropriation Act (No 1) 2017-2018 (Cth) s 10(1) not reasonable or involved error of law – Whether s 10(1), (2) and (4) of Act invalid as impermissible exercise of legislative power or impermissible delegation of legislative power to Minister – Whether Census and Statistics (Statistical Information) Direction 2017 (“Direction”) invalid on basis opinions sought not “statistical information” within meaning of Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 (Cth) or Census and Statistics Act 1905 (Cth) and not “statistics” within meaning of Constitution s 51(xi) – Whether Direction invalid because opinions sought not related to matters prescribed by Census and Statistics Regulation 2016 (Cth) s 13 – Whether Electoral Commissioner not authorised by Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) to conduct or participate in conduct of postal survey – Whether s 61 permits Australian Statistician to carry out postal survey without statutory authorisation.

Short particulars


10/08/2017 Application for an order to show cause

10/08/2017 Notice of constitutional matter (Plaintiffs)

11/08/2017 Hearing (Single Justice, Sydney v/ link Melbourne)

14/08/2017 Amended Application for an order to show cause

16/08/2017 Appearance (Defendant 4, Submitting)

17/08/2017 Hearing (Single Justice, Brisbane v/link Melbourne & Sydney)

23/08/2017 Written submissions (Plaintiffs)

23/08/2017 Chronology

30/08/2017 Written submissions (First to Third Defendants)

01/09/2017 Reply

05/09/2017 Hearing (Full Court, Melbourne) (Audio-visual recording)

06/09/2017 Hearing (Full Court, Melbourne) (Audio-visual recording)

07/09/2017 Hearing - Pronouncement of orders (Full Court, Melbourne)

28/09/2017 Judgment