Full Court Minute Books

Case M8/2011

Australian Education Union v. General Manager of Fair Work Australia and Ors

Case No.


Case Information

Lower Court Judgment

20/12/2010 Federal Court of Australia (Greenwood, Tracey and Buchanan JJ)

[2010] FCAFC 153


Industrial law — Registered organisations — Interpretation of Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Cth) ("Act") — Third respondent applied to Australian Industrial Relations Commission ("AIRC") for registration and organisation under Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) — Applicant objected to registration — AIRC granted application for registration — Full Court of Federal Court ("FCAFC") quashed decision of AIRC and third respondent's registration because its rules did not contain "purging rule" — Third respondent applied to AIRC for leave to change its rules — Applicant objected to application and FCAFC reserved decision — On 1 July 2009, s 26A of the Act, which provides that registration of an organisation which would have been valid but for the absence of a purging rule is taken to be valid and always have been valid, came into effect — First respondent informed applicant and third respondent that Fair Work Australia regarded itself as obliged by s 26A of the Act to treat third respondent as registered organisation — Third respondent withdrew application to AIRC to alter rules — Whether s 26A of the Act validates registration of third respondent when such registration previously quashed by FCAFC prior to commencement of s 26A — Whether s 26A invalid as impermissible usurpation of, or interference with, judicial power of Commonwealth.

Short Particulars


17/01/2011 Application for special leave to appeal

17/01/2011 Notice of constitutional matter (Applicant)

02/09/2011 Hearing (SLA, Melbourne)

30/09/2011 Written submissions (Applicant)

30/09/2011 Chronology (Applicant)

21/10/2011 Written submissions (Respondent)

28/10/2011 Written submissions (Attorney-General of the Commonwealth intervening)

28/10/2011 Written submissions (Attorney-General for the State of South Australia intervening)

28/10/2011 Reply

04/11/2011 Reply to interveners (Appellant)

31/01/2012 Hearing (Full Court, Canberra)

04/05/2012 Judgment  (Judgment summary)