Wotton v Queensland: Constitutional Freedoms for Paroled Prisoners

Thursday 1 March 2012 @ 11.39 a.m. | Legal Research

The High Court of Australia held yesterday that conditions of parole which restrict the constitutional freedom of communication about government or political matters are not an impermissible burden on paroled prisoners in the case of Wotton v Queensland [2011] HCA 2.

Mr Wotton, an Aboriginal man, claimed that two of his parole conditions, issued under ss 132(1)(a) and 200(2) of Corrective Services Act 2006 (QLD), impermissibly restricted his constitutional rights as a paroled prisoner to freedom of speech about government or political matters, notwithstanding the fact that his previous arrest had been for a riot related offence.

The High Court held unanimously that both sections complied with the constitutional limitations upon the power of the State. A majority held that both sections effectively burden freedom of communication about government or political matters, but that the sections are nevertheless each reasonably appropriate and adapted to serve a legitimate end in a manner compatible with the maintenance of the constitutionally prescribed system of government.

This decision raises the question of the appropriate manner in which to maintain representative and responsible government.

To read more about this decision, access the full text of the judgment here.

Our LawOne Service provides over 70, 000 links to cases discussing legislative provisions – just one of the features of the premium legal product on the market today.

Legislation hotline: 1800 077 088

FREE legislation news, delivered weekly.

Sign up now.

We love legislation. About us.

NEW information resources - great for training.

Access now.

Law One product page. Search national legislation.Point in Time product page. Search legislation by time period.