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  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.
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