Coco v R

ON THIS DAY in 1994, the High Court of Australia delivered Coco v R [1994] HCA 15; (1994) 179 CLR 427; (1994) 120 ALR 415; (1994) Aust Torts Reports 81-270; (1994) 68 ALJR 401; (1994) 72 A Crim R 32 (13 April 1994).

The court restated the principle that it is presumed that parliament does not intend to limit fundamental rights, freedoms or immunities unless it does so in clear terms.

Per Mason CJ, Brennan, Gaudron and McHugh JJ:

“The courts should not impute to the legislature an intention to
interfere with fundamental rights. Such an intention must be clearly
manifested by unmistakable and unambiguous language.”

Copyright © 2014
Peter O’Grady