Polyukhovich v Commonwealth (“War Crimes Act case”) [1991] HCA 32 | 14 August 1991

ON 14 AUGUST 1991, the High Court of Australia delivered Polyukhovich v Commonwealth (“War Crimes Act case”) [1991] HCA 32; (1991) 172 CLR 501 (14 August 1991).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1991/32.html

Polyukhovich brought proceedings against the Commonwealth seeking declarations that the War Crimes Amendment Act 1988 (Cth) and certain provisions of the War Crimes Act 1945 (Cth) were constitutionally invalid on the grounds that the legislation (1) exceeded the Commonwealth’s defence (s51(vi)) and external affairs powers (s51(xxix)); and (2) invalidly usurped the Commonwealth’s judicial power, infringing Chapter III.

The High Court held that the legislation was valid.

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