Insights

Federal Court considers costs following case on Constitutional definition of Aboriginality

In Helmbright v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs (No 3) [2021] FCA 955, Mortimer J ordered each party bear its own costs of proceedings in which a New Zealand citizen of Australian Aboriginal descent unsuccessfully sought a declaration that he was not an alien for the purposes of section 51(xix) of the Australian Constitution after learning the Minister was considering cancelling his visa.

The proceedings involved one of the first applications of the High Court’s decision in Love v Commonwealth; Thoms v Commonwealth [2020] HCA 3 and the majority finding that Aboriginal Australians (as understood according to the tripartite test in Mabo (No 2)) cannot be declared aliens pursuant to section 51(xix) of the Constitution.

The article available at this link discusses the decisions in the proceedings.

Matthew Coe

Barrister at Law