1 The Acts Amendment (Federal Courts and Tribunals) Bill 2001 forms part of legislation that the Commonwealth and States are enacting to address the effect of the High Court decision in the case of Re Wakim: Ex parte McNally, (Wakim) in which it was determined that State jurisdiction could not be conferred on federal courts because only the Commonwealth Parliament could confer jurisdiction on a federal court as a matter of interpretation of Chapter III of the Commonwealth Constitution.
2 The effect of the Bill as stated in the second reading speech is to:
2.1 amend a number of State Acts so as to omit provisions that purport to confer State jurisdiction on federal courts;
2.2 make minor amendments to the Corporations (Western Australia) Act 1990 that are consequential upon changes made to the Corporations Law by legislation of the Commonwealth Parliament; and
2.3 make a number of other amendments, which anticipate the establishment by the Commonwealth of an Administrative Review Tribunal to replace the existing Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that clause 2(3) and clauses 13 to 22 of the Acts Amendment (Federal Courts and Tribunals) Bill 2001 be deleted.
Recommendation 2: The Committee recommends that clause 2(5) and clause 50 of the Acts Amendment (Federal Courts and Tribunals) Bill 2001 be deleted.
Recommendation 3: The Committee recommends that the Acts Amendment (Federal Courts and Tribunals) Bill 2001 be passed subject to recommendations 1 and 2.