Judgment - R v Pearson; Ex parte Spika [1983] HCA-6 Feminism and the Franchise

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Rubenstein J. Listening closely to the women of the 1890s who were the first with an electoral voice in Australia, I join in dissent with Murphy J. This case and the Court’s interpretation of s. 41 reflect the importance of a democratic system to a constitutional order. The objectives of those women who were instrumental to the insertion of s. 41 in the Constitution are relevant to the outcome of this matter.

Section 41 states plainly:
“No adult person who has or acquires a right to vote at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of a State shall, while the right continues, be prevented by any law of the Commonwealth from voting at elections for either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian Feminist Judgments
Subtitle of host publicationRighting and rewriting of law
EditorsHeather Douglas, Francesca Bartlett, Trish Luker, Rosemary Hunter
Place of PublicationPortland
PublisherHart Publishing
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781782255406
ISBN (Print)9781849465212
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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