Constitutional Advice to Senator Cormann

Phillip Sweeney made this Freedom of Information request to Solicitor-General

The request was successful.

From: Phillip Sweeney


Dear Solicitor-General,

Senator Cormann {Minister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate} on the 6 December 2017 made the following comments while the Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Consumers First—Establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Bill 2017 was being debated in the Senate:

"We are confident in the legal and constitutional position in relation to what is in front of the parliament."

That is enacting a Bill that would establish private company AFC Limited that would purport to settle disputes between private parties and in some cases purport to grant compensation payments to some of these private parties to be paid by other private parties {and not by the Federal Government}.

Enacting this BIll would also purport to allow the private company AFC Limited to limit the ability of an Australian citizen {who had dealings with this private company} to then be able to resolve a dispute between private parties and seek compensation payment in a Court established under Chapter III of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act exercising judicial power with respect to the same matter.

The document I seek is an opinion from the Solicitor-General to Senator Cormann (or any other Government Minister) on the constitutional validity of this Bill and the purported powers that enacting this Bill would purport to provide to the private company AFC Limited, especially with respect to later dealings with a Chapter III Court by an Australian citizen who had prior dealings with this private company.

Yours faithfully,

Phillip Sweeney

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From: S-G_Briefing

Attachment Letter to Mr P Sweeney 26 Mar 19.pdf
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Dear Mr Sweeney


Please find attached response to your FOI Request.


Thank you


Kind regards


Christine Moy

Executive Assistant to the Solicitor-General

of the Commonwealth of Australia – Dr Stephen Donaghue QC

Attorney-General’s Department

3-5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600


Ph: 02 6141 4139

Email: [email address]


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