King v Jones

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Citation: (1972) 128 CLR 221

This information can be found in the Textbook: Blackshield, T, Williams G, Australian Constitutional Law & Theory: Commentary and Materials (5th ed, Federation Press, 2010), pp. 372-3

Contents

Background facts

  • Voting age was in the process of being lowered to 18 years
  • McMahon federal government still resisting this change
  • Plaintiff, 18, is an adult according to Age of Majority (Reduction) Act 1970 (SA) and is allowed to vote for state elections

Argument

  • By virtue of s 41 of the Constitution, she should be entitled to vote for federal elections.

Legal issues

  • Voting
    • Is the meaning of ‘adult’ in s 41 open to a shift in meaning.

Judgement

  • The word ‘adult in s 41 is not open to a shift in meaning – the meaning of adult in s 41 will always be the fixed meaning that it had in 1901.
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