McCloy's Case: the High Court on Political Donations, Freedom and Equality

Current Constitutional Controversies - Occasional Colloquium Series

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Supreme Court Library, Brisbane

Read Graeme Orr's article in 'the Conversation'


  • Tony Keyes, Senior Deputy Crown Solicitor. Tony appeared for the State of Queensland (intervening) in McCloy’s case.
  • Professor Graeme Orr, University of Queensland. Graeme is the author of The Law of Politics (2010), Ritual and Rhythm in Electoral Systems (2015) and, with Ron Levy, The Law of Deliberative Democracy (2016).

About the event:

In McCloy v NSW [2015] the High Court upheld, by a strong majority, state laws capping political donations and prohibiting property developer donations. The case has significant implications for the regulation of electoral politics. It also has intriguing potential for constitutional implications, with the Court softening its approach to the implied freedom of political communication by nuancing the ‘proportionality’ test and by invoking political equality as a nascent balancing concept.

Current Constitutional Controversies is a high-profile colloquium series dedicated to timely and incisive discussion of the most important constitutional cases decided by the High Court of Australia each year. The series, presented by UQ's TC Beirne School of Law and the Supreme Court of Queensland Library with the support of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law, provides a forum for leading scholars, practitioners and members of the judiciary to analyse and discuss current constitutional issues. Delivered in an informal format to facilitate free discussion and open debate, each colloquium features a speaker and commentator who have monitored important constitutional cases from the commencement of proceedings to the delivery of judgment. This series is eligible for self assessed CPD purposes by the Queensland Bar Association.

This event was co-sponsored by the Electoral Regulation Research Network and the Australian Association of Constitutional Law.