Monis v The Queen

Adrienne Stone, ‘Free Speech Balanced on a Knife’s Edge’ (14 April 2013).

In Monis v The Queen, an evenly-divided High Court dismissed the appeals of Monis and Droudis, both of whom will now stand trial for postal offences related to sending offensive letters to relatives of Australian soldiers killed in the war in Afghanistan and an official killed in Indonesia. Monis and Droudis contended that they could not be charged under the provision because the prohibition on ‘offensive’ communications was an unreasonable limitation on the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution. Three Justices (including the Chief Justice) held that the provision was not directed at a legitimate end, while the other three Justices concluded that the law was valid. Where the High Court is evenly-divided in an appeal case, the judgment of the lower court is affirmed.

High Court Judgment [2013] HCA 4  27 February 2012
Result Appeal Dismissed, Trial to Proceed
High Court Documents Monis v The Queen
Related Case Droudis v The Queen
Full Court Hearings [2012] HCATrans 241  4 October 2012
[2012] HCATrans 238  3 October 2012
Special Leave Hearing [2012] HCATrans 161  22 June 2012
Appeal from NSWCCA [2011] NSWCCA 231  6 December 2011
NSWDC Judgment
[2011] NSWDC 39 18 April 2011