News: Challenge to Murray/Darling Royal Commission dropped

When he isn’t penning legal advices for the ALP on the possible disqualification from parliament of prospective Prime Ministers, Bret Walker SC is currently in charge of the Murray/Darling Basin Royal Commission. Established by the previous government of South Australia in January this year, this state-based inquiry into a Commonwealth-administered scheme raises some difficult questions about the interaction between state investigations and the federal government. Unsurprisingly, this June saw a directions¬†hearing on the question of whether or not Walker can apply his statutory powers (including powers to search premises, demand documents and jail non-compliant witnesses for contempt) to the Commonwealth and relevant federal entities and officers (and also interstate residents.)

Alas, for those who wanted to see these issues explored, and most likely for the Roysl Commission, the case of Commonwealth v Walker is no longer before the High Court. Continue reading