high court of australia

ita) How has the high court of Australia changed the balance of power between the commonwealth and the states?
The High Court of Australia has the authority to decide matters relating to the Australian Constitution, that is it interprates the meanings of constitution when used in legal cases, and in using this power has influenced the balance of power between the states and the Commonwealth. Cases in which the High Court has exercised the power of interpreting the Constitution include the Uniform Tax Case in 1942, the Koowarta Case in 1982, and the Franklin Dam Case in 1983.
Prior to the uniform tax case in 1942 income tax was payable to the Commonwealth and State Governments. In 1942, the Commonwealth Government passed a law assuming exclusive control over income taxes. The scheme had two main points:
· The use of Commonwealth taxing power to impose an income tax at a rate equal to the previous total of State and Commonwealth income taxes combined.
· The second, was the use of the grants power contained in Section 96 of the Constitution. Each State was to be granted an amount of money approximately equal to that which it would have raised through the imposition of its own income tax, but on the condition that the State itself imposed no such tax.
The States challenged the Commonwealth and lost. The court upheld a Commonwealth legislative scheme that had the practical effect of excluding the States entirely from income tax. It was the greatest blow to the States’ economic independence since Federation, creating the situation of ;vertical fiscal imbalance;, whereby the States are financially dependent on the Commonwealth to carry out their constitutional responsibilities. So in this example the high court took away the states power to collect revenue on income tax instead the Commonwealth may make grants to the States in any manner it sees fit. It may attach almost any conditions it likes to thes…

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