‘Is the Constitutional Injunction “Ordinary”? Smethurst v Commissioner of Police

“In Smethurst v Commissioner of Police [2020] HCA 14 the High Court of Australia had to decide whether data obtained by police through an unlawful search of journalist Ms Annika Smethurst’s home should be returned to her or destroyed. In a controversial decision, which split the Court 4:3, the High Court refused to order the police to return or destroy the data. The case poses difficult questions of law that arise at the intersection of tort, equity and constitutional law. Specifically, it raises questions over the extent to which the ‘ordinary’ rules governing the grant of injunctions, which apply in litigation between ordinary citizens, should be applied in a case between a citizen and government where the injunction is sought pursuant to the Constitution …” (more)

[Jason NE Varuhas, Opinions on High, 24 July]

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