Monday, April 02, 2012

Legislating by press release

Stuff reports that some changes to the student loan scheme, involving a shorter repayment holiday for students travelling overseas, have taken effect. But as pointed out by the Greens' Holly Walker, the bill hasn't passed the House yet. So how can it have taken effect?

The answer is that it can't. Even though the bill is retrospective, it still doesn't take effect until it is passed. Any Minister pretending otherwise is engaging in

the pretended power of suspending of laws or the execution of laws by Regall Authority without consent of Parlyament
which is explicitly made unlawful by the Bill of Rights 1688. In this country, you cannot legislate by press release, and you cannot prospectively implement retrospective legislation. Fitzgerald v. Muldoon settled that back in 19736; I'm surprised the government has forgotten.