Australian High Court rules chaplaincy services unlawful

The High Court has ruled unanimously that legislation enacted by the Commonwealth Parliament  purporting to authorise government power to make agreements to outlay and pay public monies for the provision of chaplaincy services to public schools in Queensland is constitutionally invalid.

"Australia's high court has upheld a legal challenge against federal government funding arrangements for the national school chaplaincy program. Payments by the federal government to chaplain provider Scripture Union Queensland to deliver chaplaincy services in Queensland schools were unlawful, the court decided on Thursday.

"It unanimously decided legislation passed by the federal parliament in 2012 intended to provide the commonwealth with the authority to make funding agreements and payments after a previous successful legal challenge was "invalid in its operation with respect to a funding agreement between the commonwealth and Scripture Union Queensland".

"The attorney general, George Brandis, said it followed from the judgment that federal payments to persons under the school chaplaincy program had been invalidly made.

From The Guardian Thursday 19 June 2014 15.31 AEST. (See Further here).