Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration
The Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration was an Australian court that existed from 1904 to 1956. It had jurisdiction to arbitrate interstate industrial disputes. Its functions included the hearing and the arbitration of interstate industrial disputes, and to make awards. It also had the judicial functions of interpreting and enforcing awards and hearing other criminal and civil cases relating to industrial relations law.
The Court was declared invalid by the High Court of Australia, as a result of the Boilermakers' case, and was replaced by two bodies, the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and the Commonwealth Industrial Court.
The Court was created in 1904 by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904, an Act of the Parliament of Australia. The Court was initially less important than the various State industrial conciliation commissions, which had jurisdiction over all disputes which occurred within their respective states. The Court's workload was so low that it made only six awards in the first five years of its existence.
Amendments to the Act in 1926 reformed the Court. The changes included replacing the office of President with that of Chief Judge alongside other judges, and ensuring all cases involving the basic or living wage would be heard by a full bench of the Court. The changes also allowed for the appointment of Conciliation Commissioners, with a role similar to mediators. Further changes were made to the Court in 1947 to increase the role of the Commissioners, leaving the judges to conduct the judicial work, and a select few matters of arbitration including the basic wage and the minimum wage for women.
In 1956, the High Court of Australia in the Boilermakers' case held that the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, as a tribunal exercising the non-judicial power of arbitration, could not also exercise judicial power as a Chapter III Court under the Australian Constitution. The decision has come to stand for the important doctrine of the separation of powers in Australia. The decision effectively rendered the Court defunct.
Following the decision, two new bodies were created to perform the function of the now-defunct Court. The Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission was created in 1956 to carry out the non-judicial functions. It was renamed the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in 1973, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in 1988, Fair Work Australia in 2010, and the Fair Work Commission in 2012.
The Commonwealth Industrial Court was created to exercise the Court's judicial powers. In 1973 the Industrial Court was renamed the Australian Industrial Court, and in 1977 its functions were transferred to the new Federal Court of Australia.
One of the Court's early awards was the landmark Harvester case (1906), delivered by Justice H.B. Higgins, which first introduced the concept of the living wage (also known as a basic wage). During the Great Depression, the Court reduced wages by 10%.
Another of the Court's early decisions was the setting of the standard working week at 48 hours. In 1930, the Court reduced the standard working week to 40 hours. In 1947, the working week was reduced again to 40 hours.
List of Presidents and judges
List of Presidents / Chief Judges
|No.||Image||President / Chief Judge||Term of office||Nominating
|1||O'Connor, Justice RichardJustice Richard O'Connor||1905-1907|
|2||Higgins, Justice H. B.Justice H. B. Higgins||1907-1921|
|3||Powers, Justice CharlesJustice Charles Powers||1921–1925|
|4||Dethridge, Justice GeorgeJustice George Dethridge||1925-1938|
|5||Beeby, Justice GeorgeJustice George Beeby||1939-1941|
|6||Piper, Justice HaroldJustice Harold Piper||1941-1947|
|7||Drake-Brockman, Justice EdmundJustice Edmund Drake-Brockman||1947-1949|
|8||Kelly, Justice WilliamJustice William Kelly||1949-1956|
Includes Presidents and Chief Judges.
|Term in office||Comments||Notes|
|O'Connor, RichardRichard O'Connor||President||10 February 1905||13 September 1907||2 years, 215 days||Judge of the High Court|||
|Higgins, H. B.H. B. Higgins||President||14 September 1907||29 June 1921||13 years, 288 days||Judge of the High Court|||
|Powers, CharlesCharles Powers||Deputy President||10 October 1914||30 April 1920||5 years, 203 days||Judge of the High Court|| |
|President||30 June 1921||25 June 1926||4 years, 360 days|
|Quick, Sir JohnSir John Quick||Deputy President||26 June 1922||25 March 1930||16 years, 10 days|||
|Webb, NoelNoel Webb||Deputy President||26 June 1922||12 February 1927||4 years, 231 days|||
|Dethridge, GeorgeGeorge Dethridge||Chief Judge||20 July 1926||29 December 1938||12 years, 162 days|||
|Lukin, LionelLionel Lukin||Judge||20 July 1926||6 July 1938||11 years, 351 days|||
|Beeby, GeorgeGeorge Beeby||Judge||21 July 1926||31 July 1941||15 years, 10 days|||
|Chief Judge||15 March 1939||2 years, 138 days|
|Drake-Brockman, EdmundEdmund Drake-Brockman||Judge||18 April 1927||1 June 1949||22 years, 44 days|||
|Chief Judge||17 June 1947||1 year, 359 days|
|Piper, HaroldHarold Piper||Judge||15 February 1938||16 June 1947||9 years, 121 days|| |
|Chief Judge||1 August 1941||5 years, 319 days|
|O'Mara, ThomasThomas O'Mara||Judge||15 March 1939||14 October 1946||7 years, 213 days|||
|Kelly, Sir RaymondSir Raymond Kelly||Judge||15 August 1941||25 July 1956||14 years, 345 days|||
|Chief Judge||30 June 1949||7 years, 25 days|
|Foster, AlfredAlfred Foster||Judge||12 October 1944||26 November 1962 ||18 years, 45 days||Deputy President of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission|| |
|Sugerman, BernardBernard Sugerman||Judge||15 April 1946||9 September 1947||1 year, 147 days||Resigned to take up appointment with NSW Supreme Court|||
|Kirby, Sir RichardSir Richard Kirby||Judge||26 August 1947||1973 ||25–26 years||First President of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission|| |
|Dunphy, EdwardEdward Dunphy||Judge||27 April 1949||15 August 1956||7 years, 110 days||Appointed to the Commonwealth Industrial Court|| |
|Wright, SydneySydney Wright||Judge||14 December 1950||1970 ||19–20 years||Deputy President of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission|||
|McIntyre, MalcolmMalcolm McIntyre||Judge||4 July 1952||21 September 1953||1 year, 79 days|| |
|Morgan, Sir EdwardSir Edward Morgan||Judge||4 August 1952||15 August 1956||4 years, 11 days||Appointed to the Commonwealth Industrial Court|| |
|Ashburner, RichardRichard Ashburner||Judge||1 February 1954||1963 ||8–9 years||Deputy President of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission|||
- R v Kirby; Ex parte Boilermakers' Society of Australia  HCA 10, (1956) 94 CLR 254.
- Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 (Cth).
- "Commonwealth Court of Conciliation & Arbitration" (http). Australian Trade Union Archives. Retrieved 18 January 2006.
- Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1956 (Cth).
- Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1973 (Cth).
- Industrial Relations Act 1988 (Cth).
- Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
- Fair Work Amendment Act 2012 (Cth).
- Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth).
- "Centenary of Federation and the Court/Commission". Australian Industrial Relations Commission. Archived from the original (http) on January 5, 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2006.
- Rutledge, M. "O'Connor, Richard Edward (Dick) (1851–1912)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Rickard, J. "Higgins, Henry Bournes (1851–1929)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- "Appointment of Mr Justice Powers as a Deputy President" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 17 October 1914. p. 2358.
- Forster, C. "Powers, Sir Charles (1853–1939)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Maslunka, M. "Quick, Sir John (1852–1932)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- "Noel Augustin Webb" (PDF). State Library of SA.
- Sharp, IG. "Dethridge, George James (1863–1938)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Gill, JCH. "Lukin, Lionel Oscar (1868–1944) (1863–1938)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Nairn, B. "Beeby, Sir George Stephenson (1869–1942)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Sharp, IG. "Drake-Brockman, Edmund Alfred (1884–1949)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Selth, PA. "Piper, Harold Bayard (1894–1953)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- "Appointment Justice Drake-Brockman as Chief Judge" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 13 June 1947. p. 1607.
- "Mr Justice O'Mara dead". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 October 1946. p. 4 – via National Library of Australia.
- Dabscheck, B. "Kelly, Sir William Raymond (1898–1956)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Appointed for life and so maintained appointment as a judge even though the Court ceased to sit after 1956. The Court was only abolished after the retirement of its last member, Sir Richard Kirby in 1973.
- "Appointments Industrial Court and Arbitration Commission" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 4 September 1956. pp. 2701A–2701D.
- Larmour, C. "Foster, Alfred William (1886–1962)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Forbes, MZ. "Sugerman, Sir Bernard (1904–1976)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University.
- Conciliation and Arbitration Act (1973) (Cth) s39.
- "Appointment Richard Kirby" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 11 September 1947. p. 2645.
- (1973) 149 CAR v.
- "Appointment Edward Dunphy" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 26 May 1949. p. 1517.
- "Appointment Sydney Wright" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 21 December 1950. p. 3309.
- "Appointment Malcolm McIntyre" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 7 August 1952. p. 3317.
- "Death Of Mr. Justice McIntyre". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 September 1953. p. 1 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Appointment Edward Morgan" (PDF). Cth Gazette. 21 August 1952. p. 3471.