High Court on Chaplaincy Funding

On 20 June 2012 the High Court of Australia handed down its judgment in Ronald Williams v The Commonwealth of Australia [2012] HCA 23. The majority held that a funding agreement between the Commonwealth and Scripture Union Queensland for the provision of chaplaincy services and payments under the agreement were invalid because it was neither supported directlly by a vote of the Parliament nor is it provided for via Australia’s Constitution.

Excellent analysis of the High Court decision by James Oakley, here. Read the High Court ruling here. Responses from SU Queensland and SU Tasmania.

Subsequently, the Government has passed legislation which continues funding for the chaplaincy program. See, SU QLD media release, Parliament says chaplains are here to stay.

It remains to be seen whether the Commonwealth’s solution will avoid further legal challenges in the longer term. Clarifying school chaplaincy is a vital issue.

Please lift up our Chaplains, funding and Chaplaincy programs to the Lord in prayer.


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