Does non-recognition of out-of-State roadworthy certificates breach the freedom of inter-State trade and full faith and credit provisions of the Constitution?

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Abstract

One of the burdens of federalism derives from the fact that several Australian jurisdictions refuse to accept, in satisfaction of their statutory requirements that vehicle owners obtain a roadworthy certificate in respect of a vehicle they wish to register, roadworthy certificates issued by other jurisdictions. The author argues that this imposes a discriminatory burden of a protectionist kind on purchasers of vehicles and is therefore a breach of s 92 of the Constitution. The author also proposes a new interpretation of the full faith and credit requirement contained in s 118 of the Constitution which would govern cases where one jurisdiction issues a certification as to status relating to a person or thing as a result of the application of a common standard which has been adopted by different jurisdictions. The author argues that under such an interpretation, non-recognition of a roadworthy certificate which was issued by another jurisdiction in accordance with the Australian Design Rules, issued by the Commonwealth under the Motor v Vehicle Standards Act 1989, which all jurisdictions have adopted, should be found to be a breach of s 118. A finding that non-recognition is unconstitutional under either or both of s 92 and s 118 would relieve vehicle owners who already have a certificate issued in one jurisdiction of the burden of having a vehicle re-tested when they seek to register it in another.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages18
JournalCanberra Law Review
Volume18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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