What will the seminar cover?
In the recent decision of Vanderstock v Victoria  HCA 30, the High Court held by a narrow 4:3 majority that a tax imposed by Victoria on the use of electrical and hybrid vehicles was invalid. The tax was held to be a “duty of excise” which, under s 90 of the Constitution, States cannot impose. Section 90 reserves to the Commonwealth Parliament the exclusive power to impose duties of excise.
The decision is significant because the majority reopened and overruled previous High Court authority to reach that conclusion. It is also significant because it may affect the validity of other state taxes.
This seminar will explore:
- the meaning of “duty of excise” in s 90 of the Constitution as established by previous decisions of the High Court;
- the decision in Vanderstock and the key reasons of the majority and the dissenting Justices; and
- the implications of Vanderstock for state taxes other than those concerning EVs.
Sarah and Michael authored an article of the same name in Proctor (Queensland Law Society) which provides a high-level summary of the topics that will be covered in this seminar.
Who should attend?
This session will interest advisory and litigation lawyers, especially those with tax practices.
Michael May (Barrister, Level Twenty Seven Chambers)
Michael has a broad commercial and administrative law practice, with a particular focus on competition, corporations, tax litigation, equity and trusts, insolvency, class actions, professional negligence, estates and real property. He is variously listed in Chambers & Partners, Doyle’s Guide, AFR’s Best Lawyers and Legal 500 for his expertise in commercial dispute resolution, competition law, tax law, and insolvency & reconstruction.
Sarah Spottiswood (Barrister, Level Twenty Seven Chambers)
Sarah practices commercial litigation and arbitration as well as constitutional and administrative law. Since coming to the Bar, she has appeared in several matters in the High Court of Australia, in State and Federal Courts and in various tribunals, mostly in Queensland but also in Victoria. These matters range from large and complex commercial and corporate disputes through to sensitive and high-profile public law litigation. She is listed as a leading junior for commercial disputes by Legal 500 Asia Pacific.
Sarah appeared for the Attorney-General of Queensland in Vanderstock v Victoria  HCA 30.
Michael Maynard (Barrister, Level Twenty Seven Chambers)
Michael accepts briefs in all areas of law, with a particular focus on commercial and public law. Immediately prior to commencing at the Bar, he was Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth. He was previously a Senior Lawyer and the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS), Counsel within the Office of General Counsel at AGS, and a solicitor King & Wood Mallesons.
Michael appeared for the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth in Vanderstock v Victoria  HCA 30.
In person at Level Twenty Seven Chambers/webinar.
N.B. Registering via the form below you are requesting to join online. Contact Tamara McCombe (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish to reserve an in person seat.
- Press the ‘play’ button on the video thumbnail below.
- Complete the form.
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The presentation is free to view. For further information, please contact Tamara McCombe on +61 7 3008 3927.
The PowerPoint from the presentation is published below.
An edited transcript is provided below.