Initially, there will be analysis of some cases to comprehend the impact of this legislation. The case of “A R Burgess: ex parte henry 1936 55 CLR 608” is useful to comprehend the role of the external affairs power, specifically section 51 (i) and section 51 (xxix) of the constitution. In this case, Henry was an aviator by vocation. However, his license was suspended. Within a couple of days, Henry drove a plane. Owing to this, a breach regulations conviction was given to Henry that was based on Air Navigation Regulations. This law explicitly stated that the unlicensed person must not fly an aircraft. Henry had confronted and wanted to analyse the constitutional validity of the regulation. With respect to the external affairs, there is no expressed power that is given to the Commonwealth to enact aviation regulation. This was done before the framing of the constitution. The commonwealth argued that the rules were pursuant to the international convention which was in accordance with the external affairs. The majority accepted that the Commonwealth had the right to enact legislations that were pursuant to the international treaty. Latham CJ of the panel dismissed the arguments that attempted to exclude the role of the external affairs from adhering to the local laws. The minority of the panel took a more specific approach. It was argued by Dixon J that Commonwealth had the power to implement the treaties through a series of legislations. The limitation of the role of the constitution was probed in this analysis. Hence, it was argued that the subject matter of the treaty had to be international in character. Even by adhering to the broad view of the external affairs power, courts states that the regulation of the ground does not give effect to the various conventions of the treaty. Another interesting case was the racial discrimination case by Koowarta.
Koowarta (1982) 153 CLR 168 is another interesting case that brings to light many of the issues. Koowarta was the plaintiff who was Aboriginal Australian. He was the member of Wik Nation. In 1974, Koowarta along with other members purchased the Archer Rivercattle station. This covered much of the areas of the traditional land of the Wik people. These were developed by “Aboriginal Land Fund Commission”. American company Remington Rand had owned the station by the process of pastoral lease. During the February month of 1976, Commission arranged contract to purchase the property. However, this sale was stopped by the Queensland government. Joh Bjelke-Peterson did not approve this sale as he had the opinion that the Aboriginal people cannot acquire large pieces of land. He was the Premier of Queensland during that time. His ideology was held as an official cabinet policy. Koowarta had filed a complaint with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Finally, the commission sided with Koowarta complaint regarding the land dispute issues. However, this did not stop the Queensland Government. They filed appeals to the Supreme Court of Queensland. Added to this, the Queensland government filed separate action against the Australian government stating that the power to pass “Racial discrimination act” was not in the hands of the Australian government. It was agreed by the courts that the racial Discrimination act was created to effect within the nation to adhere to the UN conventions to eliminate all the forms of racial discrimination. It was deemed that Australia had signed the law in October 1966. In the end, it was deemed that the Australian Government had the power to use the external affairs. In 1988, it was deemed in favour of Koowarta. This sale was allowed to occur. The efforts of trying to block the sale were also considered as a spiteful act. Based on this particular case, a number of subsequent case decisions were made. This case explored the importance of race relations to the external affairs policy of the nation.