Pye v. Renshaw

Pye v. Renshaw,[1] is a High Court of Australia case that deals with the interaction between section 51(xxxi) of the Constitution,[2] (the Commonwealth's power to acquire property on just terms) and section 96 of the Constitution (the grants power).[3]

Pye v. Renshaw
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
CourtHigh Court of Australia
Decided8 October 1951
Citation(s)[1951] HCA 8, (1951) 84 CLR 58
Case opinions
(5:0) The grant to the state was held to be within power
Court membership
Judge(s) sittingDixon CJ, Williams, Webb, Fullagar, and Kitto JJ

This case followed from P. J. Magennis Pty. Ltd. v. Commonwealth, which held that a Commonwealth law to purchase land via the New South Wales government was invalid. The Commonwealth amended the law, such that the reference to acquisition of land was removed.[4]

The Court held that the law was valid; thus, the Commonwealth was able to get around the restrictions in section 51(xxxi) by ensuring that the law could not be characterised as land acquisition. Hence, section 51(xxxi) does not restrict the section 96 grants power.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pye v. Renshaw [1951] HCA 8, (1951) 84 CLR 58 (8 October 1951), High Court.
  2. ^ Constitution (Cth) s 51 Legislative powers of the Parliament.
  3. ^ Constitution (Cth) s 96 Financial assistance to States.
  4. ^ P. J. Magennis Pty. Ltd. v. Commonwealth [1949] HCA 66, (1949) 80 CLR 382 (1 December 1949), High Court.
  • Winterton, G. et al. Australian federal constitutional law: commentary and materials, 1999. LBC Information Services, Sydney.