Protecting Australian democracy: From attempting to ban the Communist Party to resisting foreign interference


  • Bohdan Bernatskyi
  • Marina Gorbatiuc



The article analyses the shift of the limits of democratic tolerance in Australia. In 1950, the Australian Parliament passed an Act under which the activities of the Australian Communist Party were outlawed, and the party had to be dissolved. One year later, the High Court of Australia struck down the Dissolution Act and indicated that the "militant democracy" concept had never been a part of the Commonwealth Constitutional architecture. Thus, the interpretation of the judicial system of Australia went contrary to the findings, for instance, of the German Federal Constitutional Court, which dissolved the Communist Party of Germany in 1956. The latest developments in Oceania, such as a ban on foreign donations and the threat of foreign interference through political parties, require a new examination of the status quo of the limits of democratic tolerance in Australia and whether it has been subject to changes since the establishment of a highly liberal pathway to democratic competition.