Court ruling granting monopoly on party names a dark day for democracy - Liberal Democrats Skip navigation

Court ruling granting monopoly on party names a dark day for democracy

Today’s High Court of Australia ruling that gives old parties a monopoly on generic words in their party name has been described as a dark day for democracy by the valiant defenders.

The Liberal Democrats, who have proudly held its name since 2001, stepped up to the David and Goliath battle in response to a challenge by the Liberal Party of Australia. The Liberals joined forces with the Australian Labor Party in the federal parliament to pass legislation - in the peak of the Covid-19 crisis - to silence other parties using the same or similar words in a registered political party’s name.

With a federal election just around the corner, the Liberal Democrats contingent has been sitting on the edge of their seats since the court rose to deliberate on 15th February 2022.

Liberal Democrats NSW Senate Candidate and plaintiff, John Ruddick, described today’s ruling as disappointing and warned of the long-term repercussions for democracy.

“The ruling doesn’t just affect the Liberal Democrats: it means that any new party will be hamstrung in what it can register itself as, with words ‘labor’, ‘liberal, ‘green, ‘nation’, ‘united’ and ‘federation’; effectively banned from use,” Mr Ruddick explained.

“Our name, the Liberal Democrats, is the most accurate reflection of what we stand for, so we couldn’t sit idly by and let the Liberal Party take it away from us without putting up a fight. We have had Senators and members of the Victorian and Western Australian parliaments represent us under this name, along with local councillors across the country.

“While the result is disappointing, this case has shown that the Liberal Party is running scared and have finally woken up to the fact that the Liberal Democrats is Australia’s only true liberal party,” he concluded.

The Liberal Democrats has a proud history of advocating for citizen-trusting, freedom-loving and small government policies. The party is contesting the 2022 federal election with a full suite of policies outlined in our Freedom Manifesto.

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