High Court party name decision shows a moral win despite loss - Liberal Democrats Skip navigation

High Court party name decision shows a moral win despite loss

A High Court of Australia decision giving old political parties a monopoly on using words in their name came down to the wire, with the judgement showing the court was split by just one judge.

The Liberal Democrats, who have proudly held its name since 2001, took the battle to defend its name all the way to the High Court after the federal parliament passed legislation to silence other parties using the same or similar words in a registered political party’s name.

NSW Lead Senate Candidate and plaintiff, John Ruddick, said the judgement released today showed the Liberal Democrats morally won the case.

“The judgement shows that the Liberal Democrats came close in our battle to valiantly defend our name, with the court split by just one,” he said.

“High Court Judges Kiefel, Keane & Gageler held the provisions to be invalid. Gordon, Edelman & Gleeson held they were valid.

“Steward leaned in our favour saying the law ‘may rightly be characterised as heavy-handed...however invalidation of the parliament must be reserved for more extreme law’.

“Our name, the Liberal Democrats, is the most accurate reflection of what we represent, so we couldn’t sit idly by and let the Liberal Party take it away from us. 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 we were ultimately unsuccessful, the ruling shows we morally won and we can hold our heads high knowing we defended our name til the end,” he concluded.

The Liberal Democrats have 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.

Media inquiries:

John Ruddick

NSW Lead Senate Candidate & Plaintiff

0412 129 512

[email protected] 


Kate Fantinel

Liberal Democrats

0401 620 227

[email protected] 

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