Henry Kha


This article examines the history of faith based groups and individuals in Australia who claim to have had their religious or spiritual beliefs aggrieved seeking standing (also known as locus standi) to challenge the decisions of public body authorities through the judicial system. These applicants are described in this article as the ‘aggrieved faithful.’ The main issues that have given rise to applications for standing by the aggrieved faithful include public decisions pertaining to the areas of abortion, blasphemy and in-vitro fertilisation. These concerns are not unique to Australia, but are also issues that have been raised in Canada and the United Kingdom. This article also briefly considers applications for standing by Indigenous Australians who claim to have had their spiritual beliefs aggrieved. It is argued that the current restrictive test for standing should be liberalised to improve the operation of the rule of law in Australia.