How the Supreme Court has decided the fate of the grey hair issue
THE SUPREME COURT has struck down as unconstitutional a regulation that requires that every home with a grey hairnet be covered by a separate barrier.
The High Court ruled on Friday that the regulation was discriminatory because it prohibited the home owners from “retaining their own hair” in the home and not requiring that the owners wash their hair at home.
In a 7-0 decision, the court said the regulation is a barrier to homeownership because it is aimed at preventing them from maintaining their own “property and integrity”.
The regulation has been in effect since 2012.
The ruling came as a legal battle over the regulation continued to unfold in the Supreme Judicial Court in Melbourne, which had ruled earlier this year that it was unconstitutional.
An earlier court decision in 2014 said the measure did not violate the right to privacy.
However, in June, the High Court overturned the lower court decision and said the legislation was unconstitutional because it was based on the premise that people “are a part of their own families and have a right to be protected from the intrusion of others”.
The Supreme Court found that the right of privacy was violated because “the right to have hair is not an essential part of the individual’s relationship to others”.
“A hairnet is a part and parcel of the home, not a private thing, and therefore, it is a right which the State can take away from the owners of the property,” the High Courts said.
A spokesman for the court confirmed the decision was made on Friday, adding that the court had yet to rule on a request for a stay.
“We’ll review the court’s decision and decide next steps,” he said.
The Victorian government has defended the measure saying it was aimed at protecting people from “the intrusion of other people’s hair”.
“The measure does not restrict people’s choice of hairstyles, it merely protects those who choose to maintain their own,” a spokeswoman for the Victorian Government said.
“We’re very happy to be back in the grey area with the court.
We believe this is an important case, it will be interesting to see what the court does.”
The Victorian Government also sought an injunction to stop the regulation.