Australia 2003 High Court Centenary
- Issue Date: 2 September 2003
- Designed by: Janet Boschen
- Printed by: SNP Sprint
- Print Process: Lithography
- Perforations: 14 x 14¾
- Dimensions: 37.5mm x 26mm
- Format: sheets of 50 (two panes of 25)
This issue of two stamps and a miniature sheet commemorates the centenary of the High Court of Australia. The designs of the stamps and miniature sheet link the historical and contemporary life of the High Court.
The 50c stamp features a portrait of the first Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Samuel Griffith juxtaposed with the Constitutional text that made provision for the High Court in 1901. The text reads in part: ‘The judicial power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Supreme Court, to be called the High Court of Australia…The High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and so many other Justices, not less than two, as the Parliament prescribes’. In this stamp the archival image and old style typography used to render the Constitutional text calls to mind the historic foundation of today’s court.
The $1.45 stamp, with its bold typography and colours, reminds us of the court’s contemporary face. The design combines a typographical representation of "Justice" with a selection of significant decisions made by the High Court throughout its history. These are: Engineers Case 1920; Bank Nationalisation Case 1948; Communist Party Case 1951; Boilermakers Case 1956; Payroll Tax Case 1971; Sea and Submerged Lands Case 1975; Territory Senators Case 1975; Tasmanian Dam Case 1983; Spycatcher Case 1988; War Crimes Act Case 1991; Mabo 1992; and Wik 1996.
The miniature sheet shows the extension of Sir Samuel Griffith’s portrait from the 50c stamp and his signature. The border area of the miniature sheet shows headlines and excerpts from newspaper reports of major High Court rulings, further emphasising the Court’s enduring importance.
The dominant colour used in the stamps and associated products is the traditional scarlet of the law. The words ‘High Court’ are highlighted to reinforce the pre-eminence of the High Court within the judicial system.
First Day Covers
The first day of issue postmark was Canberra ACT 2600.