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Australia. Parliament

Commentary

17 Nov 2017

It is time to accept that Section 44 of the Australian Constitution is irretrievably broken. In its current form, it is creating chaos that is consuming our politicians. This presents a rare opportunity for constitutional change. A referendum could address not only the citizenship issue but the...

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Audio interview

14 Nov 2017

The Senate chamber was more fiery than usual yesterday and presiding over it all was Scott Ryan in his new job.

Senator Ryan was elected Senate President yesterday after quitting Cabinet.

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Guide

14 Nov 2017

The process of drawing and adjusting electoral boundaries in Australia is called a ‘redistribution’, and at the federal level is governed by Part IV of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA). Currently, five redistributions—for Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia (SA), Victoria and the...

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Commentary

13 Nov 2017

It’s been just over a fortnight since the High Court opted for what it admitted was a “harsh” reading of section 44(i) of the Constitution, because the nicer alternatives “would be inimical to the stability of representative government.” Since then, potentially ineligible MPs have emerged at a...

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Commentary

03 Nov 2017

The sudden exit from parliament of Senate President, Stephen Parry, has turned into a toxic blame game, in a further sign of a government crumbling into chaos.

Malcolm Turnbull and deputy Senate leader, Mathias Cormann, lashed out at Parry for not publicly revealing earlier his probable...

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Blog post

26 Sep 2017

30 August 2017 marked the completion of the first year of the 45th Parliament. In that time there has been continuing interest in the voting records of the Independent parliamentarians and minor parties in both Houses, particularly in the Senate where the Government requires eight out of the 19...

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Commentary

19 Sep 2017

Last week’s release of the Class A files of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into allegations against Justice Lionel Murphy reopened a longstanding controversy about the behaviour of the...

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Blog post

31 Aug 2017

One year and one day after a new parliament sits, the AEC calculates the number of seats each state is entitled to. It does this by summing state populations, dividing that number by the number of members for the states (as stated in s24 of the Constitution), and then dividing the population of...

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Commentary

30 Aug 2017

The Constitution is not normally front-page news in Australia. Despite the profound impact it has on our politics and society, it is easy to see why.

Overall, the document is a dry and difficult read that bears out the lawyers’ language and values of the 1890s. Former senator and High...

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Commentary

22 Aug 2017

The citizenship debacle engulfing the Nationals, and in turn the Coalition government, has as much to do with trust and integrity as it does with the constitution. Being consistent is important in business and in government.

After the Greens' Scott Ludlum and Larissa Waters resigned over...

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Commentary

Article

18 Aug 2017

Dual Citizenship and Section 44: What Role of the Court?

The relevance of section 44 of the Australian Constitution has again been questioned. Senator Matt Canavan has resigned as a minister on account that he might be an Italian citizen. It seems anomalous to the naked...

Research report

16 Aug 2017

The internationally collaborative and generally synchronous Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program offers an opportunity to compare procurement oversight between different partner nations. In democracies, parliamentary oversight plays an important role in public accountability and transparency....

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Blog post

21 Jul 2017

Western Australian Green Scott Ludlam and Queensland Green Larissa Waters are now the third and fourth senators to have left the Senate since the last election due to ineligibility. Prior to the current term of Parliament, only five parliamentarians had ever lost their seats due to...

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Research report

12 Jul 2017

This new edition of ‘That’s it - I’m Leaving’ brings the coverage of ministerial departures up to early-2017, encompassing the last 25 years of departures since the last edition was published in 1992.

The resignation dates are those listed officially in the Governor-General’s notices,...

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Survey

11 Jul 2017

The Australia Institute today released the results of the Fitzgerald Principles survey of parliamentarians’ principles of good governance.

The survey, which asks parliamentarians a range of questions on acting with integrity, is based on principles outlined by the Hon Tony Fitzgerald AC...

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Research report

10 May 2017

This research paper is designed to answer some of those frequently asked questions about who was the first, youngest, oldest, most often (and so forth) in Australian federal politics. The focus is on records for the Commonwealth Parliament, although a few significant records relate to members of...

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Research report

29 Mar 2017

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) commenced operations in 2012, with broad support from the Parliament. The structure, resourcing and protocols for the PBO reflected the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee on the Parliamentary Budget Office.

The PBO’s legislation enables the...

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Research report

28 Mar 2017

Some human rights obligations are absolute under international law. However, in relation to most human rights, prescribed limitations on the enjoyment of a right may be justified under international law if certain requirements are met. Accordingly, a focus of the committee's reports is to...

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Research report

21 Mar 2017

Some human rights obligations are absolute under international law. However, in relation to most human rights, prescribed limitations on the enjoyment of a right may be justified under international law if certain requirements are met. Accordingly, a focus of the committee's reports is to...

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Commentary

Article

16 Mar 2017

Recent commentary on the rules governing politicians’ declaration of financial interests has highlighted the ease with which they are circumvented and the laxity with which they are enforced.

Senator Cory Bernardi was recently caught up in a dispute over whether he had correctly disclosed...

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