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Constitutions

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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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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Book

09 Nov 2017

The Australian Defence Force, together with military forces from a number of western democracies, have for some years been seeking out and killing Islamic militants in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, detaining asylum seekers for periods at sea or running the judicial systems of failed states. It...

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Audio interview

26 Oct 2017

Cape York leader Noel Pearson says, "There's no reconciliation and recognition under this Prime Minister," after...

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Journal article

01 Oct 2017

The obligation of judicial officers to provide reasons for their decisions has been described by Sir Anthony Mason, a former Chief Justice of the High Court, as an element of the broader 'culture of justification’ that exists in modern democracies. While there is an increasing international...

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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

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...

Briefing paper

07 Aug 2017

Key points:

  • National security has too often been run as a ‘top-down’ policy, with a tendency towards a ‘Canberra knows best’ approach.
  • The states and territories contribute many of the powers and capabilities needed to support our overall effort in dealing
  • ...
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Discussion paper

01 Aug 2017

In 2011–12 Papua New Guinea suffered its most serious constitutional crisis since independence, when the incumbent prime minister, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, was effectively removed from office in a ‘political coup’ by members of parliament whose actions were subsequently ruled...

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Report

21 Jul 2017

This design issues report has been produced for the Referendum Council to identify the broad parameters of a First Nations Voice that may be enshrined in the Australian Constitution in a Referendum of the Australian people. The Referendum Council requested the Cape York...

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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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Report

17 Jul 2017

The Referendum Council was appointed by the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, and the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, on 7 December 2015. It comprises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members and non-Indigenous members from a range of expert fields and...

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Journal article

19 Apr 2017

Abstract

This article furnishes a comparative analysis on the constitutional recognition of Indigenous peoples in four jurisdictions. The analysis looks at two jurisdictions that share a similar colonial heritage with Australia, namely New Zealand and Canada; and two...

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Journal article

17 Mar 2017

Struggles for transformation of the Kenyan constitution brought into alliances disparate movements from below, sections of middleclass, and factions of political, economic and religious elites, in challenging the government. The emergence of these alliances presents useful cases for examining...

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Journal article

09 Aug 2016

Deconstructs and aims to provoke further response to a 4 May 2016 'Dominion Post' editorial, ‘Servants of the people, not govt’, in which it is implied that the NZ public service enjoys a constitutional personality (or identity) and, as such, it is vital to the integrity, efficiency and...

Journal article

23 Sep 2015

Abstract

The Australian Constitution lays down a process for creating new states out of the existing states that form the Australian Federation. This article explores that process, in historical and political perspective. It examines the drafting of the relevant...

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Journal article

26 Aug 2015

INTRODUCTION

I was asked to make some remarks about the concept of‘consultation’ in the proposal for Indigenous constitutional recognition put forward by the Cape York Institute (‘CPI’). My understanding of what presently is proposed is taken from the two submissions by the CPI to the...

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Commentary

Article

13 Aug 2015

Referendums have become synonymous with failure in Australia, even when initial polling shows great support for a proposed change. Regardless of whether the stigma is warranted, this history is having a negative impact on the push to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution.

...

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Journal article

28 Jul 2015

One of the bases for the view that Commonwealth powers should be interpreted broadly is the idea that it is wrong to draw negative implications from positive grants of power. The paper argues that far from being wrong to draw negative implications from positive grants of power it is necessary to...

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Website

16 Jul 2015

Democracy Renewal brings together diverse opinions, analysis and statistics from academics, leaders, journalists and citizens from around the world on the state of contemporary liberal democracy.

Established Western democracies are facing many challenges.

In many...

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