This issues paper explores legal and constitutional questions surrounding the concept of a declaration of a 'state of national emergency' by the Commonwealth of Australia, and how this might operate and interact with existing state and territory emergency management frameworks.
This paper poses three questions, on which the Royal Commission invites comment by 25 May 2020.
Related policy questions – for example, concerning whether such national declarations would be desirable, and if so, what the practical effect of a declaration should be – will be explored separately by the Royal Commission.
Importantly, this paper does not contain findings or conclusions on any issues. The Royal Commission continues to gather information and analyse evidence, and will not make findings or draw conclusions until it has completed this process.