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Allegations of misconduct in a number of Australia’s parliaments have drawn attention to the adequacy of existing frameworks intended to regulate the conduct of those who work in this environment—including members of parliament and their staff, ministers and their staff, and parliamentary support staff. Members of the federal Parliament are not currently subject to a code of conduct, while various codes do apply to ministers, ministerial staff and parliamentary support staff. This contrasts with Australian state and territory parliaments, which all have codes of conduct, and with national parliaments overseas such as the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, which also have codes in place.

This paper outlines the variety of enforcement mechanisms these existing parliamentary codes of conduct exhibit, the findings of the reviews that have been conducted into the effectiveness of these arrangements in preventing bullying and harassment and discusses how these might inform debate about a response at the federal level.

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