what is the constitution of australia

The Church shall be known by the name of ‘The Uniting Church in Australia’. These disputes are nearly always resolved by the two Houses. How the government's put together, how the courts work, how the states work and what the government can and can't do. Definitions 7. The Constitution does not detail many of the rights of the Australian people. View with description and copyright information. We pay our respects to elders past and present. Under section 121, a new State can be created by an Act of the Commonwealth Parliament. The Constitution provides a mechanism by which it can be altered, called a referendum. Before a proposed law (commonly referred to as a Bill) becomes an Act of Parliament it must be passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It also details the roles of the executive government and the High Court of Australia, and some of the rights of Australian citizens, such as the right to religious freedom. The Governor-General performs a large number of functions. Many of these grants are made without conditions. It achieves the second objective primarily by providing in section 92 that trade and commerce between the States shall be 'absolutely free'. By the late 1800s, these colonies had their own parliaments but were still subject to the law-making power of the British Parliament. For example, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet are not mentioned in the Constitution. Although the State Parliaments can pass laws on a wider range of subjects than the Commonwealth Parliament, the Commonwealth is generally regarded as the more powerful partner in the federation. The desire to have a single trade area throughout Australia was one of the main reasons for the movement by the Australian people towards federation. Most of these subjects are listed in sections 51 and 52. Provision as to races disqualified from voting. It was in 1901 that the six states of Australia agreed to become a federation. In reality, however, the Constitution is a document which was conceived by Australians, drafted by Australians and approved by Australians. Chapter III also gives the Commonwealth Parliament power to create other federal courts (for example, the Federal Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia), and to vest federal judicial power in such courts and in courts of the States. Before there can be any change to the Constitution, a majority of electors must vote in favour of the change. Section 92, in effect, prohibits action by either the Commonwealth or a State which discriminates against interstate trade or commerce and which has the purpose or effect of protecting intrastate trade or commerce of a State against competition from other States. It creates the space in … (Further, a proposed amendment which would diminish the representation of a State in the Commonwealth Parliament or which would alter the territorial limits of a State must be approved by a majority of electors in that State.) This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State; and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be in force on all British ships, the Queen's ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance and whose port of destination are in the Commonwealth.3. It underpins our federal laws and system of government. It is for this reason that the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1901 is often referred to as 'federation'. They describe the composition, role as well as powers of the federal Parliament. In 1992 the Court decided that Australia's form of parliamentary democracy (dictated by the Constitution) necessarily requires a degree of freedom for individuals to discuss and debate political issues. Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (The Constitution) Constitution.doc 25/07/2003 3:09 pm. In exercising a reserve power, the Governor-General ordinarily acts in accordance with established and generally accepted rules of practice known as 'conventions'. On the commencement of the British Act on 1 January 1901, the Commonwealth came into being and the six colonies became the six States of Australia (covering clauses 4 and 6). 25. Accordingly, even an Act passed by a Parliament is invalid if it is contrary to the Constitution. Note: The Constitution is printed here as fully amended by the Constitution Alterations specified above. The Constitution establishes the composition of the Australian Parliament, describes how Parliament works and what powers it has. However, the States are bound by the Australian Constitution, and the constitutions of the States must be read subject to the Australian Constitution (sections 106 and 107). Some people argue that Sir John acted properly in dismissing Mr Whitlam as it was consistent with a 'convention' that a Prime Minister who cannot obtain supply should either seek a general election or be dismissed. Further, the States have traditionally not raised sufficient revenue to perform all their functions. A literal reading of the Constitution does not give much information about how the Executive Government of the Commonwealth functions. In Australia, that distribution is between the Commonwealth and the six States. You are currently viewing a sub-site of the, Covering clause 3 – The Proclamation under covering clause 3 was made on 17 September 1900 and is published in, Chapter VIII—Alteration of the Constitution, Sessions of Parliament, prorogation and dissolution, Provisions as to races disqualified from voting, Powers of the Houses in respect of legislation, Signification of Queen's pleasure on Bills reserved, Certain powers of Governors to vest in Governor-General, Judges' appointment, tenure and remuneration, Proceedings against Commonwealth or State, Exclusive power over customs, excise, and bounties, Payment to States for five years after uniform tariffs, Trade and commerce includes navigation and State railways, Parliament may forbid preferences by State, Commissioners' appointment, tenure, and remuneration, States may levy charges for inspection laws, States may not raise forces. Contact DPS Art Services, phone: 02 62775034 or 02 62775123. Covering clause 7 – The following Acts have repealed Acts passed by the Federal Council of Australasia: Pearl Fisheries Act 1952 (No. Its principal functions are to receive advice and approve the signing of formal documents such as regulations and statutory appointments. Under the federal system created by the Australian Constitution, the six former colonies became the six States of Australia. (The question whether section 117 limits the lawmaking power of the Commonwealth Parliament has not yet been conclusively resolved by the High Court.). The Australian Constitution is the founding political and legal document of our nation. The concept of 'the Crown' pervades the Constitution. You are currently viewing a sub-site of the Parliamentary Education Office website. Australia's common law was inherited from the United Kingdom. Despite the structure of the Constitution there is no strict demarcation between the legislative and executive powers of the Commonwealth. In Australia these rights are protected by common law (made by the courts) and statute law (written law made by Parliament). The paper "The Constitution of Australia " is a perfect example of business coursework. Before federation, each of the six colonies had its own constitution. 26. The legislative powers of the Commonwealth Parliament can also be expanded by the Parliaments of the States referring matters to the Commonwealth Parliament under section 51(xxxvii). The Commonwealth Parliament has conferred a large measure of self-government on the people of three of the Territories, namely the Australian Capital Territory, Norfolk Island, and the Northern Territory. For example, the Queen is part of the Parliament (section 1), and is empowered to appoint the Governor-General as her representative (section 2). Consequently, the States have received grants of financial assistance from the Commonwealth. Despite the terms of the Constitution, the Queen does not play a day-to-day role in the Commonwealth Government. Indeed, the Constitution is the fundamental law of Australia binding everybody including the Commonwealth Parliament and the Parliament of each State. Under a federal system, powers are distributed between a central government and regional governments. The Australian Constitution is a set of rules through which Australia run. Accordingly, disputes may arise between the two Houses as to whether a Bill should be passed in its proposed form. Indeed, the Constitution is the fundamental law of Australia binding everybody including the Commonwealth Parliament and the Parliament of each State. This gives a total of 76 senators. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900/1. connection to land, culture and community. Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak Section 9, starting with the words "The Constitution of the Commonwealth shall be as follows ...", contains the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia. Sections 1– 8 are explain the laws to set up the Commonwealth. Act to extend to the Queen's successors 3. The Constitution establishes a federal system of government. As a result, many subjects of Commonwealth power are regulated almost entirely by Commonwealth law, for example, bankruptcy, marriage and divorce, and immigration. After the passing of this Act the Colonial Boundaries Act, 1895, shall not apply to any colony which becomes a State of the Commonwealth; but the Commonwealth shall be taken to be a self-governing colony for the purposes of that Act. This animated explainer video provides a fun introduction to the Australian Constitution. In the House of Representatives the number of seats from each State (and Territory) depends on the population (although each State is guaranteed at least five seats). 84 of 1977 [Note: This compilation contains all amendments to the Constitution made by the Constitution Alterations specified in Note 1 Additions to … Australia is formally known as the Commonwealth of Australia. = added or inserted; am. Proclamation of Commonwealth [see Note 2] 4. This delegation of legislative power is not as extreme as it may appear, however, as both Houses of Parliament usually retain the power to 'disallow' (that is, reject), within a specified time, any regulation which has been made by the Executive. The High Court has also recognised some implied restrictions on legislative power derived from the fundamental system of government established by the Constitution. Service and Execution of Process Act 1901 (No. The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as her representative (section 61). 11, 1901), s. 2 (s. 2 subsequently repealed by Service and Execution of Process Act 1963, s. 3). Subject to a few exceptions, the Australian Constitution does not confine the matters about which the States may make laws. COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT TABLE OF PROVISIONS Long Title Preamble 1. This chapter deals with finance and trade. Ministers may either be senators or members of the House of Representatives, although established constitutional practice dictates that the Prime Minister must be a member of the House of Representatives rather than a senator. Section 117 prohibits the Parliament of a State from discriminating against non-residents of that State. For example, when appointing a Prime Minister under section 64 of the Constitution, the Governor-General must, by convention, appoint the parliamentary leader of the party or coalition of parties which has a majority of seats in the House of Representatives. the High Court of Australia, which is the final court of appeal. The Constitution is not altered The Australian Constitution Alteration process The Australian Electoral Commission prints and distributes an information leaflet to voters outlining the proposed alterations and the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ cases Members of parliament Short title [see Note 1] 2. Another fundamental principle which underlies the Constitution is that of 'representative government' – that is, government by representatives of the people who are chosen by the people. This fact sheet summarises the key features of the Constitution and how it can be changed. 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