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The Australian Constitution and the Use of Convention

Uploaded by suemitchelltess on Mar 16, 2001

The Constitution of Australia is a written document, which came into effect when the six colonies federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. It consists of eight chapters and 128 sections and lays down a set of laws or restraints by which the Federal Government must operate. It establishes the composition, procedures, functions, and powers of government, government authorities, such as the Governor General and other essential institutions. The Constitution is the basic framework for a civilised and well-governed Australia. However in the recent past, reason for parliamentary and federal concern has been thrust into the limelight. In addition, there has been a growing need for judicial interpretation and the ever-present reliance on convention.

The Australian Constitution has several primary features. Such aspects include the preamble and covering clauses; Chapter one which establishes the Federal Parliament and the respective roles of each house; the Federal Executive Council and provisions for the Governor General are outlined in Chapter 2; Chapter 3 covers the Judiciary and establishes the role of the High Court; in Chapters 4 through 7 other issues of the constitution are founded, particularly those pertaining to the economy; and Constitutional change in outlined in Chapter 8.

The preamble is an introductory statement that outlines the sources of authority and the mission, objectives and scope of the constitution. Chapter one states that Federal parliament shall consist of the Queen, the Senate and the House of Representatives (sect 1). The Senate is designed to act as a States house, while the House of Representatives performs as the Peoples House. Exclusive and residual powers are fore grounded and the procedure for overcoming conflict between the two houses is also outlined. Chapter 2 focuses primarily on the Federal Executive wing of government and the Governor General. Executive power is vested in the Governor General as the Head of State; there is no mention of the executive role of the Prime Minister. The composition and procedures of the Federal Executive Council are founded in this chapter also. The Judiciary are the chief concern of Chapter 3. In this the role and foundation of the High Court is inaugurated, as well as issues surrounding appeals to the Privy Council, dealt with. Chapters 4 through 7 are written in regard to the Australian economy and trading, preservation of the states and conditions by which a new state may be started. Chapter 8, the final chapter,...

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Uploaded by:   suemitchelltess

Date:   03/16/2001

Category:   Law

Length:   6 pages (1,403 words)

Views:   1197

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