The Australian government system has been originally created in 1901 through the Constitution. With the fundamentals carved in the Constitution, the Australian System is often referred to as a ‘Washminster System’ as it is a hybrid of the Washington (US) and Westminster (UK) system of government. With the fusion of North America and the United Kingdom’s government systems, the phenomenon of the bicameral system was implemented in the Australian system. Bicameralism’s origins are from England and it was later established in the United States. Hence, the onset of the Australian system’s structures was anglocentric by reflecting the foundations and concepts of England. However, the concept of bicameralism is known to have existed since medieval times and has since been in the chronical of the Western political progress for centuries. Bicameralism is an important system in the Australian government. It refers to a government which consists of two chambers, or houses. Alike North America, the houses are known as the House of Representatives (the lower house) and the Senate (the upper house). On the other hand, in the United Kingdom, the chambers are known as the ‘House of Commons’ (the lower house) and the ‘House of Lords’ (the upper house). In 1789, North America altered their constitution in order to ratify how the American citizens were represented. Through bicameralism, the House of Representative would represent the people equally by population, whereas the Senate would
Political thinkers Rousseau, Locke and Montesqieu claimed that the powers of government should be limited, divided and checked. The principle is that there should be a division of government executive, legislative and judiciary powers into three separate arms or institutions that act separately and are independent of one another (members of one branch cannot be members of either of the other two). Australia’s constitution separated powers by delegating the legislative power to Federal parliament (s.1), executive power to the Governor General (s.61) and the Judiciary to the High Court (s.71). However due to Westminster conventions (adopted from the British system of parliament) commonly practiced by the Australia government, the members of the executive (cabinet) are selected from the legislative by the Prime Minister (going against the concept of having no cross-branched members). The PM (also Westminster convention) is not mentioned in the constitution and yet exercised executive power; for example in 2003 PM John Howard exercises (s.68) by sending troops to Iraq. The constitution also provides the executive with the power to appoint the High Court Judge (s.72) and thus is could be argued that the executive has power over the Judiciary in that sense; However the constitution actively safeguards the position of the Judiciary by stating the High Court Judge “Shall not be removed except by the Governor-General in Council, on an address from both Houses of the
Under the US Constitution our legislature is a bicameral containing a House of Representatives and a Senate. The Australian constitution has a parliamentary system, which is not bicameral, although their system has a house of representatives and a senate; these two houses have to share power with the Queen. The Prime Minister leads the legislature.
Australia’s current political system is a Constitutional Monarchy. A constitutional monarchy requires that a hereditary monarch is appointed as the head of state. The monarch in a constitutional monarchy has got a largely a figurative and official role than a practical one. In this current system, the responsibility to pass legislation is tasked only to the democratically elected parliament. In Australia’s case, the hereditary monarch Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Australia and the Head of the Commonwealth, of which Australia is a part of. The position held by Her Majesty, cannot be contested by an election like the Prime Ministers, however it is a birth right of those in her lineage. Due to the exclusivity of the position as the hereditary
Australia 's Federal System is dynamic and the division of lawmaking power between the Commonwealth and State since 1901 has changed dramatically; Critically discuss, focussing on the major reasons for those changes.
Under the Civil Law system, the laws are written and codified that the judges have to follow verbatium. Whereas, under the common law system that is followed by Australia, India and the United Kingdom, the laws are codified, doctrine of precedents is followed but the higher courts have the power to over-rule old judgements and existing law in cases where the law breaches the basic structure. (Peterson)
The Australian Constitution is a rich amalgam of various classical political principles. The concepts of the Rule of Law and the doctrine of the Separation of Powers evident in Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws are both salient examples of political theses that are central to Australian Constitutional Law. The structure of the Constitution itself and decisions of the High Court of Australia unequivocally validate the entrenchment of the doctrine separation of powers in the Commonwealth Constitution . In particular, the High Court has applied this with relative rigour with respect to the separation of judicial power. The separation of the judicial power is fundamentally critical to upholding the rule of law. The High Court in Wilson v Minister for Aboriginal Affairs noted that “the separation of the judicial function…advances two constitutional objectives: the guarantee of liberty and, to that end, the independence of Chapter III judges” . Kitto J in R v Davidson also identified that the judiciary should be subject to no other authority but the law itself . This is a critical aspect ensuring the concept of legal equality is upheld. Therefore, its role clearly extends to providing checks and balances on the exercise of power by the legislative and executive arms of government . This ensures the liberty of the law and limits the abuse of the judicial system. Judicial Power is defined as “the power which every sovereign must of necessity have to decide between its subjects
While all members of the parliament have an equal vote in decisions that are made by the parliament, there are three individuals or groups that have more influence than the others. These are the prime minister, the members of the government ministry and the members of the government cabinet.
1. Congress (has taken the name “The People's Assembly”). This assembly consists of one year elected politicians based on population (one seat for every one million residents) in the right side (546 seats). On the left side of the building, each province gets a set of twenty-five three year seats to balance out the power (100 total seats). There is no limit on how many times one can serve in the Assembly. The assembly has the ability to impeach Freedom Judges and approves the Free Court judge nominations. The assembly also controls the government's budget, can impeach the president, and can override the president's vetoes with a ⅔
Based on this classification, Evans argues that apart from its formal headship, all of Australia’s institutions exercising public power are ‘modern republican’. His comment suggests that in addition to following Montesquieu’s doctrine of separation of powers, which seeks to divide the power of the government into three separate institutions, the Australian system also distributes power through a system of checks and balances. However, unlike the American Constitution of 1787, which, as table 1 and figure 3 demonstrates, divides the judicial, the legislative, and the executive into three relatively separate institutions that are “confined to the exercise of its own function”, Australia’s system of “rule from above” has led to what a former Vice
It is recognised that Australia’s System of decision making in the court is in need of reform, if the
In the regional government, each of Australia’s states is administered by a parliament, which consists of a legislative council, and a legislative assembly. The premier is the leader of the political party dominating the legislative assembly. Each state runs its own schools and hospitals, administers its own laws, and has its own police force.
Australia’s government design was taken from the British Westminster system after those who originally colonized Australia. A functional, western style democracy, there are a number of minor political parties operating in Australia but the country’s federal politics is an essential 2-party system at present, much like the United States (Our Country, 2015).
The parliamentary system, unlike the American presidential system, is recognizable by a fusion of powers between the legislative and executive branches. The Prime Minister, who is the chief executive, may be elected to the legislature in the same way that all other members are elected. The Prime Minister is the leader of the party that wins the majority of votes to the legislature-either de facto, or in some cases through an election held by the legislature. The Prime Minister appoints Cabinet Ministers. However, unlike in the presidential system, these members are typically themselves legislature