Essay The Australian Constitution

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The Australian Constitution

The founding fathers of Australia could never have predicted the society that was to come. However, the constitution- the most important document of the land- stands today with only 8 changes to the words after over 100 years of use. The constitution is not without flaws; the rights outlined in the document are far from clear, which hampers the knowledge of the public about their rights. However, this does not mean that the rights are not upheld in Australia. Sir Robert Menzies suggests, "The rights of individuals [in Australia] are as adequately protected as they are in any other country in the world" (1967). A bill of rights in Australia would provide a stable set of
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This however, places a great deal of power in judges that have not been democratically elected or accepted by the public. This could create a situation where a great deal of faith must be put in the judges to uphold social values and standards. Judges have absolutely no motivation to act within the public's beliefs, as they are not accountable for their decisions or judgments. In parliament, if a law is made that the public is unhappy with, it is likely that the government of the day will be dismissed in the next election. This clearly cannot occur within the courts as the judges can stay on the high court bench until the retirement age of 65. The constitution allows both the parliament and the courts to have an appropriate amount of power, with neither having too much or too little. This division provides a well functioning system that ensures that no body has absolute power.

As a result of this power shift to the judges, the government of the day would be under an obligation to work around the entrenched bill of rights. This would enhance the lawmaking of parliament as it would give them a set of guidelines to work within, whilst providing a safeguard (the courts) to ensure these rights are upheld. Parliament would have to consider the bill of rights every time legislation was
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