Presentation on theme: "The Constitution Outcome 2 Explain the role of the Commonwealth Constitution in defining law making powers within a federal structure, and evaluate the."— Presentation transcript:
The Constitution Outcome 2 Explain the role of the Commonwealth Constitution in defining law making powers within a federal structure, and evaluate the effectiveness of the Commonwealth Constitution in protecting democratic and human rights.
Federation and the Constitution Late 1890s: 6 Colonies in Australia requested a Federated Nation The people arguing for a Federation did so on three major grounds: ▫Economic development – restrictions and taxes on trade as well as the growing trade unionism were considered to be factors preventing growth. ▫National Security – leaving defence of Australia to Britain which was so far away seemed unwise. ▫Immigration – due to the large number of immigrants entering Australia people felt as though they were losing control and needed a central parliament to regulate laws and processes of immigration.
Constitution comes into effect Australian Constitution Act came into force on Jan 1, 1900 Australia Act 1986 – terminated the ability for Britain to make laws for Australia – laws were now passed by Australia and it’s states. The only remaining link with the UK is the monarch
Role of the Constitution Divides clear guidelines about the law-making powers of the state and Commonwealth parliaments Office of Governor-General established to act as Head of State (Represent the Queen). High Court was created. The High Court is in effect the guardian of the constitution. Provides for key democratic principles such as representative and responsible government Provides for election of members into both houses of parliament The principle of responsible government embedded into the constitution
Division of Powers All law-making power = Specific (Concurrent + Exclusive) + Residual SPECIFIC POWERS The law-making powers of the Commonwealth Parliament specifically set out in s51 and s52 of the Constitution Were given to the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws for the “peace, order and good government of Australia” Examples: trade, taxation, external affairs, currency
Division of Powers All law-making power = Specific (Concurrent + Exclusive) + Residual EXCLUSIVE POWERS Only the Commonwealth Parliament can exercise or pass laws in these areas. S52 states areas in which the Commonwealth Parliament has exclusive powers ▫Examples: The ACT, matters relating to the control of the public service. Powers can also be made exclusive to the Commonwealth Parliament by virtue of other sections of the constitution. ▫Examples: s115 coining money, s114 defence and military forces
Division of Powers All law-making power = Specific (Concurrent + Exclusive) + Residual CONCURRENT POWERS Shared powers - Both the Commonwealth and State Parliaments have the power to pass laws. They are specific powers that have been given to the Commonwealth Parliament but have not been made exclusive Examples: marriage, divorce, taxation, bankruptcy Note: s109 – where a state law is inconsistent with a Commonwealth law the Commonwealth law shall prevail.
Division of Powers All law-making power = Specific (Concurrent + Exclusive) + Residual RESIDUAL POWERS Powers left with the states at Federation – not listed in s51. Examples: criminal law, public transport, education