Members of the Australasian Federation Conference, 1890.
Parliamentary Education Office
The now-infamous section 44 of the Australian Constitution was a last-minute change by the authors, drafted in private and accepted out of weariness.
Indigenous peoples’ claims to substantive political voice transcend the symbolic.
To finally succeed, the idea of an Indigenous voice to parliament must be argued as one that is fundamentally democratic.
Michelle Grattan and Nick Klomp discuss the week in politics.
Jacqui Lambie bids a tearful farewell in the Senate this week, after becoming the latest politician caught up in the dual citizenship saga.
Changing the Constitution is the only way to draw a line under this chaos.
There was much cynicism about Malcolm Turnbull resisting a full audit.
The bottom line is that voters want the citizenship matter fixed quickly.
Malcolm Turnbull stressed this would not be an audit – for which there have been widespread calls.
The Turnbull government is trying to limit the damage from the citizenship crisis with a plan to have all MPs make declarations about their circumstances.
Lionel Murphy, far right, sits beside Gough Whitlam at a media conference.
The release of the much-awaited papers from the parliamentary archives will lead to new appraisals of Lionel Murphy's life and work – including his alleged misbehaviour.
At last count, seven Australian MPs have been found to be under a citizenship cloud, including deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce (standing).
Seven MPs are now under a cloud as to whether dual citizenship renders them ineligible to be elected to parliament.
It’d be better for ministers like Barnaby Joyce to have any potentially contentious decisions made by an acting minister until their citizenship issues are resolved.
The MPs under a cloud because of dual citizenship need to be very careful about the decisions they make before the matter is resolved. Here's why.
If you’re a public servant, just liking a post on Facebook or Twitter could be a problem.
Social media is complicating Australia's implied constitutional right to political speech. Bernard Gaynor's case could offer more clarity.
Barnaby Joyce may be a New Zealand citizen.
The government has been rocked by advice that Barnaby Joyce may be a New Zealand citizen, which would make him ineligible to be an MP.
The executive government in Australia has more power than most people realise, especially when it comes to immigration.
Under US law, the president must publish all of their executive orders for public view. The Australian government is under no such obligation.
A treaty would be an agreement that is rather like that of host and guest, with rights and responsibilities for each party.
Treaties have to be the foundation for constitutional recognition, not the reverse.
Identifying as not being religious is increasingly common in Australia, as is belonging to a minority religion.
We are a secular nation, yet we acknowledge god in our Constitution. When it comes to religion, Australians tend to be pluralist and (relatively) tolerant.
Family First senator Bob Day, who has now resigned his Senate seat.
Changes to Senate voting laws and the particular case of Senator Bob Day make for an unprecedented constitutional tangle, and one that will change the make-up of the Senate.
In many important areas of Australia’s system of government, much is determined by unwritten rules – or what we call ‘constitutional conventions’.
Archives New Zealand
Australia’s Constitution sets the ground rules for its system of government. But many things one might expect to be in the Constitution are simply not there.
Australia’s current military involvement in the Middle East has not been properly scrutinised by parliament.
Across the world, debates have emerged around the extent to which the legislative branch should be involved in – and even have the final say on – authorisation of military deployment.
Even if there were a constitutional ban on racial discrimination, racism would remain entrenched.
AAP Image/Dan Peled
Superficial changes are not enough. A violent foundation and the displacement of Aboriginal laws are the bigger issues on which the Australian Constitution should be held to account.
We need to determine if there is any point in maintaining the concept of ‘race’ in the Constitution.
AAP Image/NEWZULU/Wayne E Jansson
Will completing the Constitution without making any substantive changes satisfy Indigenous Australians or make any real difference to their lives? Ahead of the proposed referendum on Indigenous recognition, such questions are vital.
Giving constitutional status to an Indigenous advisory body would give Indigenous Australians a say about laws that directly affect them.
Proposals for constitutional recognition of Indigenous people are gaining momentum but also raising legal concerns. Here is a form of words to create an advisory council that overcomes those concerns.