Articles on Australian law

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Australia’s Constitution vests executive power in the Queen and says that that power is exercised ‘on her behalf’ by the governor-general. AAP/Alan Porritt

Nine things you should know about a potential Australian republic

Many of the questions that would arise if Australia wants to become a republic have been successfully tackled elsewhere.
Judge May Lahey (left) with actor Jean Harlow in 1932. The Cornell Daily Sun (digitally coloured image)

Meet the woman who can lay claim to being Australia’s first female judge

Dame Roma Mitchell is remembered as Australia's first female judge. But Queenslander May Lahey beat her to the punch when she became a judge in Los Angeles in 1928. Her lack of recognition is symptomatic of how Australia remembers expats, particularly women.
The decision reveals the striking breadth of the government’s power to deal with asylum seekers and refugees in ways that directly contravene international law. AAP/Eoin Blackwell

High Court challenge to offshore immigration detention power fails

The Australian government had and has the power to do things necessary to establish and maintain its immigration detention facility on Manus Island, despite detention violating PNG law.
Amid a sea of troubles – including the premature loss of their CEO and a money-laundering scandal – the CBA is facing a shareholder lawsuit. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Climate change is a financial risk, according to a lawsuit against the CBA

A new lawsuit against the CBA puts climate change in a new legal light: a financial hazard. The case opens up fresh lines of attack on institutions that contribute to climate change.
Throughout Australian history, previous parliaments have changed the legal understanding of marriage – none needed a plebiscite. AAP/Lukas Coch

Explainer: with no free vote for now, where next for marriage equality?

The government seems determined to give voters a voice on marriage equality, and equally determined not to be bound by what those voters say.

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