John Curtin and Ben Chifley were successful in expanding the power of the Commonwealth – and thus that of the prime minister.
Alfred Deakin and his contemporaries invented the Australian prime ministership. But it was not settled as a platform for national leadership until John Curtin and Ben Chifley's time.
In many important areas of Australia’s system of government, much is determined by unwritten rules – or what we call ‘constitutional conventions’.
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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.
South Africa’s Justice Sisi Khampepe swears in David van Rooyen as the new Minister of Finance while President Jacob Zuma looks on.
The sudden expulsion of the finance minister makes it hard not to be pessimistic about the South African government's ability to manage the difficult challenges it might face in 2016.
Victoria has passed legislation that establishes ‘safe access zones’ of 150 metres around clinics at which abortions are provided, such as this one.
Victoria has had a huge victory for the rights of women to exercise their choice to access a legal medical service free of intimidation and harassment.
The government’s revised citizenship-stripping bill improves upon the original proposal in a number of ways.
The government's revised citizenship-stripping bill adopted all recommendations made by a parliamentary committee. But it's still no certainty to survive a High Court challenge.
The 1975 crisis surrounding the dismissal of the Whitlam government was brought about in part by the nature of Australia’s constitutional arrangements.
Is the Dismissal a moment that will become even more significant if the push for Australia to become a republic gains momentum?
Marking the 30th anniversary of the handover of Uluru to its traditional owners, Bill Shorten reiterated the importance of constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said that Indigenous recognition in the Constitution cannot just be "empty poetry" but must lay to rest "the ghosts of the discrimination" haunting the document.
AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo is fighting a 12-year jail sentence for arson and other crimes.
By challenging the courts, King Dalindyebo is testing the degree of impunity with which traditional leaders can get away.
Students protest at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University demanding the right to be taught in English rather than Afrikaans, which they identify with apartheid.
The university should be the bastion of the right to free expression in the promotion of democracy, and has a moral and ethical obligation to provide spaces for fierce debate and critical engagement.
An appropriate process for achieving consensus among Indigenous communities is critical to the success of constitutional recognition.
Tony Abbott’s belated agreement with Indigenous leaders on a consultation process for constitutional recognition is a step in the right direction.
The message that terrorism is exceptional and egregious will be compromised if the current citizenship revocation bill becomes law.
Multiple concerns have been raised about the citizenship-stripping bill's inattention to human rights, its differential impact upon dual and sole nationals, and its potential application to persons who commit relatively minor crimes.
On Tuesday, August 11, prospects for same-sex marriage legislation in Australia in the near future were quashed when the governing Coalition partyroom voted against a conscience vote in favour of maintaining…
We shall, we shall not be moved.
The Lords has a long history of scandal and this won't be the last.
Australia’s proposals to recognise Indigenous people in its Constitution will likely be much less substantive than those of many other countries.
Constitutional recognition may have very limited impact if the groups benefiting from the change lack the political weight to leverage it into greater social change.
The Constitution has been very successful in setting out how Australian federalism will work.
Museum of Australian Democracy
The problem with constitutional recognition lies in the way in which it changes the nature of the constitution away from a procedural document by introducing issues of identity into it.
If a way ahead on constitutional recognition is to be forged, it must be through political leadership and genuine public consultation.
The parliamentary committee's report highlights the deep division between those who want to advance Indigenous recognition through minimal constitutional change and those who seek more substantive reform.
A woman at a traditional function in Msinga, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
The Traditional Courts Bill ignores concerns that women do not get a fair hearing. The courts tend to rule in line with patriarchal values; violating the constitution, which guarantees equality.
Bad acronym, bad treaty.
Global Justice Now/Flickr
Why everyone should be worried about TTIP and CETA.
Well that was a close call.
The monarch can return to London now the awkward prospect of a hung parliament has passed.
The retrospective nature of the changes to the rules of succession means it ultimately made no difference whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first born was a boy or girl.
The Crown has become a little less discriminatory with changes to the rules of succession – and descendants of George II who failed to get permission to wed need no longer fear their marriage is void.