Constitutional law

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The 1975 crisis surrounding the dismissal of the Whitlam government was brought about in part by the nature of Australia’s constitutional arrangements. NLA

What might The Dismissal’s legacy mean for an Australian republic push?

Is the Dismissal a moment that will become even more significant if the push for Australia to become a republic gains momentum?
Labor says it will move a motion in the Senate this week for a message to be sent to the Governor-General, requesting he dismiss Dyson Heydon as royal commissioner. AAP/Alan Porritt

Can the Senate force the removal of a royal commissioner?

Given the Governor-General usually acts on the advice of the government and its ministers, an address from the Senate on Dyson Heydon is unlikely to have any effect.
The message that terrorism is exceptional and egregious will be compromised if the current citizenship revocation bill becomes law. AAP/Dan Peled

Bill relies on legal fiction of self-executing law to revoke citizenship

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.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton will have the sole power to strip dual nationals of their Australia citizenship if they are believed to be involved in terrorist activities. AAP/Dave Hunt

Explainer: what is ‘judicial review’? How does it apply to citizenship?

Simply having judicial review for the contentious power to strip citizenship from dual nationals suspected of involvement with terrorism – without independent merits review – is far from reasonable.
The most recent allegations against George Brandis stem from Gillian Triggs' evidence to a Senate estimates hearing. AAP/Lukas Coch

Did Brandis break the law in requesting Triggs' resignation?

Regardless of whether George Brandis' action was illegal, it represents an attempt by the very institutions charged with protecting the rule of law to unduly influence it.
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team. Norio Nakayama

What happens when you try to hack the constitution?

As we celebrate 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta, many believe that it is time British values were clarified in a codified document for our age. The place to define them could be in a written…
Queensland Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Sunday that she’s ‘optimistic’ of forming a majority government, but it may be days before that’s clear. AAP/Dan Peled

What’s next for Queensland if there’s a hung parliament?

While counting continues in the Queensland election, one possibility is a hung parliament with neither major party holding a majority. Prior to the election, both party leaders indicated that they would…
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is widely tipped to lose his seat in the January 31 election – yet there are ways he could still be premier. AAP/John Pryke

Can Newman still be Queensland premier if he loses his seat?

If the Liberal National Party wins the Queensland election on Saturday, but its leader, Campbell Newman, loses his seat of Ashgrove, can he remain premier? This may be the question vexing minds on Sunday…
Political, not legal hurdles, stand in the way of the Australian Prime Minister increasing the GST. Lukas Coch/AAP

Why the Commonwealth can change the GST without the states

Under Australian law, changes to the GST are said to be not permitted unless the states agree to the changes. In reality, the GST lock-in mechanism is legally meaningless and unenforceable, though it may…
One Nation’s Pauline Hanson says landholders' constitutional water rights have been undermined by government changes – but is that true? AAP Image/Tertius Pickard

Could the Constitution protect farm water from coal seam gas?

The Australian Constitution says residents have the right to water from the rivers for irrigation and conservation purposes but governments have brought in laws that are restricting this – One Nation’s…

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