Australia’s political representatives have the ability to legislate on a wide range of matters. Marriage is one of them.
As the government hints the marriage equality plebiscite may be delayed until 2017, calls intensify for the parliament to legislate on the issue instead. So what is parliament's role here?
Malcolm Turnbull has called for nationally consistent laws to enable convicted terrorists to be detained at the end of their prison sentence.
A post-sentence regime for convicted terrorists will only keep Australians safe if an accurate assessment of risk is possible.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party is seen as the favourite to secure the final WA Senate position.
One Nation candidate Rod Culleton could win Western Australia's final Senate position, but Section 44 of the Constitution suggests he is ineligible to take his seat.
A proposed new law is set to allow surrogate parents in South Africa to also take leave to care for their babies.
South African law requires surrogate mothers to hand infants to their legal parents without undue delay. But it doesn't provide leave for these parents to care for their infants. That is set to change.
An integrated reform blueprint for federal and state politics could comprise eight elements.
Political funding in Australia is governed by different rules for state (some of which do not require disclosure) and federal governments. And both levels suffer significant weaknesses.
The UK has limits on expenditure by political parties and third parties, and doesn’t allow paid advertising in electronic media at all.
Unlike similar democracies, Australia neither limits political donations nor campaign expenditure by political parties at the federal level.
Family First senator Bob Day unsuccessfully challenged the government’s changes to the way senators are elected.
The High Court regarded none of Bob Day’s arguments in his challenge to Senate voting reforms as having any merit.
Detainees on Manus Island are seeking an injunction to prevent their removal to Nauru or elsewhere until Australia’s High Court hears their case.
If a new High Court claim against Australia's offshore detention regime succeeds, it will entirely undermine Australia’s inhumane practices in relation to “those who come across the seas”.
Informed critique of the courts and their work is essential to the proper functioning of a democracy.
A "judicial activist", it seems, decides cases in favour of a preferred (non-“mainstream”) litigant or interest, to reach a result that is inconsistent with a conservative worldview.
The High Court is unlikely to be sympathetic to claims of discrimination against the microparties in the proposed Senate reforms.
A suggested constitutional challenge to the Senate reforms through the High Court is unlikely to succeed.
There is no endgame for refugees on either Manus Island or Nauru – no answer to where they are supposed to settle in the long term.
Parts of a High Court decision on the legality of offshore processing deal a crucial blow to the tired argument that what happens offshore is not Australia’s responsibility.
A Brisbane-born baby boy, whose parents are from Iran, is one of 37 babies who could be deported to Nauru.
The High Court has thrown out a challenge to the government's power to detain people offshore.
Judge Thokozile Masipa during Oscar Pistorius' trial in the High Court.
The debate about the quality of High Court judges after the Pistorius trials reflects a different cultural clash in South Africa – one in which incompetence is often associated with black people.
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 Nauruan government’s announcements have already had a much greater effect in the High Court than on Nauru itself.
Many have claimed that the ending of detention on Nauru is a strategic move to undermine a constitutional challenge to Australia’s offshore detention regime, heard by the High Court this week.
The High Court unanimously accepted that limits on donations to parties and candidates are constitutional.
Constitutional judges are best seen as backstops, not as activists for one value like liberty over others like integrity and equality.
The decision is a win for 69-year-old Queensland breast cancer survivor Yvonne D'Arcy.
Australia's highest court has ruled a gene mutation linked to cancer cannot be patented, ending a long battle over whether companies can own the rights to genetic material.
Dyson Heydon prided himself throughout his judicial career on the robust independence and intellectual integrity he brought to the role.
How has a former judge with an avowed commitment to judicial independence and probity found himself at the centre of a very public controversy over his own impartiality?
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.
Australia’s method of appointing judges to its highest courts is opaque and informal.
It is no criticism of Australia’s judiciary to say that it would be preferable, both for them and the public, if they took office after a more transparent process.