Monday 25 September 2023

Australia's Constitution Pt 2


Matters not in the Constitution

Some of the central features of Australia’s system of government (described as parliamentary, cabinet or responsible government and also called a Westminster-style system) are not set down in the Constitution but are based on custom and convention. These include the position of Prime Minister and the group of senior Ministers called the Cabinet, who make major policy and administrative decisions and in effect govern the country.

On some matters the Constitution sets down temporary arrangements ‘until Parliament otherwise provides’. The Parliament does this by passing legislation. For example, the first national elections were held under state laws. Later elections were conducted under the provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1902. Another example is the number of Senators and Members, which may be changed by an Act of Parliament as long as the specific conditions set by the Constitution are met.

Unlike the constitutions of some other countries, the Australian Constitution does not contain a list of the rights of citizens (a ‘bill of rights’).

How can the Constitution be changed?

The Parliament can change ordinary laws by passing amending laws, but it can only initiate proposals for changes to the Constitution. The approval of the people of Australia is necessary for any change to the Constitution, just as the approval of the people of Australia was a step in the process of creating the Constitution in the first place. The Constitution itself sets out the way in which it can be changed.

What are the 5 constitutional rights in Australia?

The Constitution includes the right to vote, the right to trial by jury for certain offences, some protection of freedom of religion, an implied right to freedom of political communication, and the right to be paid a fair price if the government compulsorily acquires your property.

Yes we have constitutional right but no Bill of Rights.


  1. We have the bill of rights and 27 amendments to the far. No, I do not know all of those amendments.

  2. Maybe you all could consider adding a Bill of Rights to your Constitution in the future, Jo-Anne. It's been vital to life here in the U.S.

    1. I don't think it is needed there is enough carry on about adding what is called "the voice" an amendment to recognise our aboriginal population

  3. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sounds like you have kind of a mix between the written down Constitution of the US and the "implied" version of the UK.


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