Monday, 18 September 2023

Australia's Constitution


A while back someone asked about our constitution, so I have looked it up and now I will tell you a little about it.

This will be a two part post, don't want to bore you with a post that is a bit long.

So what is the Australian Constitution?

The Australian Constitution is the founding document of our nation and pre-eminent source of law in the country. The Constitution sets down the powers of each of our three branches of governance – the Parliament, the Executive and the Courts.

A national constitution is a set of rules for governing a country. Such rules may be based on tradition or may be written down in the form of a law or a number of laws. In some countries laws forming the constitution are ordinary laws which can be changed just like any other law, but in most countries the laws forming the constitution have a special status.

The constitution of Australia has a special status-it cannot be changed in the same way as other laws can be changed and it is a supreme law, that is, it overrides other laws.

So how was the Australian Constitution created?

Before 1901 the present Australian States were separate colonies of the then British Empire. When the colonies decided to join together in a federation, representatives from each colony were elected to attend meetings (called constitutional conventions) to draw up a constitution for the new nation. The draft constitution was later approved by a vote of the people in referendums held in each colony.

The new Australian nation was established on 1 January 1901 following the passing of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act by the United Kingdom Parliament. The purpose of the Act was to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia.

So what does the constitution do?

Australia is a federation of states which each have their own constitution, government and laws. The Australian Constitution originated as an agreement under which the former colonies came together as states in a federation. In brief, the Constitution establishes the form of the federal government (that is, the Commonwealth, national or central government) and sets out the basis for relations between the Commonwealth and the states.

What does the constitution cover?

Well it covers the following but I am not going into detail that would bore everyone.

The legislative or law-making power of the Commonwealth

The composition of the Senate

Frequency of elections

The composition of the House of Representatives.

Frequency of elections.

The matters on which the Commonwealth can make laws.

Just to give you an idea of what it is about.


  1. I wonder how many citizens have ever read the Constitution, either in full or in summary. I did 6 years of History in high school and plenty of History at university, but never even saw a print out of the key issues.

  2. Sounds fairly similar to ours. The founding fathers just didn't count on people with no ethics, morals, or conscience getting into office. AND some of the populace liking them and imitating them or joining them. I hope you have much better luck and better laws.

  3. Interesting Jo-Anne as I can not remember having read it in school or even after school until I decided oneday if we even had one mind you, but I found it back then.

  4. Hi Jo-Anne, many thanksfor stopping by Pen and Paper, it was a pleasure to meet you. So interesting, I do find such posts make for fascinating reading.

  5. You made that easy to understand. Can't wait for part two!

  6. It's funny, I never wondered about it before, but now Im fascinated.

    1. I found it interesting as I knew nothing about it myself


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