Australian Constitution with Reference to Key High Court Decisions

1571 Words 7 Pages
Australia’s constitution is more than a legal document; it is a document that has been living for 200 years now and sets out a framework on how Australia should be governed, it sets out the rules and laws that are in place for the country to abide by as a nation. It provides an understanding between the Commonwealth and State Governments as to who has the responsibility to govern each legislature. As Australia changed from being separate colonies to form a whole and become the commonwealth, many changes were made, the constitution was founded and federation began. This produced the division of powers and set out a broad structure of government. The constitution and the high court together work in conjunction and the constitution limits …show more content…
The purpose of the constitution was to provide a framework for a system of government and protection for the important principles and rules (Saunders, 1998, p. 160). Each of the colonies had different needs, views and ideas which resulted in differences in drafting the constitution (Saunders, 1998, p. 13). At a convention meeting the new rules of the Federal Constitution were agreed upon (Baldwin, 2008, p. 4), federation was finally achieved after many decades of infighting and jealousies (Wicks, 2000, p. 11). This marking of federation meant that the states could keep their own independence yet the Commonwealth government would handle issues in which they believed needed united action (Saunders, 1998, p. 13). Once the constitution had been voted on it was then taken to the British colony for Queen Victoria to sign, as the constitution kept the British monarch as its head for the newly formed Australian government (Sheppard, 2003, p. 10), it was then named the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. This meant that as of 1st of January 1901 the colonies, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania would be united and known as the Commonwealth of Australia (Western Australia was not named in the constitution as it initially didn’t agree, but had joined later ) (Baldwin, 2008, p. 4).
The constitution is made up of eight chapters, each of which specifies rules and

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