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Constitutional Reform Index
You are in Peter Crayson's Site!

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Contents
» Republic models:  Models for a republican system of government, including complete draft constitutions for each model.
» Senate reform:  Reform of the Senate's power to block bills originating in the House of Representatives.
» Bill of Rights:  Ideas pertaining to a bill of rights, or similar instrument.
 

Republic models
Here you can find several of my draft republican Constitutions. The most recent model is at the top of this list.

»Go! to my "Constitutional Council" model, proposed 2002.  This is a modification of the Sovereign Council model.  The model proposes an elected President and Constitutional Council (headed by the President) to replace the Queen and the Governor-General, but with the Speaker assuming many of the reserve and non-discretionary powers of the Governor-General and the Federal Executive Council Council assuming other non-reserve powers.  The office of Speaker is accordingly reformed to be more independent, with the Speaker nominated by the Parliament and appointed by the Constitutional Council and serving a fixed term.  The bonus advantage of this model is that the not only does the question of codification or exercise of reserve powers by an elected President not present a problem, but that the office of Speaker is depoliticised, as all would agree it should be.  The advantage of this model over the Sovereign Council model is that the office of Governor-General is not retained - this addresses the concern that the Sovereign Council model is a "bicephalic" (two-headed) model, whilst retaining all its advantages and also addressing the perennial issue of depoliticisation of the office of Speaker.
» Go! to my "Sovereign Council" model, proposed 2001.  This is a completely fresh, new look at a republican model in the light of the failed 1999 republic referendum. One of the most significant failures of the referendum was that republicans were divided into two main camps - the "minimalists" and the "direct electionists".  Since the referendum, no models (at least that I've been aware of) have appeared which reconciled these camps, and this fact has been my driving motivation in conceiving this model.  Thus, the model neatly combines the best elements of the existing constitutional arrangements and those of the most popular republican models, with no significant complications arising - including the ultra-minimalist, minimalist (i.e., election by special parliamentary majority), electoral college and directly elected non-executive President models.
» Go! to my "Referendum" model, proposed 1999.  This is a republican Constitution derived from my "ConCon" model but closer to the Government's model which has been revealed by the Referendum Taskforce's Constitution Alteration Exposure Draft. This model proposes somewhat fewer changes than my "ConCon" model. Note that my response to the Government's Exposure Drafts reveals many deficiencies, including some extremely serious deficiencies which may easily lead to constitutional vacuum (and a consequent irreparable break down in constitutional processes), all to which solutions have been proposed.
» Go! to my "ConCon" model, proposed 1998.  This is a republican Constitution consistent with the communiqué issued by ConCon. This model bears substantial similarities to my Minimalist Model 3, which can be found in my submission to the Constitutional Commission (see below). This model provided for nomination of the President by a Constitutional Council with appointment by a Parliamentary super-majority.
» Go! to my models submitted to the 1998 Constitutional Commission, proposed 1998.  This contains an entire amended republican constitution including four options for the appointment of a President, and extensive explanations and commentary. This submission was completed as a web site in January 1998 and is retained unaltered for historical and documentary purposes.
Related links
»Go! to the current Australian Constitution, on the Senate's site.
» Go! to the current Australian Constitution, on the Prime Minister's site.
» Go! to constitutions of other countries, from the International Constitutional Law organisation.
» Go! to constitutions of other countries, from the Washburn University School of Law.
» Go! to The Constitutional Centenary Foundation's site.
» Go! to "The Australian Republic Issue: A Guide" by Stephen Souter - very comprehensive.
» Go! to The Australian Republican Movement's site.
» Go! to the Australian Government Entry Point site on the Constitutional Convention.
» Go! to The Prime Minister's site on the Constitutional Convention.
» Go! to the ABC's site on the Constitutional Convention.
» Go! to the Australian Electoral Commission's site on the 1997 Constitutional Convention Election.
» Go! to the National Convention of Republicans' site.
» Go! to the Queen's web site, where she states that she is Head of State of Australia.
Senate Reform
Optional mechanism to facilitate passage of a Bill rejected by the Senate
Where the Senate has rejected or failed to pass a bill passed by the House of Representatives, the President in Council may give notice that it intends to convene a joint sitting to consider the bill.  On such notice being given, the Senate may vote that it will refuse to consider the bill in a joint sitting, whereupon the President in Council may submit the entire bill, as passed by the House of Representatives, to a vote of the electors at a referendum at or before the next election for the House of Representatives.  If it does so, and the bill is defeated at a referendum, a joint sitting convened following a dissolution pursuant to s.52 may not consider that bill.  However, any bill, whether considered by a joint sitting as mentioned above and rejected, or which the Senate refused to consider at a joint sitting but which was not submitted to the electors at a referendum, may be considered.  In such a referendum, a simple majority vote nationwide is required.

Bill of Rights
Constitution to provide that the Parliament may make laws with repect to human rights and freedoms and with repect to equality of opportunity, and that such laws take precedence over all other laws (as does the Racial Discrimination Act now) unless explicit exception is made in an Act, and then in such cases it should only be subject to such reasonable limits as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society (cf Canadian Constitution's proviso).


If you'd like to contact me, please email me at petergc@bigfoot.com. I'd love to hear your comments and criticisms!

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