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Flashcards in Australian Constitution Deck (25)
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S 127

Aboriginal people are not to be counted in the census (“reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth in certain circumstances”.)

Changed in 1967 Referendum.


S 51 (xxvi)

Race Power

The Commonwealth had the powers to make laws with respect to “the people of any race, other than the Aboriginal race in any state, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws.”

Changed in 1967 Referendum


S 25

The method of choosing representatives is by vote at an election.

S 25 basically says that if a state discriminates against a particular race, it won’t have as many reps and therefore it was intended to penalise racist states and encourage a more inclusive franchise.


Chapter 1
Ss 7 and 24

Established a bicameral parliament whose members are “directly chosen by the people”.


S 6

Senators are to have a fixed six-year term beginning on the first day of July.


S 28

House of Representatives has a duration of “three years from the first meeting of the House”.



The power to determine the times and places of Senate elections is given to the states and not the Commonwealth.


S 34

Sets the qualifications for standing for election in the Commonwealth Parliaments “until the Parliament provides otherwise”.


S 44

Lists 5 grounds upon which people are ineligible to be chosen to sit as MPs.
1. Acknowledgement of allegiance to a foreign power;
2. Is attained for treason;
3. Under sentence, or subject to be sentenced for any offence punishable under the law by imprisonment for one year or longer;
4. Holds an office for profit under the Crown;
5. Has “any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth”.


Section 1, 61 and 71

Establish the Commonwealth Parliament and the Executive and make provision for a federal court system.


Sections 106 - 108

Expressly recognise state constitutions, parliaments and laws.


Sections 51, 52 and 122,

Sections that draw up the parameters of the commonwealth’s legislative capacity (the laws it can make).


S 114

Commonwealth control over armed forces. This is a purposive power, meaning that it must only be used for the purpose of defending the Commonwealth.


S 90

Commonwealth power to impose custom and excise duties and bounties.


S 52

Commonwealth power to make laws relating to the Commonwealth Government.


S 122

Territorial legislation is subject to the Commonwealth Parliament. This section confers power onto the Territories to make laws and can be removed at any time


S 109

State Laws inconsistent with a Commonwealth Law are considered invalid to the extent of the inconsistency.


S 92

Trade, commerce and intercourse between the states is ‘absolutely free’.


Combined effect of ss 90 and 92

Creates an exclusive Commonwealth power to set the tariff policy across Australia and create a national economy under the control of the Commonwealth.


S 61

The executive has the power to enter treaties.


S 96

Tied grants power.

Cth can give financial assistance to the states on ‘such terms and conditions as the Parliament sees fit’.


S 49

Parliamentary immunities


s 128

Maner and form provision: requires referendum to change Constitution


s 62

Creates the federal Executive Council (now the Cabinet, this Council used to consist of all ministers but has been reduced down to senior ministers.)


s 63

Where the Constitution gives power to the GG in Council, this means the GG acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council.