A key pillar of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been its closure of international borders. Since Australia’s constitution lacks an express bill of rights, Australians stranded abroad have turned to the United Nations as a last resort. Continue reading >>
Australia’s legal and political response to the outbreak of COVID-19 has been marked by the formation of a new intergovernmental forum, the National Cabinet, to lead a coordinated national response to the pandemic, and the declaration of successive states of emergency at the federal and state levels activating extraordinary executive powers, including limitations on movement and border closures. Australia’s response has, to date, resulted in the successful curtailment of community transmission of COVID-19 in Australian States and Territories. However, the response to the pandemic has also involved the removal of existing mechanisms of executive accountability, suspensions of Parliament and little parliamentary scrutiny or other oversight of executive action. These democratic deficits present fresh challenges for Australia going forward, particularly as the National Cabinet structure becomes permanent and the states of emergency endure for the foreseeable future. Continue reading >>
Der am 08.11.2017 veröffentlichte Beschluss des Bundesverfassungsgerichts enthält eine Deadline, die es in sich hat. Bis zum 31.12.2018 muss die Legislative eine verfassungsgemäße Lösung finden, mit der die angegriffenen Regelungen des Personenstandsgesetzes ersetzt werden. Der Beschluss nennt zwei mögliche Lösungswege: die Schaffung einer dritten Option und den generellen Verzicht auf einen personenstandrechtlichen Geschlechtseintrag.
Beide Lösungswege bedeuten Neuland für die rechtliche Geschlechterordnung, allerdings nur für Deutschland. Wer ins Ausland blickt, stellt fest: Andere Länder haben längst innovative Regelungsmodelle gefunden. Continue reading >>
As outposts of the British Empire, the various state parliaments of Australia, and New Zealand as a whole, inherited the Westminster system of government with an elected lower house, in which government is formed, and an unelected house of review. In little under two hundred years, these parliaments have undergone a range of reforms, including democratisation of their upper houses. Two jurisdictions, however, took bolder steps: the Australian state of Queensland, and New Zealand, both demolished their upper houses entirely – with mixed results, at best. Continue reading >>
By PAUL KILDEA Amending the text of the Australian Constitution […] Continue reading >>