Democratic principles

  • The ways in which Australia, and one other country, can both uphold and/or undermine democratic principles with reference to:


  • Free and fair elections
  • Broad franchise
  • Broad selection of candidates
  • Multi-party system
  • Majoritarian¬†decision making
  • During minority governments/hung parliaments
  • Increased support and representation for micro parties such as Motoring Enthusiasts and Lib Democrats
  • 1975 crisis
  • 2014 WA Senate re-election and Court of Disputed Returns
  • Role of the GG in Australia – undemocratic?

Popular participation

  • Universal franchise
  • Compulsory voting and enrolment
  • Submissions to Committee inquiries
  • Petitions
  • Right to join parties/pressure groups
  • Rowe v. Electoral Commissioner 2010

Rule of law

  • No-one is above the law
  • M70 vs. Minister for Immigration 2011 re. Migration Act 1958
  • Accountability of Judicial Officials (Murphy, Farquhar, Bruce etc.)
  • Royal Commissions (AWB Food for Oil (Cole Inquiry 2005) and Home Insulations 2014)
  • Privileges Committee and Parl Privilege – re. Heffernan and Xenophon, Estimates Committee

Judicial independence

  • Vs. Parliamentary sovereignty
  • Mandatory sentencing
  • Bikie laws – South Australia v Totani 2010, VLADA¬†2013 (QLD) etc.

Natural justice

  • Procedural fairness
  • Dietrich v The Queen 1992

Exercising of powers

  • Separation of powers
  • Executive powers
    • Public service
    • Role of the GG
  • Judicial powers
    • Legalism vs. activism


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