Constitutional Conventions, Commissions and Other Constitutional Reform Mechanisms
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/38
Constitutional reform has been difficult to achieve in Australia and once more the mechanism for generating reforms is being reconsidered. This article discusses in detail the use of constitutional conventions as a means of generating constitutional reform proposals and considers the matters that those proposing to hold a constitutional convention should address. It draws on Australian and international experience, particularly that of the United States, in addressing matters such as the merits of direct election, indirect election and appointment, the qualifications of delegates, the size and location of a convention, the method of elections and their financing, the involvement of politicians and the role of party politics, the agenda of conventions and their operation. It also considers the merits of alternatives, such as expert constitutional commissions, parliamentary committees and the deliberative polls or citizens' assemblies.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: constitutional reform, constitutional conventions, constitutional commissions, parliamentary committees, deliberative polls, citizens' assemblies, referendum, deliberative democracy, constitutional amendment, election of delegates, political parties, financing constitutional reform
JEL Classification: K10, K30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 16, 2008
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