Refusal of Assent to Bills Passed by Parliament in Germany and Australia

Federal Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, p. 83, 2008

Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-24

35 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2009

See all articles by Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor

University of Adelaide - School of Law; University of Marburg; RMIT University - Graduate School of Business and Law

Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

There has recently been a minor research and publishing boom in the field of refusals of royal assent to Bills in Australia. When in the throes of finalising my own contribution to this outburst of scholarship, I discovered that the figurehead German Federal President had just refused his assent to two government Bills passed by the Bundestag (the lower house of Parliament). In the two cases, which occurred in October and December 2006, the Federal President acted because he thought the proposed statute unconstitutional. Further research revealed that these were the seventh and eighth refusals of assent by a Federal President against the government's wishes since the foundation of the Federal Republic in 1949. As a result, there is a long-running academic debate in Germany about the circumstances in which the figurehead Federal President may refuse assent. Some scholars even permit the Federal President to assess every proposed law to ensure that it complies with the constitutional charter of rights, while others take a more restrictive view and confine his task to errors of parliamentary procedure and/or restrictions on law-making power other than those to be found in the charter of rights.

Keywords: Bills, Legislation, Australia, Germany, Constitutional Law, Federal Government, Parliamentary Practice

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K3, K39, K4, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Greg, Refusal of Assent to Bills Passed by Parliament in Germany and Australia (November 2009). Federal Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, p. 83, 2008, Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-24, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1508870 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1508870

Greg Taylor (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005
Australia

University of Marburg ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 24
Marburg, D-35032
Germany

RMIT University - Graduate School of Business and Law ( email )

Melbourne
Australia

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