Second Thoughts – Recall Elections for Members of Parliament

68 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2011

See all articles by Anne Twomey

Anne Twomey

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: September 5, 2011


The use of ‘recall elections’ has recently been proposed in both Australia and the United Kingdom, in different contexts. The UK proposal concerns the recall of Members of Parliament in cases of proved wrongdoing. The Australian proposal, in the State of New South Wales, is for citizens to recall the Parliament by petitioning for an early election. In both cases, reference has been made to the experience of recall in other jurisdictions. This report analyses comparative experience of recall in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Venezuela and Japan and considers how the lessons from these countries could be applied in the Australian context.

Keywords: elections, recall, fixed term Parliaments, direct, democracy, citizens' initiated referenda, campaign funding, corruption, term of office, early elections

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Twomey, Anne, Second Thoughts – Recall Elections for Members of Parliament (September 5, 2011). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/55, Available at SSRN:

Anne Twomey (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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