The Appointment of Ministers from Outside of Parliament
Federal Law Review (2012), Vol 40, Issue 2, pp.253-285.
33 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2012
Date Written: October 29, 2012
Members of the executive in Australia and other Westminster nations are traditionally appointed only from the ranks of parliamentarians, ostensibly to protect the principle of responsible government. However, there is a growing international trend in nations such as the United Kingdom for the appointment of ministers from outside of Parliament. This article examines the extent to which Australia's constitutional system can accommodate unelected members of a Commonwealth, State or Territory executive. This question is analysed from the perspective of the principle of responsible government and the text of Australia's various constitutional documents. The article also reviews existing practice in comparative jurisdictions and Australian law and practice in order to determine the form that such appointments might take.
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