Executive Power under the Constitution: A Presidential and Parliamentary System Compared

55 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2016

See all articles by Gabrielle J. Appleby

Gabrielle J. Appleby

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Adam Webster

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government

Date Written: August 31, 2016

Abstract

In a 2014 article published in the Adelaide Law Review, Professor Harold Bruff explained the U.S. executive power to an Australian audience. Bruff described the constitutions of Australia and the United States as “cousins”; they share some traits — such as federalism — but in other areas there is less of a resemblance. The Australian system of government blends features of the federal system of the United States with the parliamentary system of the United Kingdom. In 1980, Elaine Thompson famously described it as a “Washminster” system of government. The framers of the Australian Constitution were familiar with the U.S. Constitution, both through their readings — particularly Lord Bryce’s well-timed treatise, The American Commonwealth, published the decade preceding the major Australian constitutional drafting conventions — and through their personal experiences. The development of the U.S. Constitution and the constitutional practices of the United Kingdom were frequently referenced and compared during the drafting of the Australian Constitution.

Keywords: Constitutional Structure, Differences in the Executive Branches, Responsible Government, Adoption of Responsible Government in Australia, Organisation of Executive Power in Australia, Australian Executive Power, Prerogative Powers, Nationhood Power

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Appleby, Gabrielle J. and Webster, Adam, Executive Power under the Constitution: A Presidential and Parliamentary System Compared (August 31, 2016). University of Colorado Law Review, Vol. 87, No. 4, 2016; U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2016-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2833068

Gabrielle J. Appleby (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unsw.edu.au/profile/gabrielle-appleby

Adam Webster

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government ( email )

10 Merton St
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4JJ
United Kingdom

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