Parliamentary Prayer and the Establishment of Religion
(February 2018) 40(1) the Bulletin of the Law Society of South Australia 12-15
6 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 17, 2018
Do parliamentary prayers violate the guarantees contained in s 116 of the Australian Constitution? This brief essay considers that question in three parts. Part II sets out the typical parliamentary prayers currently used in the Commonwealth, State, and Territory Parliaments. Part III considers s 116; drawing upon the existing Australian jurisprudence, with support from American precedent, I conclude that while such prayers may not constitute an establishment of religion, they may impose a religious observance and may establish a religious test for qualification for a Commonwealth office. Part IV concludes.
Keywords: law and religion; free exercise; freedom of religious belief; Australian Constitution, s 116
JEL Classification: K1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation