Democratic Deliberation of Labour Law: A Preliminary Inquiry into the Making of the Fair Work Act
(2009) 22(3) Australian Journal of Labour Law 232-57
Posted: 8 Aug 2018
Date Written: 2009
The discipline of Australian labour law is clearly concerned with power. Such concern, however, seems to only arise once labour laws have been made, with the dynamics of power operating during the making of labour laws generally seen as outside the discipline. In the spirit of opening up inquiry into this neglected area, this article provides a preliminary assessment of the making of the Fair Work Act.The process of enacting this Act is evaluated against the principles of deliberative democracy, specifically, the reason-giving requirement; the principle of publicity; the principle of accountability; the principles of inclusiveness and fair deliberation; the principle of basic opportunity; and the principle of fair opportunity. The article concludes that, while this process fared well against these principles in key respects, there were significant shortcomings, notably, a failure to fully uphold the principle of inclusiveness and fair deliberation.
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