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Encyclopedia > Parliament of Australia
Parliament of Australia
Type Bicameral
Houses House of Representatives
Senate
Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker, Liberal Party
since 16 November 2004
President of the Senate Alan Ferguson, Liberal Party
since 14 August 2007
Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators)
Political groups Liberal Party
ALP
National Party
Country Liberal Party
Greens
Democrats
FFP
Last elections 9 October 2004
Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Web site http://www.aph.gov.au/index.htm
The opening of the Parliament of Australia, 9 May 1901, painted by Tom Roberts
The opening of the Parliament of Australia, 9 May 1901, painted by Tom Roberts

The Parliament of Australia is the legislative branch of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress. According to Section 1 of the Constitution of Australia, Parliament consists of three components: the Queen, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. The Queen is normally represented by the Governor-General. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (922x693, 1523 KB) Summary Transparent copy of [1] Edited by Ansett 1means the typographical arrangement and layout of a published work. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 81 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ... Australian House of Representatives chamber Entrance to the House of Representatives The Australian House of Representatives is one of the two houses (chambers) of the Parliament of Australia. ... Australian Senate chamber Entrance to the Senate The Senate is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia. ... The Speakers chair in the House of Representatives The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Parliament of Australia. ... The Hon. ... The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The President of the Australian Senate is the presiding officer of the Australian Senate, the upper house of the Parliament of Australia. ... Alan Baird Ferguson (born 16 September 1943), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian Senate since May 1992, representing South Australia. ... The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... is the 226th day of the year (227th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... ALP redirects here. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... In Australian politics, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) is the Northern Territory equivalent to the Liberal and National parties. ... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Family First Party (FFP/F1) is a political party in Australia, with policies that generally mirror socially conservative and family values. ... is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Parliament House Canberra: The main entrance and the flag mast. ... For other uses, see Canberra (disambiguation). ... Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... Image File history File links The Big Picture, the opening of the w:en:Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901, painted by w:en:Tom Roberts. ... Image File history File links The Big Picture, the opening of the w:en:Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901, painted by w:en:Tom Roberts. ... is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Thomas William Roberts (8 March 1856–14 September 1931), usually known simply as Tom, was a famous Australian artist and a key member of the Heidelberg School. ... In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ... The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, in London. ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1952 and 2002 The title Queen of Australia has existed since 1973, when the Parliament of Australia passed the Royal Style and Titles Act (1973). ... Australian Senate chamber Entrance to the Senate The Senate is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia. ... Australian House of Representatives chamber Entrance to the House of Representatives The Australian House of Representatives is one of the two houses (chambers) of the Parliament of Australia. ... The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. ...


The lower house, the House of Representatives, currently consists of 150 members, who represent districts known as electoral divisions (commonly referred to as "electorates" or "seats"). The number of members is not fixed, but can vary with boundary changes resulting from electoral redistributions, which are required on a regular basis. The most recent overall increase in the size of the House, which came into effect at the 1984 election, increased the number of members from 125 to 148. It reduced to 147 at the 1993 election, returned to 148 at the 1996 election, and has been 150 since the 2001 election. Each division elects one member using preferential voting. The upper house, the Senate, consists of 76 members: twelve for each state, and two for each mainland territory. Senators are elected using a form of proportional voting. The two Houses meet in separate chambers of Parliament House on Capital Hill in Canberra. A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. ... The Australian House of Representatives is elected from 150 single-member districts called Divisions. ... Legislative elections were held in Australia on December 1, 1984. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on March 13, 1993. ... Legislative elections were held in Australia on 2 March 1996. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 10 November 2001. ... This article deals with elections to the Australian Parliament. ... For the demesne in The Keys to the Kingdom series, see The House An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. ... This STV ballot for the Australian Senate illustrates group voting tickets. ... Many parliaments or other legislatures consist of two chambers: an elected lower house, and an upper house or Senate which may be appointed or elected by a different mechanism from the lower house. ... Parliament House Canberra: The main entrance and the flag mast. ... Capital Hill (postcode: 2600) is the location of Parliament House, Canberra, at the south apex of the land axis of the Parliamentary Triangle. ... For other uses, see Canberra (disambiguation). ...

Contents

History

The Commonwealth Parliament was opened on 9 May 1901 in the Royal Exhibition Building, the only building in the then capital Melbourne large enough to house the 14,000 guests. Thereafter, from 1901 to 1927 it met in Parliament House, Melbourne, which it borrowed from the parliament of the state of Victoria (which sat in the Exhibition Building). On 9 May 1927 the Parliament moved to the new national capital at Canberra, where it met in what is now called Old Parliament House. Intended to be temporary, this building in fact housed the Parliament for more than 60 years. The permanent Parliament House, Canberra was opened on 9 May 1988. is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The Royal Exhibition Building from the main avenue of the Carlton Gardens The Royal Exhibition Building, viewed from the west The Royal Exhibition Building is located in Melbourne, Australia. ... This article is about the Australian city; the name may also refer to City of Melbourne or Melbourne city centre. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Parliament House, Melbourne Parliament House, Melbourne, has been the seat of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia, since 1855, except for the years 1901 to 1928, when it was occupied by the Parliament of Australia. ... VIC redirects here. ... is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Canberra (disambiguation). ... Old Parliament House today Opening of Parliament House in May 1927 Old Parliament House, formerly known as the Provisional Parliament House, was the seat of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988. ... Parliament House Canberra: The main entrance and the flag mast. ... is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ...


Composition

Under Section 1 of the Constitution, the Queen of Australia is one of the components of Parliament. The constitutional functions of the Crown are delegated to the Governor-General, whom the Monarch appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister. Various other functions are assigned to the Governor-General by the Constitution and by legislation. However, by constitutional convention, the Governor-General does not normally exercise these powers, except upon the advice of the Prime Minister or other ministers. Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ...


The upper house of the Australian Parliament is the Senate, which consists of 76 members. Like the United States Senate, on which it was modeled, the Australian Senate includes an equal number of Senators from each state, regardless of population. The Constitution allows Parliament to determine the number of Senators by legislation, provided that the six original states are equally represented. Furthermore, the Constitution provides that each original state is entitled to at least six senators. However, neither of these provisions applies to any newly admitted states, or to territories. Pursuant to an Act of Parliament passed in 1973, senators are elected to represent the territories (excluding Norfolk Island). Currently, the two Northern Territory Senators represent the residents of the Northern Territory as well as the Australian external territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The two Australian Capital Territory Senators represent the Australian Capital Territory and the Jervis Bay Territory. Type Upper House President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R since January 20, 2001 President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D since January 4, 2007 Members 100 Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party Last elections November 7, 2006 Meeting place Senate Chamber United States Capitol Washington, DC United States... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Slogan or Nickname: The Territory, The NT, The Top End Motto(s): none Other Australian states and territories Capital Darwin Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator Ted Egan Chief Minister Clare Martin (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $10,418 (8th)  - Product... Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... The Jervis Bay Territory is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. ...

The Senate
The Senate

Until 1949, each state elected the constitutional minimum of six Senators. This number increased to ten from the elections of 1949, and was increased again to twelve (the present number) from the elections of 1984. Senate, Parliament House, Canberra, taken by myself. ... Senate, Parliament House, Canberra, taken by myself. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ...


Parliament may determine the number of members of the House of Representatives. However the Constitution provides that this number must be "as nearly as practicable, twice the number of Senators"; this requirement is commonly called the "nexus provision." Hence, the House presently consists of 150 members. Each state is allocated seats based on its population; however, each original state, regardless of size, is guaranteed at least five seats. The Constitution does not guarantee representation for the territories. Parliament granted a seat to the Northern Territory in 1922, and to the Australian Capital Territory in 1948; these territorial representatives, however, had only limited voting rights until 1968. Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


From 1901 to 1949, the House consisted of either 74 or 75 members. Between 1949 and 1984, it had between 121 and 127 members. In 1977, the High Court ordered that the size of the House be reduced from 127 to 124 members in order to comply with the nexus provision. In 1984, both the Senate and the House were enlarged; since then the House has had between 148 and 150 members. Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ... This article is about the year. ...


Individuals with foreign citizenship are prohibited from sitting in either house of the parliament by S44 of the Constitution of Australia. In the landmark case Sue v Hill the High Court of Australia ruled that the United Kingdom is a foreign power for purposes of this section despite the fact that at the time of the drafting of the Constitution all Australians were British subjects. Sue v Hill was an important Australian court case decided in the High Court of Australia on 23 June 1999. ... High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ...


Procedure

The interior of parliament house
The interior of parliament house

Each of the two Houses elects a presiding officer. The presiding officer of the Senate is called the President; that of the House is the Speaker. Elections for these positions are by secret ballot. Both offices are filled by members of the governing party, but the presiding officers are expected to oversee debate and enforce the rules in an impartial manner. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1728x2304, 1307 KB) The interior of Parliament of Australia, photographed from the right-hand side main staircase. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1728x2304, 1307 KB) The interior of Parliament of Australia, photographed from the right-hand side main staircase. ... The President of the Australian Senate is the presiding officer of the Australian Senate, the upper house of the Parliament of Australia. ... The Speakers chair in the House of Representatives The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Parliament of Australia. ...


The Constitution authorises Parliament to set the quorum for each chamber. The quorum of the House of Representatives is one-fifth of the total membership (thirty); that of the Senate is one-fourth of the total membership (nineteen). In theory, if a quorum is not present, then a House may not continue to meet. In practice, members usually agree not to notice that a quorum is not present, so that debates on routine bills can continue without other members having to be present. Sometimes the Opposition will "call a quorum" as a tactic to annoy the Government or delay proceedings, particularly when the Opposition feels it has been unfairly treated in the House. It is the responsibility of the Government whips to ensure that when a quorum is called, enough Government members are present to make up a quorum. Look up quorum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A quorum call or call to quorum is a parliamentary procedure used to delay a vote or otherwise slow down the deliberations of a parliamentary body. ... In politics, a whip is a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ...


Both Houses may determine motions by voice vote: the presiding officer puts the question, and, after listening to shouts of "Aye" and "No" from the members, announces the result. The announcement of the presiding officer settles the question, unless at least two members demand a "division," or a recorded vote. In that case the bells are rung throughout Parliament House summoning Members or Senators to the chamber. During a division, members who favour the motion move to the right side of the chamber, whereas those opposed move to the left. They are then counted by the "tellers" (Government and Opposition whips), and the motion is passed or defeated accordingly. In the House of Representatives, the Speaker does not vote, except in case of a tie (see casting vote). In the Senate, in order not to deprive a state of a vote in what is supposed to be a states' house, the President votes along with other Senators; in the case of a tie, the motion fails. A voice vote in a legislative body refers to a vote taken on a topic where the participants respond to a question with yea (yes), nay (no), or present (abstain). ... It has been suggested that Division of the house be merged into this article or section. ... A casting vote is a vote given to the presiding officer of a council or legislative body in order to resolve a deadlock. ...


In the event of conflict between the two Houses over the final form of legislation, the Constitution provides for a simultaneous dissolution of both Houses, a "double dissolution". If the conflict continues after such an election, the government may convene a joint sitting of both Houses to consider the disputed legislation. This has occurred only once, after the election following the 1974 double dissolution. Image:Ac. ... A joint sitting of the Australian parliament was convened in August 1974, comprising members of both the Senate and House of Representatives. ... Federal elections were held in Australia on 18 May 1974. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ...


Latest election

[discuss] – [edit]
Summary of the 9 October 2004 Parliament of Australia election results
Parties Primary Votes House % House Seats House Votes Senate % Senate Seats Won Senate Total Seats Senate
  Liberal Party of Australia 4,741,458 40.5 74 2,109,978 17.7 13 33
  National Party of Australia 690,275 5.9 12 163,261 1.4 1 5
Liberal/National Party senate ticket (NSW and Vic) - - - 3,074,952 25.7 6 *
  Country Liberal Party 39,855 0.3 1 41,923 0.4 1 1
  Australian Labor Party 4,409,117 37.6 60 4,186,715 35.0 16 28
  Australian Greens 841,734 7.2 - 916,431 7.7 2 4
  Family First Party 235,315 2.0 - 210,567 1.8 1 1
  Australian Democrats 144,832 1.2 - 250,373 2.1 - 4
  One Nation Party 139,956 1.2 - 206,455 1.7 - -
  Christian Democratic Party 72,241 0.6 - 140,674 1.2 - -
  Other parties 108,313 0.9 - 652,320 5.5 - -
  Independents 288,206 2.4 3 - - - -
Total (turnout 94.85%) 11,715,132 100.0 150 11,953,649 100.0 40 76
Informal votes 639,851
Total votes 12,354,983
Registered voters 13,021,230
* Liberal/National senators shown under their respective parties
Sources: Australian Electoral Commission, Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Handbook

is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Australian House of Representatives chamber Entrance to the House of Representatives The Australian House of Representatives is one of the two houses (chambers) of the Parliament of Australia. ... Australian Senate chamber Entrance to the Senate The Senate is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia. ... Australian Senate chamber Entrance to the Senate The Senate is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia. ... The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... In Australian politics, the Country Liberal Party (CLP) is the Northern Territory equivalent to the Liberal and National parties. ... ALP redirects here. ... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... The Family First Party (FFP/F1) is a political party in Australia, with policies that generally mirror socially conservative and family values. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... One Nation is a nationalist and protectionist political group in Australia. ... The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) is a minor political party in Australia. ...

Functions

The principal function of the Parliament is to pass laws, or legislation. Any Member or Senator may introduce a proposed law (a bill), except for a money bill (a bill proposing an expenditure or levying a tax), which must be introduced in the House of Representatives. In practice, the great majority of bills are introduced by ministers. Bills introduced by other Members are called private members' bills. All bills must be passed by both Houses to become law. The Senate has the same legislative powers as the House, except that it may not amend money bills, only pass or reject them. The enacting formula for Acts of Parliament is simply "The Parliament of Australia enacts:". An enacting formula is a short phrase that introduces the main provisions of a law enacted by some legislatures. ...


The Parliament performs other functions besides legislation. It can discuss urgency motions or matters of public importance: these provide a forum for debates on public policy matters. Members can move motions of censure against the government or against individual ministers. On most sitting days in both Houses there is a session called Question Time at which Members and Senators address questions to the Prime Minister and other ministers. Members and Senators can also present petitions from their constituents. Both Houses have an extensive system of committees in which draft bills are debated, evidence is taken and public servants are questioned. A matter of public importance a term used in the Australian Parliament is a subject put forward for debate by the parliament. ...


Relationship with the Government

A minister is not required to be a member of the House or the Senate at the time of their appointment, but their office is forfeited if they do not become a member of either house within 3 months of their appointment.


This provision was included in the Constitution to enable the inaugural Ministry, led by Edmund Barton, to be appointed on 1 January 1901, even though the first federal elections were not scheduled to be held until 29 and 30 March. Sir Edmund Barton, GCMG, QC (18 January 1849 – 7 January 1920), Australian politician and judge, was the first Prime Minister of Australia and a founding justice of the High Court of Australia. ... is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... is the 89th day of the year (90th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The provision also came into effect when the Liberal Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared, presumed drowned, on 17 December 1967. The Liberal Party elected Senator John Gorton as its new leader, and he was sworn in as Prime Minister on 10 January 1968. On 1 February, Gorton resigned from the Senate to stand for the by-election in Holt's former electorate of Higgins. For 24 days (1 to 24 February) he was Prime Minister while being a member of neither house of parliament. Harold Edward Holt CH (5 August 1908 – presumed dead 17 December 1967) was an Australian politician who became the 17th Prime Minister of Australia in 1966. ... December 17 is the 351st day of the year (352nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... Sir John Grey Gorton GCMG AC CH (9 September 1911 – 19 May 2002), Australian politician, was the 19th Prime Minister of Australia. ... is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Division of Higgins is an organiation dedicated to the destruction and hatred of Jim Higgins. ...


On a number of occasions when a Minister has retired from their seat prior to an election, or stood but lost their own seat in the election, they have retained their Ministerial office until the next government is sworn in.


Privileges

Members of the Australian Parliament do not have legal immunity: they can be arrested and tried for any offence. They do, however, have Parliamentary privilege: they cannot be sued for anything they say in Parliament about each other or about persons outside the Parliament. This privilege extends to reporting in the media of anything a Member or Senator says in Parliament. The proceedings of parliamentary committees, wherever they meet, are also covered by privilege, and this extends to witnesses before such committees. Parliamentary privilege, also known as absolute privilege, is a legal mechanism employed within the legislative bodies of countries whose constitutions are based on the Westminster system. ...


There is a legal offence called contempt of Parliament. A person who speaks or acts in a manner contemptuous of the Parliament or its members can be tried and, if convicted, imprisoned. The Parliament used to have the power to hear such cases itself, and did so in the Browne–Fitzpatrick privilege case, 1955. This power has now been delegated to the courts, but no one has been prosecuted for this offence. In many jurisdictions governed by a Parliament, Contempt of Parliament is the crime of obstructing the Parliament in the carrying out of its functions, or of hindering any Member of Parliament in the performance of his or her duties. ... The Browne–Fitzpatrick privilege case,1955, was legal case which eventually limited the right of privilege of the Australian Parliament. ...


See also

The 2004-2007 composition of the House. ... This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2005. ...

External links

  • The Parliament of Australia's website
  • The Australian Constitution at ComLaw

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Parliament of Australia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1790 words)
The Parliament of Australia is the legislative branch of Australia.
According to Section 1 of the Constitution of Australia, Parliament consists of the Queen of Australia, the House of Representatives (the "lower house"), and the Senate (the "upper house" or "house of review").
The Parliament of Australia is modelled on the Parliament of the United Kingdom and, to a lesser extent, the Congress of the United States.
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