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  • Writer's pictureBrian AJ Newman LLB

Why do we have an Australian Constitution?

The Australian Constitution is the legal document that establishes the framework for the federal government of Australia. It was written in the late 19th century and came into effect on January 1, 1901.


The Constitution is divided into eight chapters and 128 sections. The chapters cover topics such as the legislative power of the federal government, the executive power, the judiciary, finance, and trade and commerce. The Constitution also outlines the division of powers between the federal government and the states, and sets out the procedures for amending the Constitution.

One of the key features of the Australian Constitution is the principle of responsible government, which means that the government is accountable to the Parliament, and must have the support of the majority of members in the lower house in order to govern.


The Constitution also contains a number of important provisions protecting individual rights and freedoms, including the right to trial by jury, freedom of religion, and the right to vote.

Overall, the Australian Constitution provides the legal framework for the functioning of Australia's federal system of government, and has been amended on a number of occasions to reflect changing social and political conditions.

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