Australian Electoral Law: A Stocktake

Orr, Graeme, Mercurio, Bryan and Williams, George (2003) Australian Electoral Law: A Stocktake. Election Law Journal, 2 3: 383-402. doi:10.1089/153312903322146618

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Author Orr, Graeme
Mercurio, Bryan
Williams, George
Title Australian Electoral Law: A Stocktake
Journal name Election Law Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1533-1296
Publication date 2003-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1089/153312903322146618
Open Access Status
Volume 2
Issue 3
Start page 383
End page 402
Total pages 20
Place of publication Larchmont, N.Y.
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Language eng
Subject C1
1801 Law
Formatted abstract
IT IS A CENTURY since the first national elections in Australia were held under uniform federal law.1

This makes 2003 a good time to reflect and take stock of Australian electoral law. Research and commentary on electoral regulation in Australia has traditionally been left to political scientists, with only sporadic attention from legal practitioners and constitutional theorists.
Electoral law, as a scholarly discipline in Australia, is only beginning to emerge from a Cinderella state.2

In this article, we describe the key issues and themes in Australian electoral law, largely in respect to the uniform national (that is, federal) electoral law, but also, where relevant, to the law that applies to state and territory elections.3 We do not seek to be comprehensive. The article generally poses questions rather than suggesting answers. Some of the questions raised here are perennials, but, as the title indicates, ours is a contemporary survey. Rich seams of historical research remain to be unearthed.

Our discussion is confined to parliamentary elections in Australia, as opposed to the broader field, which includes local authority, trade union, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and even corporate elections. Our concern is with electoral law proper and we leave boundary questions about the nature of parliamentary democracy, such as the length and flexibility of parliamentary terms and qualifications for election,4 to the broader field of constitutional law.
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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