Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia 1901, as amended to 1985


Citizenship and Nationality

The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:

(xix) naturalization and aliens;
… (Sec. 51)

Jurisdiction and Access

The Parliament may make laws conferring original jurisdiction on the High Court in any matter:
(i) arising under this Constitution, or involving its interpretation;
… (Sec. 76)

Marriage and Family Life

The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:
...
(xxi) marriage;
(xxii) divorce and matrimonial causes; and in relation thereto, parental rights, and the custody and guardianship of infants;

(xxiiiA) the provision of maternity allowances, widows’ pensions, child endowment, unemployment, pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services (but not so as to authorize any form of civil conscription), benefits to students and family allowances;
... (Sec. 51)

Political Rights and Association

The qualification of electors of senators shall be in each State that which is prescribed by this Constitution, or by the Parliament, as the qualification for electors of members of the House of Representatives; but in the choosing of senators each elector shall vote only once. (Sec. 8)

Political Rights and Association

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives shall be in each State that which is prescribed by the law of the State as the qualification of electors of the more numerous House of Parliament of the State; but in the choosing of members each elector shall vote only once. (Sec. 30)

Political Rights and Association

No adult person who has or acquires a right to vote at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of a State shall, while the right continues, be prevented by any law of the Commonwealth from voting at elections for either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth. (Sec. 41)

Head of State

A Governor General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty’s representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen’s pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him. (Sec. 2)

Head of State

The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth. (Sec. 61)

Government

The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth. (Sec. 61)

Government

There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure. (Sec. 62)

Government

The Governor-General may appoint officers to administer such departments of State of the Commonwealth as the Governor-General in Council may establish.
Such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General. They shall be members of the Federal Executive Council, and shall be the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth. … (Sec. 64)

Legislature

The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is hereinafter called The Parliament, or The Parliament of the Commonwealth. (Sec. 1)

Legislature

The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate. … (Sec. 7)

Legislature

The qualifications of a senator shall be the same as those of a member of the House of Representatives. (Sec. 16)

Legislature

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators. … (Sec. 24)

Legislature

For the purposes of the last section, if by the law of any State all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State, then, in reckoning the number of the people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of that race resident in that State shall not be counted. (Sec. 25)

Legislature

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives shall be as follows:
(i) he must be of the full age of twenty one years, and must be an elector entitled to vote at the election of members of the House of Representatives, or a person qualified to become such elector, and must have been for three years at the least a resident within the limits of the Commonwealth as existing at the time when he is chosen;
(ii) he must be a subject of the Queen, either natural born or for at least five years naturalized under a law of the United Kingdom, or of a Colony which has become or becomes a State, or of the Commonwealth, or of a State. (Sec. 34)

Status of the Constitution

This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State; and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be in force on all British ships, the Queen’s ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance and whose port of destination are in the Commonwealth. (Covering Clause 5)

Status of International Law

In all matters:
(i) arising under any treaty;

the High Court shall have original jurisdiction. (Sec. 75)

Religious Law

The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth. (Sec. 116)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:

(xix) naturalization and aliens;
… (Sec. 51)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

The Parliament may make laws conferring original jurisdiction on the High Court in any matter:
(i) arising under this Constitution, or involving its interpretation;
… (Sec. 76)

Marriage and Family Life

English

The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:
...
(xxi) marriage;
(xxii) divorce and matrimonial causes; and in relation thereto, parental rights, and the custody and guardianship of infants;

(xxiiiA) the provision of maternity allowances, widows’ pensions, child endowment, unemployment, pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services (but not so as to authorize any form of civil conscription), benefits to students and family allowances;
... (Sec. 51)

Political Rights and Association

English

The qualification of electors of senators shall be in each State that which is prescribed by this Constitution, or by the Parliament, as the qualification for electors of members of the House of Representatives; but in the choosing of senators each elector shall vote only once. (Sec. 8)

Political Rights and Association

English

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives shall be in each State that which is prescribed by the law of the State as the qualification of electors of the more numerous House of Parliament of the State; but in the choosing of members each elector shall vote only once. (Sec. 30)

Political Rights and Association

English

No adult person who has or acquires a right to vote at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of a State shall, while the right continues, be prevented by any law of the Commonwealth from voting at elections for either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth. (Sec. 41)

Head of State

English

A Governor General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty’s representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen’s pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him. (Sec. 2)

Head of State

English

The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth. (Sec. 61)

Government

English

The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth. (Sec. 61)

Government

English

There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure. (Sec. 62)

Government

English

The Governor-General may appoint officers to administer such departments of State of the Commonwealth as the Governor-General in Council may establish.
Such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General. They shall be members of the Federal Executive Council, and shall be the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth. … (Sec. 64)

Legislature

English

The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is hereinafter called The Parliament, or The Parliament of the Commonwealth. (Sec. 1)

Legislature

English

The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate. … (Sec. 7)

Legislature

English

The qualifications of a senator shall be the same as those of a member of the House of Representatives. (Sec. 16)

Legislature

English

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators. … (Sec. 24)

Legislature

English

For the purposes of the last section, if by the law of any State all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State, then, in reckoning the number of the people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of that race resident in that State shall not be counted. (Sec. 25)

Legislature

English

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives shall be as follows:
(i) he must be of the full age of twenty one years, and must be an elector entitled to vote at the election of members of the House of Representatives, or a person qualified to become such elector, and must have been for three years at the least a resident within the limits of the Commonwealth as existing at the time when he is chosen;
(ii) he must be a subject of the Queen, either natural born or for at least five years naturalized under a law of the United Kingdom, or of a Colony which has become or becomes a State, or of the Commonwealth, or of a State. (Sec. 34)

Status of the Constitution

English

This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State; and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be in force on all British ships, the Queen’s ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance and whose port of destination are in the Commonwealth. (Covering Clause 5)

Status of International Law

English

In all matters:
(i) arising under any treaty;

the High Court shall have original jurisdiction. (Sec. 75)

Religious Law

English

The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth. (Sec. 116)