find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Call by states for constitution convention

Call by states for constitution convention

FOLLOWING THEIR defeat in the High Court on WorkChoices, the states, led by South Australia Premier Mike Rann, have called for a constitutional convention in 2008 to discuss their role in the…

FOLLOWING THEIR defeat in the High Court on WorkChoices, the states, led by South Australia Premier Mike Rann, have called for a constitutional convention in 2008 to discuss their role in the federation.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock told ABC News Radio last week that conventions have been held in the past, and he had “not seen from them, over a long period of time, very much movement and agreement”.

“But if [the states have] got specific proposals of the sorts of things that they think ought to be examined, we could have a look at it,” Ruddock said.

Senior counsel Mordy Bromberg believes the convention is a good idea. “This High Court decision has taken by surprise the mainstream view of the federal/state balance,” he said.

Bromberg said that it would have been far better had the resulting balance been arrived at through “some wider discourse than what we’ve had”. For “into the future … unless there is realignment, it’s highly likely that the states will largely just be administrative arms for the implementation of Commonwealth policies.”

Andrew Lynch, senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales faculty of law, said that “it is quite urgently time for the two levels of government to have a discussion about what is in their interests to share, and what also should be left to one level or the other”.

“The difficulty is that the Commonwealth has got the upper hand, and regardless of who’s in power at the Commonwealth level, the idea of sitting down at the table and talking about returning or transferring particular powers to the states probably doesn’t hold as much appeal as it does for the states,” he said.

But according to Lynch, “there are things that the Commonwealth doesn’t have, that it might well want from the states, in which it could do a deal on”.

“For example, even the Industrial Relations case — sure it confirms the current national scheme, but not every worker is covered by that scheme. It’s still about 15 per cent of the population that isn’t covered.”

Yet Douglas Graham, former solicitor-general for Victoria, does not think a convention is a realistic option.

“The call for a convention is a political reaction in order to state a position,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s realistic, and I don’t think it’s necessary, and I don’t think it would ever happen.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Call by states for constitution convention
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jackie Rhodes
Dec 12 2017
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
Dec 12 2017
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
Dec 11 2017
Warm welcome for new district court judges
Three practitioners who were appointed as district court judges in WA have been congratulated by ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...