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Is Australia’s Constitution too difficult to amend?

The recent vote on a proposed Voice to Parliament for Indigenous Australians was the latest in a long line of failed referenda in our nation’s history. But why is it so onerous to amend our Constitution?

user iconRobyn Tongol 15 November 2023 Podcast
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In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, host Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Professor Emerita Anne Twomey from the University of Sydney, who was a member of the constitutional expert group advising on the proposed Voice, to discuss her long-time passion for constitutional law, why national constitutions require updating from time to time, how compulsory voting in Australia influences the success or otherwise of referenda, and whether we are now at a point where it is proving too hard to change our Constitution.

Professor Twomey also reflects on what may be required to make needed constitutional change possible and what has been considered thus far, the role that lawyers have to play in pushing for change where necessary, the need for better and broader community education and awareness on civics, and why it can be a problem for a nation’s founding document to appear, at times, immovable.


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