Australia & America

AUS Executive Branch

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Definition:
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The executive branch refers to the administrative branch of the constitution as outlined in chapter 2 of the Commonwealth constitution and is responsible for the development and implementation of statutes.

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Relevant Constitutional Sections:
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Section 61: Executive power 

  • "The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen's representative"


Section 62: Federal Executive Council 

  • "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."


Section 63: Act on Advice

  • “The provisions of this Constitution referring to the Governor-General in Council shall be construed as referring to the Governor-General acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council.” 

  • Simply put, the Governor General shall act on the advice of the Federal Executive Council – but it is not necessary.


Section 64: Appoint Ministers 

  • "The Governor-General may appoint officers to administer such departments of State of the Commonwealth."


Section 68: Commander in Chief

  • "The command in chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth is vested in the Governor-General as the Queen's representative."

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Composure and Composition:
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The executive branch consists theoretically of the Governor General, however, in practice it consists of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and subordinate authorities, established under the Westminster Conventions.


The Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers are constitutionally appointed under section 64 of the Commonwealth Constitution.

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Checks to The Branch:
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Judicial review is a check to the power of the executive as bills passed by the executive can be declared unconstitutional.


Question Time - members from the media & opposition party question the govt on its decision, holding them accountable


Can a pass a motion of no confidence which means that the govt must resign as they cannot do their role.


All international treaties are to be ratified by the Senate; hence the government does not have sole discretion.


Both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate may/can enforce Standing Orders (rules of the respective houses which govern the conduct and procedure), holding Government ministers & the PM to account.

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