Law and Politics

30th Annual Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture - The Secret History of the Dismissal of the Whitlam Government: The Palace Connection

The dismissal of the Whitlam government by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr in 1975 remains one of the most contentious episodes in Australian politics. The history of the dismissal is no less contentious and has never been settled. In the decades since, long-held secrets have unraveled and dramatic archival revelations have transformed our knowledge and understanding of the dismissal.

Challenges of political party regulation in the EU: Corruption, hate crime and corporate liability

The political processes of most European countries today are dominated by one or more political parties. Political parties typically control two out of three branches of government: the legislative and the executive branch, leaving only the judiciary independent from their influence. Thus, political parties have become the centres of state power. Regardless of the type of government in which they operate, political parties have the formal duty to conform their activities with the law, while their material duty is to act for the citizen’s welfare.

Against epistocracy: Reconsidering the demographic objection

Why should we prefer democracy to an epistocracy of competent persons? In his response to this question, David Estlund appeals to the ‘demographic objection’. He argues that ‘The educated portion of the populace may disproportionately have epistemically damaging features that countervail the admitted epistemic benefits of education’. The force of the argument lies in its attempt to undermine the epistocratic argument on its own terms. Epistocracy privileges the epistemic quality of decisions in the design of political institutions.

Issues arising from police activity during election time

In a number of recent cases, police forces have taken well-publicised actions which became part of the narrative of election campaigns in Australia.  At the State election of 2015, Queensland police arrested a political activist who wore a T-shirt bearing the slogan “I’m with Stupid” to a campaign event of the then ruling party, but offered no evidence when the case went to court.

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Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team