Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books and working papers. Other papers and publications can be found on SSRN and the ANU Researchers database.

The Deliberative Case for Constitutional Referenda

Author(s): Ron Levy

In this article I examine controversies over the use of referenda and plebiscites for constitutional reform. My chief example is a recent development toward plebiscitary democracy in Australia. Although there is no legal requirement in Australia for a popular vote to legalize same-sex marriage, the federal government considered holding such a vote. Marriage rights provide a key example in which the normative case for direct democratic constitutional reform remains unsettled, and indeed controversial. I rely on deliberative democratic theory to conclude that referenda and plebiscites generally should be part of constitutional reform processes. I nuance this conclusion by outlining categories of legal norms raising distinctive considerations as to whether and when public voting should precede constitutional reform.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, DGAL

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, Law, Governance and Development

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