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Title: The Use and Abuse of the Commonwealth Finance Power
Contributor(s): Pape, BR (author)
Publication Date: 2005
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Abstract: Upholding the Constitution is a fundamental tenet of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. By its use of the appropriation and grants powers the federal Parliament has expanded its authority in its quest to gain absolute power over the States. As Lord Acton wrote in his famous letter:"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: ... There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it". 4 This paper examines some recent and pending Acts which seek to rely upon the appropriations power (s. 81 of the Constitution) for their validity. In doing so, it raises the vexed, but independent questions of standing and justiciability. The role of the Auditor-General, as a supposed watchdog, to warn both the Parliament and the people of abuses of financial power, is also considered. Finally, whether a successful challenge could be mounted to overrule the law on the use of the grants power is canvassed.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: Seventeenth Conference of The Samuel Griffith Society, Coolangatta, 8-10 April, 2005
Conference Details: Seventeenth Conference of The Samuel Griffith Society, Coolangatta, 8-10 April, 2005
Source of Publication: Upholding the Australian Constitution, Volume 17, p. 259-290
Publisher: The Samuel Griffith Society
Place of Publication: Lane Cove
ISSN: 1327-1539
Field of Research (FOR): 180199 Law not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: E4 Editorship of Scholarly Conference Proceedings
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