Australia: Voice will create co-government and cause policy chaos

Australia: Voice will create co-government and cause policy chaos. By Janet Albrechtsen.

The Prime Minister plainly misunderstands the legal impact of his proposed wording … Anthony Albanese misled parliament — and the people — when he said parliament would retain primacy over how the voice operated and what it considered. …

[Professor George William] said: “That’s the point of putting things in the Constitution, it puts them beyond the parliament.”

Voice ­advocates professors Megan Davis and Gabrielle Appleby told the PM the “question of when the voice will speak and to whom” was not for parliament but for the voice ­itself. Parliament, they said, “can’t shut the voice up”.

Gabrielle Appleby at UNSW is a player

What’s really going on:

The true purpose of the amendment is to transfer power from parliament and government to the courts, allowing the voice to hogtie (to borrow Greg Craven’s colourful but accurate word) parliament and the executive government.

The power of the voice to delay executive action by use of its rights to be heard and to litigate will mean every executive body of government must negotiate with the voice on everything it plans to do, in advance, if it is caught in the wide net of any “matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”. This creates co-sovereignty between our organs of government on the one hand, and the voice on the other.

This is not my assertion. This is the explicit aim of the Uluru Statement. Read the work of legal academics who have master­minded this theory of split sovereignty. An academic paper earlier this year by Professor Appleby and her colleagues Ron Levy and Helen Whalan laid out the blueprint for all to see.

Whose country?

The academics describe the belief of non-Indigenous people that “the Australian state’s sovereignty is ultimate and exclusive” as a mere “assumption”. They claim that Australia suffers from a crisis of “constitutional legitimacy”.

This would likely surprise the vast majority of Australians. …

The Uluru Statement explicitly rejects the sole sovereignty of the Australian Crown. …

The law will be on the side of the Voice and the activists:

The aim here is clearly not parliamentary primacy, Prime Minister, but rather shared power.

Including the power to make representations to “executive government” in the proposed constitutional amendment is critical to this co-sovereignty. Those few words brings with them an enormous body of public administrative law governing the way courts will be able to interpret the voice’s powers, offering the voice power to delay government decisions. This body of law will be used by the High Court, cannot be ousted by parliament and will give the voice rights of procedural fairness.

These rights include, but are by no means limited to, the right to be given advance notice of matters within the voice’s remit; the right to be given sufficient time and resources to consider the matter; and proper consideration of any representation it makes.

The voice will, if properly advised, demand all these rights on the first day it is constituted.

To say the Voice is a coup-d’etat is an exaggeration, but nor is it altogether untrue.

hat-tip Stephen Neil