Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

The Constitution
Season 1  |  Episode 3  |  ABC ME  |  October 26, 2017
Classification: General Classification: General
This video has closed captioning

Lizzie O'Shea introduces the constitution and its separation of powers: parliament, executive and judiciary. She explains that in 1975 the biggest crisis in our constitution took place when the Governor General dismissed the Prime Minister, and his elected government.

Professor Cheryl Saunders explains that, under the constitution, it is unclear if the Governor-General had the power to dismiss the government. She talks about the constitution as an historical, and at times vague, document. She outlines some of the problems including no mention of citizenship; no pre-amble; and the races power no longer reflects contemporary opinion.

Professor Larissa Behrendt reveals that the discussion around recognition and the races power is one argument, but there is a different argument about sovereignty and treaty. She points out that many Aboriginal people would like to have their sovereignty recognised, to be seen as independent nations, rather than just citizens within the one nation.

Lizzie O'Shea wraps up by reminding us about the key concerns of the constitution, and that the high court is there to resolve problems that arise when the constitution is vague.

Find curriculum links at http://legalbriefs.com.au

Lizzie O'Shea introduces the constitution and its separation of powers: parliament, executive and judiciary. She explains that in 1975 the biggest crisis in our constitution took place when the Governor General dismissed the Prime Minister, and his elected government.

Professor Cheryl Saunders explains that, under the constitution, it is unclear if the Governor-General had the power to dismiss the government. She talks about the constitution as an historical, and at times vague, document. She outlines some of the problems including no mention of citizenship; no pre-amble; and the races power no longer reflects contemporary opinion.

Professor Larissa Behrendt reveals that the discussion around recognition and the races power is one argument, but there is a different argument about sovereignty and treaty. She points out that many Aboriginal people would like to have their sovereignty recognised, to be seen as independent nations, rather than just citizens within the one nation.

Lizzie O'Shea wraps up by reminding us about the key concerns of the constitution, and that the high court is there to resolve problems that arise when the constitution is vague.

Find curriculum links at http://legalbriefs.com.au

For more than three decades Cambodia has been ruled by one man, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who came to power in the country's first democratic elections after the horror years of the Khmer Rouge. Australia played a key role in the peace deal that ended the bloody civil war, but the once bright hopes for democracy have long since faded. Ahead of this weekend's elections, the Hun Sen regime launched a ruthless crackdown on the political opposition and free press. On Monday, in her first story for Four Corners, reporter Sophie McNeill travels to Cambodia to confront the man whose political opponents have been imprisoned and assassinated in mysterious circumstances. While steadily cementing their grip on power, Hun Sen and his family and cronies are accused of amassing enormous wealth through a corrupt and nepotistic system. Four Corners has uncovered evidence of how the regime's wealth has been used to buy properties and businesses in Australia, where some of Hun Sen's relatives have established a base for building support, sometimes through threats and intimidation. Since 2014, Australia has granted the regime $40 million in additional aid, in return for taking some of Australia's unwanted refugees, and the Turnbull Government upgraded ties with Cambodia last year. While the US has begun moves to sanction the regime by freezing assets and blocking visas, international observers accuse the Australian Government of cosying up to Hun Sen. While hopes for democracy have disintegrated, China has moved to dramatically expand its presence and power in the country. As Hun Sen prepares to tighten his grip on power after this weekend's elections, Cambodia's democracy campaigners say they feel abandoned.

Four Corners: Champagne with Dictators

News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship

Years 11-12 News and current affairs, Civics and citizenship
45:19
For more than three decades Cambodia has been ruled by one man, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who came to power in the country's first democratic elections after the horror years of the Khmer Rouge. Australia played a key role in the peace deal that ended the bloody civil war, but the once bright hopes for democracy have long since faded. Ahead of this weekend's elections, the Hun Sen regime launched a ruthless crackdown on the political opposition and free press. On Monday, in her first story for Four Corners, reporter Sophie McNeill travels to Cambodia to confront the man whose political opponents have been imprisoned and assassinated in mysterious circumstances. While steadily cementing their grip on power, Hun Sen and his family and cronies are accused of amassing enormous wealth through a corrupt and nepotistic system. Four Corners has uncovered evidence of how the regime's wealth has been used to buy properties and businesses in Australia, where some of Hun Sen's relatives have established a base for building support, sometimes through threats and intimidation. Since 2014, Australia has granted the regime $40 million in additional aid, in return for taking some of Australia's unwanted refugees, and the Turnbull Government upgraded ties with Cambodia last year. While the US has begun moves to sanction the regime by freezing assets and blocking visas, international observers accuse the Australian Government of cosying up to Hun Sen. While hopes for democracy have disintegrated, China has moved to dramatically expand its presence and power in the country. As Hun Sen prepares to tighten his grip on power after this weekend's elections, Cambodia's democracy campaigners say they feel abandoned.
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