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Type: Journal article
Title: A tale of two clerks: When are appropriations appropriate in the Senate?
Author: Appleby, G.
Williams, J.
Citation: Public Law Review, 2009; 20(3):194-213
Publisher: LBC Information Services
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1034-3024
Statement of
Gabrielle J Appleby and John M Williams
Abstract: At the end of September 2008, a conflict arose between the Senate and the House of Representatives, fuelled by the opposing opinions of their respective clerks. The disagreement centred on the constitutionality of the introduction of a Bill in the Senate by a private member that increased expenditure under a standing appropriation. The debate unfolded in the Houses of Parliament, the newspapers and over the airwaves. This article discusses the background to the standoff before considering the historical context of the constitutional restrictions governing the parliamentary process for appropriations. The evolution of appropriations in the Australian federation informs this debate, and the nature of "standing appropriations" in the current budgetary system is investigated. Finally, the article assesses the divergent opinions held by the two Houses in the 2008 controversy before advancing the preferred constitutional view of the situation. Ultimately, it is believed the actions of the Senate were misguided and arguably unconstitutional.
RMID: 0020093471
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Appears in Collections:Law publications

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