Constitution of South Australia


The principles of the current Constitution of South Australia, also known as the South Australian Constitution, which includes the rules and procedures for the government of the State of South Australia, are set out in the Constitution Act 1934.

The Act provides for certain sections to be altered by the process of a Bill proposing a change passing all readings, approval by a majority of members in both houses of parliament prior to being assented to by the Governor. It also specifies those sections of the South Australian Constitution that must not only pass a majority vote in both Houses but must then be put to the people of South Australia at a referendum.

The first Act to set out the South Australian Constitution was the Constitution Act 1856 (SA), which was the first Constitution in the Australian colonies to provide "manhood" suffrage.

History


1855–1856

The Constitution Act 1856 (headed "1855–6: No. 2" and followed by the long title "An Act to establish a Constitution for South Australia, and to grant a Civil List to Her Majesty") established the constitution of the Parliament of the Province of South Australia. It was the first Constitution in the Australian colonies to provide "manhood" suffrage.[1][2]

This Act provided for a bicameral Parliament with full authority to enact laws, apart from a few Acts requiring Royal Assent. The Legislative Council was elected by property owners only, while the 37-member House of Assembly was elected on a broad male franchise.[3]

The adoption of the "one man, one vote" principle removed the ability of to vote in any electorate in which they owned property. The Act also defined the rules of tenure for the parliamentarians.[3]

1934

The Constitution Act 1934 (long title "An Act to provide for the Constitution of the State; and for other purposes"[4]) repealed a number of older acts, including the 1856 Act and several Constitution Amendment Acts.[5]

Description of current Act


It includes the long title and a statement of recognition of Aboriginal Australians in the Part 1, while other parts lay out the constitution of and procedures for the election of the various levels of government in South Australia, and also deals with the tenure of judges.[6]

The Act provides for certain sections to be altered by the process of a Bill proposing a change passing all readings, approval by a majority of members in both houses of parliament prior to being assented to by the Governor. It also specifies those sections of the South Australian Constitution that must not only pass a majority vote in both Houses but must then be put to the people of South Australia at a referendum.[6]

References


  1. "Constitution Act (No 2 of 19 Vic, 1855-6)". 4 January 1856. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  2. Government of South Australia. "Constitution Act 1934". Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  3. "Constitution Act 1856 (SA)". Museum of Australian Democracy. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  4. Government of South Australia (12 December 2017). "Constitution Act 1934" (PDF). Retrieved 13 November 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. "Constitution Act 1934 - Notes". Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  6. "Constitution Act 1934". Government of South Australia. Retrieved 13 November 2019.