Parliament of the Commonwealth

Jim Gray made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney-General's Department

The request was refused by Attorney-General's Department.

From: Jim Gray

Delivered

Dear Attorney-General's Department,

The Governor General has recommended that I seek advice from you regarding the change of the title of the Australian Parliament from the "Parliament of the Commonwealth" to the "Parliament of Australia". Please provide me with a copy of the relevant government legislation authorizing this change to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia Act 1901 and a copy of the referendum data that authorized this change. It is my understanding that the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia Act 1901 cannot be amended without a majority vote by Australian electors.

Yours faithfully,

James Gray
66 Glady Street
Innisfail, Qld. 4860

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Sue Mercorella left an annotation ()

My name is Sue Mercorella. As an Australian citizen I would also like these questions answered.

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I think your request is based on incorrect belief. It sounds as if you believe that the Constitution given the parliament an official name and that it is "The Parliament of the Commonwealth". It also sounds as if you think maybe Australian people have had a fast one pulled on them by a parliament that has sneaked in an illegal name change. (Perhaps I am wrong but that is how the request sounds to me).

But Chapter I, Part I, section 1 of the Constitution says, "The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is hereinafter called The Parliament, or The Parliament of the Commonwealth".

The word of relevance to your question is "hereinafter". The section does not define the name of the parliament; it merely says that (hereinafter) for the purposes of talking about the parliament in the constitition document itself, the parliament will be referred to either by the words "The Parliament" or "The Parliament of the Commonwealth". There is nothing in the section that gives the created parliament a name, and nothing to prevent the Parliament so created from calling itself by a name of its own choosing. So the name "Parliament of Australia" is certainly not something that would need to be authorised by referendum and likely does not even need legislation.

If you want to say "Parliament of the Commonwealth", you can. You will be right. So will someone who says "Australian Parliament", "Parliament of Australia", or just "parliament".

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Jim Gray left an annotation ()

The Parliament is to be "called" The Parliament or The Parliament of the Commonwealth. These titles are in capital. Nothing in the Constitution can be altered without a referendum.

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

It is interesting to compare Chapter I, Part I, section 1 of the Constitution with some other Imperial Act, for example the Oxford University Act of 1854 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict.... Section 5 of the Oxford University Act uses the words "shall be called the ..." rather than the words "hereinafter referred to as ...". Did the UK parliamentary draftsmen use the two phrases to mean the same thing, or to have different meanings?

One can with forsight predict how this request continues. We know that there is no "relevant government legislation authorizing this change to the Constitution" and we know that there was no referendum, and so there are no "referendum data that authorized this change". It is possible to check Comlaw (http://www.comlaw.gov.au) for the non-existent legislation and possible to check the Australian Electoral Commission (http://www.aec.gov.au/elections/referend... for the non-existent referendum and results.

Prediction: The department must refuse the request for access on the grounds of section 24A ("Requests may be refused if documents cannot be found, do not exist or have not been received"). A request for internal review must speedily get the same answer. A request for review by the Information Commissioner will see the the Information Commissioner decline to undertake an IC review on the grounds of section 54W(a)(i).

Vi vente!

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Jim Gray left an annotation ()

"Did the UK parliamentary draftsmen use the two phrases to mean the same thing, or to have different meanings?" I cannot speculate on that matter. The wording in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia 1901 is very clear.
"We know that there is no "relevant government legislation authorizing this change to the Constitution" and we know that there was no referendum, and so there are no "referendum data that authorized this change"." If that is the case, we have no legitimate Government in Australia and all legislation enacted by the "Parliament of Australia" is invalid. If the Attorney General confirms your comment my only course of action is to continue to write to the Governor General and Her Majesty the Queen, our Sovereign, to act in order to reinstate the Parliament of the Commonwealth. If the Governor General and Her Majesty fail to act, all citizens of Australia will be able to contest any law and legal action brought against them by the Federal or State Governments and all departments subject to those institutions. We are currently a country without legitimate Government.

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Ben Garrett left an annotation ()

I would like to also point out a discrepancy in AN ACT to Constitute the Commonwealth of Australia and the revised version with amendments prepared on 25 July 2003.

The first states the following in Chapter 1 The Parliament Part 1.-General A.

“The Parliament,” or “The Parliament of the Commonwealth.”

Yet the compilation prepared on the 25 July 2003 shows it as follows in bold*,

The Parliament, or The Parliament of the Commonwealth.

*Whether the removal of (“) has any legal consequences, I do not know, although what I do know is that,

{Note: The compilation contains all amendments to the Constitution made by the Constitution Alterations specified in Note 1 Additions to the text are shown in bold type omitted text is shown as ruled through.

And as you are well aware any changes to the Constitution must be first put to the people to vote, although I cannot find the relevant referendum that allowed for this alteration?

Just a thought

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Jim Gray left an annotation ()

Ben thank you for your annotation. The government we have at the moment, the Parliament of Australia,is a counterfeit. This organization has attempted to take the power of the "People" of the Federation of States out of the People's hands. I think they are going to regret this crime. We know and we care.

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Sue Mercorella left an annotation ()

There are very many of us who know and who care. The amount of people who are aware and who care are growing as each day goes by. This wrong needs to be made right, and soon.

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Derek left an annotation ()

Ben Garrett pointed out a difference between versions of the constitution with terms either being in bold or in quotation marks. The punctuation where the terms are in quotation marks seems wrong to me:

“The Parliament,” or “The Parliament of the Commonwealth.”

Surely the comma and full stop should be outside the quotation marks? I would like to quote this section of the constitution in an official document but want to ensure I am quoting it as written in the constitution. Can anybody confirm what the actual wording is?

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

The Constitution of Australia makes the body of section 9 of the Imperial Act 1900 c. 12 (Regnal. 63 and 64 Vict). It is available at the UK Legislation website at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict.... Of greater interest, a person can see the appearance (punctuation, arrangement and all) of the original Imperial Act by looking at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1900...

On page 3 of the copy a person can see, '... and which is herein-after called "The Parliament," or "The Parliament of the Commonwealth." ' The comma and point that you have mentioned each fall inside an enclosure of the double quotation symbol. But if you think that the position of the comma and the point is of significance or if you have the mind that the double quotation symbols have significance, then you are a modernist! It is the old tradition of the English legislature and courts that the punctuation was not important to how to understand the Acts. For an Australian authority, please look at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/H... and read the part wherein the word "punctuation" is written by Isaacs J. The old tradition has changed but I think you have an idea about what was important when the Imperial Act was passed.

I made a search of Trove (http://trove.nla.gov.au) for
"statutory interpretation" AND united kingdom
You might have the possibility of getting a similar book through your library.

Jeg ønsker dig held og lykke.

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I had a conversation with email with user Derek. There became a question about whether the version with bold print is correct, or the version with enclosure marks of quotation is correct. Is the section changed from before? So I have copied here my reply. I hope that it can be useful ...

Hallo Derek,

One must recognize that the section did not change. The punctuation has not changed. There has been no amendment to the section since it was enacted by the United Kingdom parliament. The single change has been in the style that the printing has been made.

I think that this idea might appear strange or wrong. Many people believe that there is only one "true" form of an enactment. It is not so. To take a trivial extreme, it is permitted for a printer to change the width of the page, the line length, the place in a sentence where a line breaks to the next line and further . Less trivial is for the printer to alter larger things as the way that the text is presented on the page. Parliamentary counsel may choose to reprint an act under a new style, maybe changing all words with double quotation enclosure to words in boldface font without quotation enclosure. Yes, it is true.

If a new Parliamentary counsel is employed today, she might reprint an Act today (but maybe only this one Act) with the bold/quotation change. And then when she loses her job the next counsel might reprint in a different style.

I cannot seek a definite online authority for my statement on Commonwealth of Australia laws but a person can see a very similar idea in section 114 of Legislation Act 2001 (ACT) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/c...

I am inable to connect to Comlaw but I think you can look at the Constitution (as you link in your email) but also look at "View Series" and it will show you reprinting of the Consitution (not actual change by referendum). Then, I think, you can see the stylistic changes.

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Brett Wilson left an annotation ()

Removing the word "Commonwealth" is removing we the people from the Constitutional equation. To remove this important word, is amending a definition and would require many alterations and amendments to the Commonwealth Constitution which can only be done in accordance with SECT 128 of the Constitution.

Removing "Commonwealth" from the naming conventions of various government departments is an act of mischief, it is allegedly "ultra vires" done beyond the power of the Parliament - the two major political parties, an abuse of process and the powers of parliament and the general law of our Constitution.

What they have done is created a private Australia, an illegal action, dome outside of teh founding and primary law, Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 as proclaimed and Gazzetted.

How as this done?

By changing the name from:
Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia to the "Parliament of Australia."

This title change when carried out in a lawful fashion, can only be done by the authority of both the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland.

"Parliament of Australia" holds no common law authority, it is a statutory abstract entity created by unlawfully ignoring SECT 128 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 as proclaimed and Gazzetted.

Every man and woman involved in this deceit has participated in a blatant act of sabotage and treason against our Constitution which to this date, has not been properly challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction that conforms with Chapter III of the Constitution. But soon it will be challenged.

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Brett Wilson left an annotation ()

I could not edit my annotation so here it is again without mistake. Removing the word "Commonwealth" is removing we the people from the Constitutional equation. To remove this important word, is amending a definition and would require many alterations and amendments to the Commonwealth Constitution which can only be done in accordance with SECT 128 of the Constitution.

Removing "Commonwealth" from the naming conventions of various government departments is an act of mischief, it is allegedly "ultra vires" done beyond the power of the Parliament - the two major political parties, an abuse of process and the powers of parliament and the general law of our Constitution.

What they have done is created a private Australia, an illegal action, done outside of the founding and primary law, Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 as proclaimed and Gazzetted.

How was this done?

By changing the name from:
Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia to the "Parliament of Australia."

This title change when carried out in a lawful fashion, can only be done by the authority of both the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and we the people as per SECT 128.

"Parliament of Australia" holds no common law authority, it is a statutory abstract entity created by unlawfully ignoring SECT 128 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901 as proclaimed and Gazzetted.

Every man and woman involved in this deceit has participated in a blatant act of sabotage and treason against our Constitution which to this date, has not been properly challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction that conforms with Chapter III of the Constitution. But soon it will be challenged.
You also need to look at the Australia Acts and the name change "Queen of Australia" a fictitious non constitutionally binding entity from which is where this corrupted Parliament and its two major criminal gangs think they get their power.
The fake Queen holds no land under the Crown, it can not as its a fiction and not a living Queen. It holds no collateral and gives no authority, it is a Statutory patron created by the two major political parties in particular Labor in 1973. You can connect this action possibly with the UK joining the EU community the year before in 1972, where the UK lost its sovereignty to the EU.
The UK joined the EU without consulting their self governing colony of Australia where the UK parliament, our Imperial Parliament, acted irresponsibly by not informing us of the possible Constitutional consequences for Australian subjects, should the UK join the EU community.

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Paul Parker left an annotation ()

Since the commencement of the Commonwealth of Australia, to make any change to our Australian Constitution requires approval using process of Section 128 of the COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT.

Is my view James Gray and Brett Wilson are correct.

Parliament can legislate changing character, word, phrase, spelling, comma, full-stops, semicolons, etc, as they like, with one exception.

Parliament can NOT change any character, word, phrase, spelling, comma, full-stops, semicolons, etc, set out in our COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT.

To change these requires section 128 process.

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT, Section 128 requires a Referendum to change character, word, phrase, spelling, comma, full-stops, semicolons, or the "common meanings" of "Parliament", "House of Representatives", "Representatives" or "Senate", to anything else.

Legislation uses characters, names, phrases, in law to clearly define meanings, which may differ considerably from meanings from various characters, names, phrases as used in common discussion.

Any dispute about meaning as relates to our Constitution is a matter for our "High Court" of our "Commonwealth of Australia", for it is their duty to interpret, to determine meanings, of our "COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT".

Only exception is our "High Court" using COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT, Section 74, "shall certify that the question is one which ought to be determined by Her Majesty in Council."

Our "COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT" is our basic set of rules to enable, disable, to enact, or reject, how our Parliament's legislation is or is not "lawful" in accordance with our Constitution.

Am agreeing with Locutus Sum's comment:

"It also sounds as if you think maybe Australian people have had a fast one pulled on them by a parliament that has sneaked in an illegal name change."

This based on experience with lawyers, politicians and others, so frequently attempting to change meanings to suit them, disadvantage others.

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