The Constitutionality of Compulsory Voting: The Implications of Holmdahl for Australian Democracy
26 November, 2012
12:00 - 14:00
Compulsory voting is regarded as one of the defining characteristics of Australian democracy, yet it is also one of the most contentious aspects of our electoral system. In September 2012, the South Australian Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of compulsory voting in its decision in Holmdahl Australian Electoral Commission, dismissing the argument that citizens had a constitutional right to choose whether or not to vote.
This forum brings together four distinguished scholars to consider the implications of the Holmdahl decision for contemporary Australian democracy. In addition to providing an analysis of the Court’s reasoning, the meaning of compulsory voting and the possibility of a High Court challenge, panelists will reflect on the intersection between politics, constitutional and electoral law in the determination of the franchise, rights versus duty bound conceptions of political citizenship and the relevance of compulsory voting for Australian society today.
Prof. George Williams AO: UNSW Law, Foundation Director, Gilbert Tobin Centre of Public Law
Prof. Anne Twomey: Sydney Law School, Constitutional Reform Unit
Dr Elisa Arcioni: Sydney Law School, Constitutional Reform Unit
A/Prof Rodney Smith: Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
Location: New Law School Annexe Seminar Room 340, The University of Sydney