Forum and Panel Discussions: The Constitutionality of Compulsory Voting

26 November, 2012
12pm - 2pm

                 ERRN image

The Electoral Regulation Research Network (NSW), the Department of Government and International Relations and the Constitutional Reform Unit at the University of Sydney invite you to a forum and panel discussion on


 The Constitutionality of Compulsory Voting: The Implications of Holmdahl for Australian Democracy

 Monday, 26 November 2012, 12.00 – 2.00pm

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 v 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

Click here to download the flyer (PDF)

Date: Monday, 26 November 2012-11-05

Venue: New Law School Annex Seminar Room 340, University of Sydney

Time: 12.00-2.00pm (lunch will be provided from 12pm with the forum beginning at 12.30pm)

Cost: Free


Please RSVP by 21 November 2012 (for catering purposes)

If you would like to join the Electoral Regulation Research Network mailing list, please email

Location: New Law School Annex Seminar Room 340

Contact:Dr Anika Gauja
Phone: 61 2 9351 3733

Associated Keywords