2013 Distinguished Speakers Program - Professor Harold H. Bruff

3 May 2013

On 15th April 2013, Harold Bruff, Rosenbaum Professor of Law at the University of Colorado School of Law delivered the Distinguished Speakers Lecture on "The President and Congress: Separation of Powers in the United States of America."

Although the framers of Australia's Constitution adopted many features of the United States Constitution, they rejected the separation of legislative and executive power in favour of responsible government in a parliamentary system like that of Great Britain.

This lecture reviewed the main consequences for the United States of its choice to separate these two branches.

Many current controversies in America reveal the effects of separation, including the appointment of executive and judicial officers, the funding of the federal government, and the conduct of foreign relations and war.

In light of the developments in Australia following the decision in Pape v Federal Commissioner of Taxation which no longer limits the ambit of the "executive power of the Commonwealth" in s 61 of the Constitution to the common law powers of the Crown and which appears to recognize a "nationhood" executive power, the American lessons with respect to executive power, and the constitutional regulation of the relationship between President and Congress, have become particularly germane.

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Download the Introduction

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