News

State constitution a weak link in MPs wearing the mayoral chains



24 June 2011

Associate Professor Anne Twomey explores whether a mayor can also be a member of State Parliament.

In an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald, Associate Professor Twomey writes:

"...a person holding an 'office of profit under the Crown' shall not be capable of sitting and voting as a MP.

"There were two reasons for the enactment of this provision in 1855.

"First, it was intended to ensure the independence of members of Parliament by preventing them from being bribed by lucrative offices that were in the gift of the government.

"Second, it was intended to avoid conflicts of interest where people hold two offices.

"It is supported by the common law doctrine of 'incompatibility of office', which provides that where an office-holder accepts a second office that potentially gives rise to conflicts of interest, the first-held office is vacated and only the later office continues to be held."

View the entire article - State constitution a weak link in MPs wearing the mayoral chains - Sydney Morning Herald

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