Parliament and the High Court

What is the role of each House of Parliament?

o Describe the role of the Governor General
dissolves the Parliament and issues writs for new elections; commissions the Prime Minister and appoints other Ministers after elections; gives assent to laws when they have been passed by the two Houses of Parliament - the Senate and the House of Representatives; acts on the advice of Ministers through the Executive Council to issue Regulations and proclamations under existing laws; appoint Federal judges; ambassadors and high commissioners to overseas countries and other senior government officials; issue Royal Commissions of enquiry; exercise the prerogative of mercy; and authorises many other executive decisions by Ministers such as raising government loans or approving treaties with foreign governments.

o What is Hansard?
Hansard is the name given to transcripts of parliamentary proceedings.

o How does a Referenedum work?
o What is the structure of Parliament?
o Describe the Parliamentary system
o What is Executive government?
o Describe the role of the High Court
o How is each House elected?
o Why is the House of Representatives green?
o Why is question time so noisy?
o What is a quorum?
o How is the ministry elected?
o What is a cabinet?
o What is caucus?the meeting of the parliamentary members of a political party
the members of Parliament belonging to a particular political party, used particularly in relation to the Australian Labor Party

o What roles do the speaker and the president fulfill?
o What is parliamentary privilege?
o What are petitions?
o How is a law made?

Role of high court

The High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. It was established in 1901 by Section 71 of the Constitution. The functions of the High Court are to interpret and apply the law of Australia; to decide cases of special federal significance including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws and to hear appeals, by special leave, from Federal, State and Territory courts.

The seat of the High Court is in Canberra, where it is located in its own building within the Parliamentary Triangle. The High Court building houses three courtrooms, Justices' chambers, and the Court's main registry, library, and corporate services facilities. In addition, there are offices of the High Court Registry in Sydney and Melbourne, staffed by officers of the High Court. In Brisbane and Perth registry functions are performed on behalf of the High Court by officers of the Federal Court of Australia, and in Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin they are performed by officers of the Supreme Court of the respective State or Territory.

The Structure of Parliament
The Parliament of Victoria is a bicameral, or two-chamber, legislature. The Legislative Assembly, or Lower House, is the seat of Government. The Legislative Council, or Upper House, is a house of review . Accordingly, Members of Parliament either are Legislative Councillors, of whom there are 44, or Members of the 88-strong Legislative Assembly.

Within each of the chambers, Members are identified by their political affiliations and, within those groupings, by seniority and responsibilities.

The party that enjoys the support of a majority of the Legislative Assembly forms Government. The largest party or grouping opposed to the Government forms the official Opposition. Other parties, factions or Independents may choose either to align with the Government or Opposition, or maintain an ideological distance from both. This similarly applies in the Legislative Council. Electoral outcomes therefore determine the internal use and seating arrangements of the chambers.

In the Lower House, the conduct of the Chamber is controlled by the Speaker. The Speaker is generally, though not necessarily, selected from the ranks of the Government by the Government. In the Upper House, a President is similarly chosen. Both Presiding Officers are responsible for maintaining order in their respective chambers, and for representing the Parliament on official and ceremonial occasions.

From within the ranks of the Government a ministry is formed. It is led by the Premier, aided by a Deputy Premier. Ministers can be drawn from either House.

In both chambers, Government members sit to the right of the Presiding Officer. Opposition members sit to the left. Third party and other Members sit to the rear of the Chamber either on the right or left of the Presiding Officer depending on their political leaning.