How is the Power of Government Controlled?

The Australian Constitution divides the power of government between the legislative (Parliament), executive (for example the Prime Minister and the Cabinet) and judicial powers (judges), to stop one person, or one group, from holding all the power.

Legislative power

Legislative power is the power to make laws. Parliament has the power to make and change the laws in Australia. Parliament is made up of representatives who are elected by the people of Australia.

Executive power

Executive power is the power to put the laws into practice. The Executive includes the Prime Minister, Australian government ministers and the Governor-General. Ministers are responsible for government departments.

Judicial power

Judges have the power to interpret and apply the law. Courts and judges are independent of parliament and government.

These powers are written into the Australian Constitution.

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Part 1 - Australia and its people

» Australia's states and territories
» Important days for Australians
» Australia's flags and symbols

Part 2 - Australia's democratic beliefs, rights and liberties

» Our democratic beliefs
» Our freedoms
» Our equalities
» Responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship
» Participating in Australian society

Part 3 - Government and the law in Australia

» How do I have my say?
» How did we establish our system of government?
» How is the power of government controlled?
» Who is Australia's Head of State?
» Who are some of Australia's leaders?
» How is Australia Governed?
» What do the three levels of government do?
» What role do political parties play in the way Australia is governed?
» How is the Australian Government formed?
» How are laws made?
» How are laws enforced?
» Criminal offences in Australia

Part 4 - Australian values

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