Informit article: Power unconstrained

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Abstract:

In recent years the federal government has made an art form of undermining the autonomy of independent statutory offices established to hold it to account. One by one, statutory offices have been subject to forceful governmental and media assaults. These assaults have not related to the performance by statutory office holders of their statutorily mandated duties. There has been no suggestion of negligence or lack of competence. Instead the government’s behaviour has been motivated, seemingly, by nothing more than a desire by ministers to avoid being held accountable for their actions. The implications of this for the proper and effective conduct of government are severe. The exercise of political power has become ever more arbitrary and unconstrained. Three recent examples serve to demonstrate this deeply undesirable development.

Details / PDF:

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