Imagining an affirmational republic

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This article explores the idea of an affirmational republic which, both structurally and symbolically, affirms rather than rejects Australia’s British history and heritage while equally celebrating the nation’s Indigenous inheritance and multicultural achievements. The first part explores the history of republican advocacy to unpack the common, predominantly symbolic, justifications for republican reform. It then elucidates dual separate but connected purposes – one small and practical and one big and symbolic – to show that each purpose may entail a different solution. The second part discerns lessons from the failed 1999 referendum, to help guide what an affirmational republic could entail. The proposed approach is developed further in part three. Addressing the practical purpose, I suggest the title ‘Governor-General’ could be retained (instead of ‘President’) and provide arguments against direct election. Addressing the symbolic purpose, I suggest an inspiring national Declaration could be better achieved extra-constitutionally, as the Referendum Council recommended in 2017.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUniversity of New South Wales Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

The open access version of this article is a pre-publication, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in the University of New South Wales Law Journal following peer review. This article is subject to editorial revision.

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