This afternoon the Kevin Rudd will visit the Governor-General and request a dissolution and an election on 7 September. A proclamation will then have to be issued dissolving the House of Representatives. The writ initiating the 150 House elections and the Senate elections for the ACT and Northern Territory have to be prepared and then signed by the Governor General. The State Governors will then have to be located and instruction given to them through the formal channels to issue writs for the half-Senate elections.
The writs will presumably be issued tomorrow (Monday 5 September), which will mean the minimum campaign period of 33 days (just under 5 weeks). The day the writ is issued becomes day zero and the writ is deemed to apply from 6pm on the day of issue.
In a good series of posts on his blog, Antony Green has outlined the technicalities surrounding this process:
Three years ago I maintained a dedicated blog on the federal election, Election Blackout. While I won't be able to do a similar thing for this election, I am hoping to blog about the election now and again on Freedom to Differ. Of course, I am sure I will also be tweeting about the election @peterjblack. When I do blog about the election, I am planning to focus on any electoral law issues that arise throughout the campaign.
A few weeks ago I had a piece on Dandy asking the question, "Are we closer to marriage equality with Kevin Rudd?":
For the first time in our history, Australia now has a Prime Minister who supports marriage equality. While we should rightly celebrate this, we should also not think for a moment that Australia is any closer to marriage equality today than we were two weeks ago when Julia Gillard was still Prime Minister. Indeed, while some in the Labor Party are starting to see marriage equality as a vote-winning issue in the lead up to the federal election, there remains much to be sceptical of when it comes to seeing any of this result in positive legislative or policy change, as opposed to exploiting this issue for political opportunism and grandstanding.
At Kevin Rudd’s first press conference since being reinstated as Prime Minister, he reminded us all that he was the first Australian head of government to support marriage equality. While it is possibly unfair to observe that he onlyrelatively recently had the epiphany that allowed his views on same-sex marriage to “evolve” (a hopelessly patronising turn of phrase that seems to have become accepted in political circles around the world as the appropriate way to excuse prior bigotry and homophobia), it also seems somewhat convenient that he had this change of heart after he voted against same-sex marriage and while he was politicking behind the scenes to once again become Prime Minister.
However, assuming – and hoping – that Kevin Rudd’s decision to belatedly support marriage equality was genuine and heartfelt, we now need to ensure that his policy positions matches his public rhetoric. After all, having a Prime Minister that personally supports marriage equality will not, in and of itself, do anything to secure equality and advance LGBTIQ rights in this country.
Unfortunately, Kevin Rudd’s policy positions on marriage equality so far have been underwhelming, if not flawed and possibly counter-productive. He has indicated that in his opinion whoever wins at the next election, both major parties should “have the civility to open this to a conscience vote for all.” While a conscience vote is better than nothing at all, that is a still inchoate position, when he should be pushing for a change in the Labor Party platform so that all Labor Members of Parliament are required to vote for marriage equality.
Read the rest of my piece here.
Every semester, I always like to share this story from the New York Times in 1900 about the constitutional law exam at the Harvard Law School that caused a student to die from "overstudy":
And if you're curious, this is the exam:
Before my LWB242 Constitutional Law students start panic, rest assured one of my exams has never resulted in a student dying from "overstudy" ... yet.
Hat tip: Josh Blackman's Blog.
The QS World University Rankings 2013 for Law have been released. The QS World University Rankings is one of the few international rankings that also provide subject rankings, including for law. While these rankings are always somewhat arbitrary and imprecise, they are nonetheless interesting. As such, I have compiled a list of the best universities in Australia study law, according to the QS World University Rankings. Sixteen Australian law schools made the list of the top 200 law schools worldwide (only 12 schools made the list last year):
1 . The University of Melbourne (5)
2. The University of Sydney (10)
3. The University of New South Wales (12)
4. Monash University (13)
5. Australian National University (14)
6. Griffith University (43)
7. The University of Queensland (48)
8= Queensland University of Technology (51-100)
8= The University of Adelaide (51-100)
8= The University of Western Australia (51-100)
11= Deakin University (101-150)
11= Macquarie University (101-150)
11= University of South Australia (101-150)
11= University of Technology, Sydney (101-150)
15= LaTrobe University (151-200)
15= RMIT University (151-200)
The most-read link I tweeted this weekend was:
These are some of the other things I've been tweeting about this weekend:
Follow me on Twitter @peterjblack.
And you can get my latest links anytime on my Rebelmouse social media front page.