Constitutional models for an Australian republic


A move to create an Australian head of state is a symbolic, constitutional, governance and organisational change that raises many questions. How should an Australian head of state be chosen?


Project background and aims

The project aims to explore constitutional and organisational models for an eventual Australian republic with an Australian de jure head of state. A major lesson of the 1999 referendum is that for the current constitutional arrangements to be modified there will need to be some consensus on a model.  Yet at present the movement is deadlocked between a direct election model and a parliamentary appointment model with substantively different implications.  There is therefore a great challenge to create a model that satisfies both the desire for popular electoral input and the desire to retain an essentially ceremonial and politically neutral non-executive head of state.  The research seeks to develop ideas for the development of a judicious consensus model capable of achieving the support of the Australian people at a referendum.


The analyses will take place within a constitutional law framework though combining historical, governance and organisational analysis and insights.


  • Michael Duffy, Steve Perryman and Anthony CIanflone, ‘Parliamentary Appointment or Popular Election? Breaking the Impasse on Models for an Australian “Westminster Republic” (2018) 29(2) Public Law Review 147.