Glossary

Relating to worldly rather than religion; things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual or sacred. For example, a secular society is one governed by people’s laws through parliament rather than by religious laws.

A doctrine that the three arms of government – the executive, the legislature (parliament) and the judiciary – are separate and independent, with powers that act as a check and balance on each other. In Australia, the separation between the executive and the legislature is weak because the executive is drawn from the legislature, but the separation between the judiciary and the other two arms of government is strong and is enforced by courts.

An idea that current generations promote social inclusion, cohesion and accountability so that future generations should be able to have the same or greater access to social resources as the current generations.

In Australia, a statute is a written law, also known as an act of parliament or legislation, which commences as a bill, is passed by the parliament and has received royal assent (by the Governor-General or a governor, or, in very rare cases, directly by the monarch). A statute may commence upon royal assent, or a specified date, or upon a date declared in a proclamation. Also see common law.