Glossary (Version 8.4)

A principle or practice of referring measures proposed or passed by a legislative body to a vote of electorate for approval or rejection. In Australia, a referendum is a vote of the Australian electors on a proposed change to the Constitution by the Commonwealth Parliament that must be approved by a majority of the aggregate of all voters from each state and territory, and also by a majority of voters in a majority (four) of the six states.

A system of government in which electors choose representatives to a parliament to make laws on their behalf.

Entitlements and obligations that are associated with living in Australia. Rights and responsibilities are a cornerstone of modern democracies. While all people in Australia enjoy certain rights (for example, freedom of speech), there are also responsibilities (for example, paying taxes, jury service). Citizens also have the right to vote and the responsibility of voting at elections.

A requirement to behave in a particular way; a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct or procedure within a particular area of activity, for example, school rules, rules of cricket. Rules are usually developed and set by people who have the power and authority to create and enforce them.

A legal principle that decisions by government are made according to established principles and that all citizens are subject to the law and equal before the law. Embedded within the rule of law is the idea that people accept and follow, but also change as needed, laws as agreed by a political process and upheld by independent courts.