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The external affairs power in Australia and in Germany: Different solutions, similar outcome?

Bröhmer, J. (2012) The external affairs power in Australia and in Germany: Different solutions, similar outcome? Giornale di Storia Costituzionale (Journal of Constitutional History), 24 . pp. 49-64.

Abstract

Australia and Germany are both constitutionally organized federal states. The Commonwealth Constitution and the German Basic Law approach the distribution of power between the centre and the constituent entities in external affairs matters from opposite directions. In the end, in both cases an institutional modus vivendi has been found in trying to balance the interests of the federation with those of the constituent entities by improving information and communication between the two levels and by involving and listening to the constituent entities. However, the position of the German Länder in external affairs is considerably stronger than that of their Australian counterparts. Whereas Article 23 of the Basic Law indicates the potentially strong position of the Länder in external affairs, it is also an indication of the degree to which European Union matters have evolved into a sui generis relationship and which can no longer be regarded as merely a subset of traditional external affairs even if they cannot be regarded as domestic affairs either.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Publisher: Casalini Libri
Copyright: Casalini Libri
Publishers Website: http://www.storiacostituzionale.it/
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/13466
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