Copernican paradigm (Australia)

Copernican paradigm (Australia)

Copernican paradigm is an analysis of Australian constitutional structures in order to develop models establishing Australia as a republic with a directly elected head of state. It is named for Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.



Although a constitutional monarchy, in practice, Australia has most of the essential features of a federal republic. The modern objectives of Australian republicanism are usually viewed in terms of replacing monarchist institutions, in particular the Governor-General, with republican institutions.


The paradigm focuses on the Queen of Australia being the central institution of the Australian constitutional system. It is from this central authority, that the executive authority of the Governor-General and each state governor is legally derived.

Model development

Proponents of this analysis argue that their perspective on Australian constitutional structures allows republicans to develop constitutional models that are simpler and with substantively less disruption to parliamentary government. Such models would focus on replacing the Queen alone, retaining the Governor-General and state governors.

In replacing the Queen, a model based on the Copernican paradigm can accommodate a directly elected head of state without codification of the reserve powers, which currently may be exercised by the Governor-General and state governors.

Professor George Winterton, noting this as advantageous, added the paradigm retains the nationally unifying element of a joint state-federal Head of State. [1]


In the report of the 2004 Senate Inquiry republican models based on the Copernican paradigm were criticised as understating the amount of constitutional change required to establish a republic. Senators queried the potential for duplication and confusion over the ceremonial roles of the Australian head of state and the Governor-General.

Professor Winterton criticised the concept as "tricephalous" (three-headed) and potentially unstable. He argued a "locally-resident directly-elected public officer" was not readily comparable to a "hereditary absentee monarch" and a future Head of State would interfere with the exercise of the Governor-General's powers to some degree. [2]

See also


  • Becrux Wiki Description of a Copernican Paradigm and related republican models.
  • The road to a republic, Chapter 7, Report by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee's Inquiry into an Australian republic, August 2004.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Copernican — means of or pertaining to the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus For the Copernican system of astronomy, see heliocentrism For the philosophical principle, see Copernican principle For the lunar geological period, see Copernician Copernican… …   Wikipedia

  • Copernican federalism — is an analogy for federalism. It is named for Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Analogy Various authors and theorists have evoked Copernican heliocentrism to describe tiers of government. Here an analogy is made between the hierarchical …   Wikipedia

  • cosmos — /koz meuhs, mohs/, n., pl. cosmos, cosmoses for 2, 4. 1. the world or universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious system. 2. a complete, orderly, harmonious system. 3. order; harmony. 4. any composite plant of the genus Cosmos, of tropical… …   Universalium

  • Paul Feyerabend — Full name Paul Feyerabend Born January 13, 1924(1924 01 13) Vienna, Austria Died February 11, 1994 …   Wikipedia

  • epistemology — epistemological /i pis teuh meuh loj i keuhl/, adj. epistemologically, adv. epistemologist, n. /i pis teuh mol euh jee/, n. a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge. [1855 60; < Gk… …   Universalium

  • John Dewey — For the structural geologist, see John Frederick Dewey. John Dewey Dewey in 1902 Full name John Dewey Born October 20, 1859(1859 10 20) …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”