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Executive and Judiciary

Executive Government

The Executive branch of Australian government is made up of the Cabinet and Ministry and is led by the Prime Minister.

The Members of the Executive are all members of either the Senate or the House, however the Constitution establishes them as separate institutions so that passing and amending legislations are actions of the parliament, not of the government.

The most senior Ministers make up a committee of the executive called Cabinet. The role of the Cabinet is to decide the policy for Government and how that policy will be put into practice, including making laws.

The Executive Government carries out the day-to-day administration of Australia, proposes laws to the parliament and executes the laws passed by the parliament. The Executive must have its budgetary measures approved by the parliament. In order to implement many of its policies it needs parliament to pass its legislation.

The Executive includes the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) who are the team that supports the Prime Minister, Cabinet, Portfolio Ministers and Assistant Ministers.

PM&C plays three key roles to help ensure the Australian Government functions at its best.

  • Coordinate government-wide policy and ensure its implementation.
  • Work with the Australian Public Service Commission to create a productive and efficient public sector.
  • Consult across government, private enterprise, the not-for-profit sector and the community.

For more information about Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet click here.

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Judiciary

The Judiciary is responsible for

  • Upholding the laws
  • Federal Courts
  • Commonwealth High Court (the highest court in Australia)

The judiciary is independent from the other arms of government. The separation of powers ensures that judicial officers act independently without interference from the parliament or the executive.

  • Independent judges are appointed to a system of courts (e.g. the highest course in NSW is the Supreme Court) and interpret the laws of Australia.
  • Judges are appointed by Executive Government but can only be removed by a Parliamentary process.
  • The judiciary ensures that the law is applied fairly to all citizens.