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The Republic Advisory Committee was a committee established by the then Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating in April 1993 to examine the constitutional and legal issues that would arise were Australia to become a republic. The committee's mandate was to "prepare an options paper describing 'the minimum constitutional changes necessary to achieve a viable Federal Republic of Australia, maintaining the effect of our current conventions and principles of government'."[1] The committee was asked to consider issues such as

  • a name for a new elected head of state;
  • the method of selection for the head of state;
  • what powers he or she should possess;
  • the constitutional amendments and legal changes required to replace the Queen of Australia and Her Representative, the Governor-General of Australia by an elected head of state.


Republic Advisory Committee membershipEdit

Name Notes
Malcolm Turnbull Chairman (and leading Australian republican campaigner and future Prime Minister)
Nick Greiner Former New South Wales Premier
Dr. John Hirst La Trobe University, Convenor of Australian Republican Movement
Mary Kostakidis media presenter, SBS TV; member, Constitutional Centenary Foundation
Lois O'Donoghue CBE, AM Chair, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission
Susan Ryan Former Labor Party senator & Education Minister
Professor George Winterton Professor of Law, University of New South Wales
Dr. Glyn Davis School of Politics and Public Policy, Griffith University
Namoi Dougall solicitor

The Republic Advisory Committee submitted two Volumes (Volume I - The Options and Volume II - the Appendices) to the Australian prime minister in late 1993. Part of Volume II was concerned with the international experience in moving from monarchical to republican headships of state. Six international reports were commissioned from local experts; four of the countries were former Commonwealth monarchies, while two had experienced their own regime change when their own monarchies (the Hohenzollerns in Germany, the Habsburgs in Austria) were replaced by republics.

Reports commissioned by the Republic Advisory CommitteeEdit

Country Report by Qualifications
Austria Professor Bernhard Raschauer Professor, Institute for Public and Administrative Law, University of Vienna
Germany Professor Klaus Von Beyme Professor of Political Science, University of Heidelberg
India A.G. Noorani Formerly at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, now working as a freelance journalist
Ireland Jim Duffy Author of major study on the Presidency of Ireland and political commentator/analyst
Mauritius Madun Gujadhur barrister at the English, Indian & Mauritian bars and chairman of the Mauritian Law Reform Commission
Trinidad and Tobago Sir Ellis Clarke former Governor-General of Trinidad and Tobago, who went on to serve as its first president

The recommendations made by the committee were never voted on by the Australian people. A Constitutional Convention was held in 1998, resulting in a slightly different proposal which was rejected by the Australian electorate in the 1999 referendum.

Additional informationEdit

Copies of the Reports were published under the following ISBNs

Volume One - The Options ISBN 0-644-32590-9
Volume Two - The Appendices ISBN 0-644-32589-5

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Turnbull, Malcolm (1999). Fighting for the Republic. South Yarra: Hardie Grant Books. p. 9.

External linksEdit