The Head of State Debate: A Response to Sir David Smith and Professor David Flint


  • Glenn Patmore

    1. The University of Melbourne
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    • I wish to thank, for their assistance, Tom Andrews, Patrick Coleridge and Candice Parr who read material to me and provided research assistance. Special thanks must also be given to the Law Research Service. A special debt is owed to Sarah Shrubb who read the paper and offered comments. Finally, I am grateful for the comments of the anonymous referees and the editors. The errors are my own.


In the 1990s political leaders debated a constitutional amendment that would make Australia a republic. That debate continues to the present day. Republicans believe that becoming a republic means having an Australian as head of state instead of the Queen. Constitutional Monarchists see no need for Australia to become a republic since Australia, they argue, is already an independent nation-state. They contend that the head of state, the Governor-General, is an Australian citizen and has been since 1965, and that the Queen of Australia is the Sovereign. The purpose of this article is to provide a republican response to recent arguments of two leading Constitutional Monarchist, Sir David Smith and Professor David Flint.