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9 Jun

The People of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution 1900

Justice M D Kirby stated in a 1997 oration:“Monarchical government tends to be strong and centralised – formerly in the person of the sovereign but now in whoever the Parliament elects to govern.”

In Kirmani v Captain Cook Cruises P/L, Justice Lionel Murphy said:“The authority for the Australian Constitution then and now is its acceptance by the Australian people.”

Law schools well into the 60’s and later, taught that the historical origins of the Australian Constitution, and they alone, gave that document its legal authority.

Chief Justice Mason in the Aust Capital Television case observed:“The Australia Act 1986 (UK) marked the end of the legal sovereignty of the Imperial Parliament and recognised that ultimate sovereignty resided in the Aust people.”

Justice McHugh in McGinty v WA said:“The political and legal sovereignty of Aust now resides in the people of Australia.”

Justice Toohey in the Public Law Review 1993 stated:“Where the people of Australia, in adopting a Constitution, conferred power upon a Commonwealth Parliament, it is to be presumed that they did not intend that those grants of power extend to invasion of fundamental common law liberties.”

Justice Cooke in Fraser v State Service Commission said:“This is perhaps a reminder that it is arguable that some common law rights may go so deep that even Parliament cannot be accepted by the Court to have destroyed them.”

People, Person, Persons, Citizen, Individual
In the Commonwealth of Australia Act (UK) 1900, the word People is found 25 times; Person 24; Persons 6; Individual 0 times; Citizen in s44 only.

What do these words legally mean?
To determine that in Australian law we first go to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 , which is the “dictionary of meaning” for all words used in Australian legislation.
If the word is not found in there, then we take the meaning from a legal dictionary, in this case Blacks Law Dictionary #1 1891

People – (from Blacks): a state, as in the people of the state of the Commonwealth

Person – (from AIA 1901): includes a body corporate, office, commission, authority, committee, tribunal, board, institute, organization or other body however described.
(from Blacks): Persons are divided by law into natural and artificial. Natural persons are such as the God of nature formed us; artificial are such as are created and devised by human laws, for the purposes of society and government, which are called “corporations” or “body politics.”

Persons – (from AIA 1901): expressions used to denote persons generally (such as ” person “, “party”, “someone”, “anyone”, “no‑one”, “one”, “another” and “whoever”), include a body politic or corporate as well as an individual;

Citizen – (In English law from Blacks): An inhabitant of a city. The representative of a city, in parliament. When it is designed to designate an inhabitant of the country, or one amenable to the laws of the nation, “subject” is there employed.

Individual – (from AIA 1901): means a natural person.
(from Blacks): ‘natural’ is that which cannot be separated.

Individualism regards man—every man—as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights—and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.