The Prime Minister as Puppet: Taking Howard to the High Court

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Often, for those of us who teach law, it is our students who plant the seed for an idea, a paper, an article or even a lawsuit. The idea for this article came from a question asked by a first year constitutional law student shortly after the Prime Minister, John Howard, announced that Australia would join in the US-led war on Iraq. She had read through the Constitution and had come across s 44(i). She asked why it was that John Howard was not disqualified from continuing to sit as a Member of Parliament due to his acknowledgment of allegiance to a foreign power. No one asked which foreign power she meant. Most of our students, and indeed many Australians, perceived Howard as a puppet whose strings were being pulled by a powerful US government. His apparent subservience to the stated wishes of the President of the US and his support of an aggressive US foreign policy were, and still are, strongly criticised. Still, even if his behaviour amounted to an acknowledgment of allegiance to the US, what could be done about it?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-243
JournalAlternative Law Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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