Governor-General's Prize Questions 2022/23

This year’s questions focus on citizenship.

  1. Who are the ‘people’ referred to in sections 7 and 24 of the Constitution and how might this affect whether non-citizens who are long-term residents in Australia, such as New Zealanders or non-citizen non-aliens, can be included or excluded from voting in federal elections and referendums?
  2. Do Australian citizens have a constitutional right to enter and live in Australia, and if so, what, if any, limitations can be placed on this right by the Commonwealth Parliament
  3. How important is the doctrine of stare decisis to the rule of law?  Should a controversial case (eg Roe v Wade in the United States or Love v Commonwealth in Australia) be overturned after a change in the composition of an apex court if a majority of the judges believe it to be wrongly decided, or should judges continue to uphold precedents against their better judgment (eg the Second Territory Senators Case)?  How should an apex court balance the need for legal stability against the need for the law to adjust to the changing standards of the times and the evolution of legal and constitutional principles?
  4. Prime Minister Albanese has committed to holding a referendum on Indigenous Constitutional Recognition in the first term of his government. What kind of information should the Australian people have to make an informed decision on voting Yes or No?

The essay must not exceed 2,500 words. All sources must be cited, however footnotes and bibliography are not included in the word count.

For more information please contact Phuong Van at