It’s Australia Day… so, a timeline of thoughts. When did Australia achieve independance?
- 1901: declared ourselves a country, own constitution, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Australia
- 1910: Australia got it’s own pound http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_pound (it was locked to the Pound Sterling by Australian policy till 1929, and replaced by the decimal dollar in 1966)
- 1927: dominions have equal status to the UK (ie, created the commonwealth) (1926 Imperial Conference, Balfour Declaration 1926 and Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_v_Hill
- 1942: Australian laws could contradict UK laws (previously, any contradiction meant the AU law was invalid) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Westminster_Adoption_Act_1942
- 1949: the concept of “citizen of Australia” came about (but still said “british subject”) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_nationality_law
- 1953: legally recognising the “Australian flag” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Australia
- 1984 (April): Australia gets its own National Anthem.
- 1984 (November): Australian citizens no longer also “british subject”) (see Australian_nationality_law again)
- 1986: removed ability of UK to alter Australian constitution, or overrule Australian courts – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Act_1986
Soon afterwards, however, in Shaw (2003), the whole Court (including Kirby) took a more comprehensive view: that the Australia Act in its two versions, together with the State request and consent legislation, amounted to establishing Australian independence at the date when the Australia Act (Cth) came into operation, 3 March 1986.
The three main steps to independence were 1901 – formation and recognition of a country. 1942 – Ability to contradict UK laws. And 1986 – UK unable to override Australian courts.