Agreements Among States And With Foreign States
Although Australia has a federal system that gives states a degree of independence, states are not fully autonomous from the federal government. There are many federal laws that limit what states can do, such as the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975. For example, an intergovernmental authority called the National Capital Region Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Tunnel Authority was created under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Compact Tunnel, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, to take over the ownership and operation of the bridge by the federal government.  The pact provides that the agency is governed by a thirteen-member body, four of which are appointed by each state and one member is appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. For voting purposes, seven members of this Board of Directors form a quorum, with the exception of eight votes for the issuance of bonds by the Agency and the approval of the Authority`s annual budget; For matters exclusively within the jurisdiction of one of the parties, two of its designated members must vote in favour of approval; and “single source” purchases of more than $100,000 in real estate, services or construction must be submitted for prior approval by the majority of board members.  This doctrine prohibits federal laws and state measures that destroy or limit the sustainability of states or their ability to function as governments. Since territories are not states, doctrine does not protect them. But there are significant limitations in that federal and federal laws can intervene in the federal states. Perhaps most relevant is that, in a 2013 case, the High Court also ruled that federal laws that affect the ability of states to put in place favourable mining royalty systems to attract local and foreign investment do not violate the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity. Based on the exact details of the proposed Foreign Relations Act, the federal government appears to have put itself on secure constitutional ground. For example, the High Court has ruled that federal laws that want to dictate the bank that states keep in their money or that control those that may be appointed to leadership positions in federal governments are invalid for violating that doctrine.
October 16, 2021
October 15, 2021