What is the Constitution?

A constitution is a binding set of rules for governing a country or a state.  It establishes the structure and powers of the three arms of government: the parliament, executive government and the judiciary.  

The Northern Territory Self Government Act is similar to a constitution as it sets up the system of NT Government BUT it is not the same because the Self Government Act can be changed at any time by the Australian Parliament, and not by the people or parliament of the Northern Territory.

A new constitution for the Northern Territory must contain provisions for:

  • An elected parliament
  • A Governor and an Executive Government
  • The Courts and the Judiciary
  • Financial provisions making sure the government is accountable for spending of money.

A new constitution will also include rules on how it can be changed.