Nationhood, national identity and democracy

On 29 July 2019 the Senate referred the following matters to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day of May 2020:

Nationhood, national identity and democracy, with particular reference to:

  1. the changing notions of nationhood, citizenship and modern notions of the nation state in the twenty first century;
  2. rights and obligations of citizenship, including naturalisation and revocation, and the responsibility of the state to its citizens in both national and international law;
  3. social cohesion and cultural identity in the nation state;
  4. the role that globalisation and economic interdependence and economic development plays in forming or disrupting traditional notions of national identity;
  5. contemporary notions of cultural identity, multiculturalism and regionalism;
  6. the extent to which nation states balance domestic imperatives and sovereignty and international obligations;
  7. comparison between Australian public debate and policy and international trends; and
  8. any other related matters.

Making a submission

The committee has published a discussion paper to guide submitters. The paper is not intended to be prescriptive. Your submission may go beyond the issues raised in the discussion paper if it is relevant to the terms of reference.


The deadline for submissions to the inquiry is ​30 September 2019.

Please be aware that the committee may choose not to accept or not to publish a submission that contains a statement that is deliberately inflammatory, incites hatred or violence, or is likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate.

You should also be aware that if a submission reflects adversely on another party (for example, makes allegations of a serious nature such as incompetence, negligence, corruption or criminal conduct), the committee is generally required to provide that party access to the submission and an opportunity to respond. It is also open to the committee to decline to accept or decline to publish a submission that contains adverse reflections.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3560
Fax: +61 2 6277 5794