Patron:
The Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE
former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia
Conference Committee:
Suri Ratnapala, Professor of Public Law, UQ
Thomas John, Chair, European Focus Group, LCA
Nicholas Aroney, Reader in Law, UQ
Hendryk Flaegel, International Law Section, LCA


Federation

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A federation (Latin: foedus, foederis, 'covenant'), also known as a federal state, is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central (federal) government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, are typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of the latter.[1] The governmental or constitutional structure found in a federation is known as federalism. It can be considered the opposite of another system, the unitary state. Germany with sixteen Lander is an example of a federation, whereas neighb ring Austria and its Bundeslander was a unitary state with administrative divisions that became federated, and neighboring France by contrast has always been unitary. Federations may be multi-ethnic and cover a large area of territory (e.g. India), although neither is necessarily the case. The initial agreements create a stability that encourages other common interests, brings the disparate territories closer, and gives them all even more common ground. At some time this is recognized and a movement is organized to merge more closely. Other times, especially when common cultural factors are at play such as ethnicity and language, some of these steps in this pattern are expedited and compressed.

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