John Uhr

John Uhr

Professor, Policy and Governance Program
Crawford School of Public Policy
Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Australia 0200

Room 3.50, J.G. Crawford Building
Telephone: (02) 6125 3668
Fax: (02) 6125 3051

John Uhr grew up in Brisbane, Australia. He completed his BA (Hons) at the University of Queensland and his MA and PhD from the University of Toronto, Canada. He has extensive work experience in the Australian Parliament: as Parliamentary Fellow in the Parliamentary Library 1980-1982; as research officer with the Public Accounts Committee in 1983; and from 1984-1989 as secretary to various Senate committees, such as the Senate Regulations and Ordinances Committee, the Senate Scrutiny of Bills Committee and a number of Senate estimates committees; and as director of the Senate’s research and education section.

Since 1990, he has been teaching at the Australian National University, Canberra: including periods as director of the former Federalism Research Centre. He has published Deliberative Democracy in Australia: the changing place of Parliament (Cambridge University Press 1998) and Terms of Trust: arguments over ethics in Australian government (University of New South Wales Press 2005). He has been a Senate Fellow and was a member of the inaugural committee to advise the President of the Senate on the Baker Prize for research promoting understanding of the Australian Senate. Member, Editorial Board, Australasian Parliamentary Review, journal of the Australasian Study of Parliament Group (ASPG), 2004 continuing.

Recent publications

Entries on ‘Hansard’, ‘Independents’, ‘Parker, R S’, ‘Parliament’, ‘parliamentary committees’, ‘parliamentary privilege’, ‘parliamentary secretary’, ‘C H Spence’, in B Galligan and W Roberts eds, Oxford Companion to Australian Politics. Oxford University Press 2007.

‘The Australian welfare state: has federalism made a difference?’, Australian Journal of Politics and History. 53/1, March 2007, 96-117 (co-author: Francis G Castles)

‘Appropriations and the Legislative Process’, 17 Public Law Review 2006, 173-177.

‘The Performance of Australian Legislatures in Protecting Rights’, in T Campbell, J Goldsworthy, and A Stone eds, Protecting Rights without a Bill of Rights. Ashgate 2006, 41-59.

‘Australia: Integrity Assessment’, in M Camerer ed Global Integrity Assessment, Center for Public Integrity, Washington , DC. See

‘How democratic is parliament? A case study in auditing the performance of parliaments’. Discussion paper of June 2005 on website of ANU Democratic Audit of Australia.

‘Ministerial Responsibility: 2005’, invited speaker, annual conference of Australian Conference of Constitutional Law, University of New South Wales, 18 February 2005: available at:

Recent book chapters

‘Bicameralism’, chapter 25 in R Rhodes, S Binder and B Rockman eds Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions. Oxford University Press 2006.

‘The Performance of Australian Legislatures in Protecting Rights’, in J Goldsworthy, T Campbell and A Stone eds, Protecting Rights in Australia. Ashgate 2005

‘Constitutions and Rights’, chapter in B G Peters and J Pierre eds, Handbook on Public Policy. Sage 2006.

‘Political ethics for politicians?’, in Denis Saint-Martin and Fred Thompson eds, Public Ethics and Governance. Research in public policy analysis and management volume 14. Oxford, Elsevier JAI 2006, 207-225.

‘Rethinking legislative powers’ chapter in H Charlesworth, M Chiam, D Hovell and G Williams eds, The Fluid State: international law and national legal systems. The Federation Press 2005, 18-33.

‘Auditory Democracy: Separation of Powers and the Location of Listening’, chapter prepared for B Fontana, C Nederman and G Remer eds, Talking Democracy: Historical Perspectives on Rhetoric and Democracy. (Penn State University Press, 2004), 239-270.

‘Measuring Parliaments Against the Spence Standard’, in Graeme Orr, Bryan Mercurio and George Williams, eds Realising Democracy: Electoral Law in Australia (Sydney: The Federation Press 2003), 66-79

‘Reforming the Parliament’, in John Williams and Clem MacIntyre eds Peace, Order and Good Government: State Constitutional and Parliamentary Reform. Adelaide: Wakefield Press 2003, 228-40.

‘Rewriting the Referendum Rules’, in John Warhurst and Malcolm Mackerras eds Constitutional Politics: The Republic Referendum. University of Queensland Press 2002, 177-199.

‘What’s so responsible about responsible government?’, in D Burchell and A Leigh eds, The Prince’s New Clothes: why do Australians dislike their politicians?. University of New South Wales Press, 2002, 155-166.

‘Rules for Representation: Parliament and the Design of the Australian Electoral System’, chapter in Geoffrey Lindell and Robert Bennett eds Parliament: The Vision in Hindsight. The Federation Press, 2001, 249-290.

‘Moderating Ministerial Ethics: Putting Political Ethics in its Place’, chapter prepared for J Fleming and I Holland eds Motivating Ministers to Morality. Ashgate Press, 2001, 187-200.

‘Accountability and Governance’, ch 8 in Are You Being Served? The State, Citizens, and Governance, eds G Davis and P Weller. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2001, 152-174 (jointly written with Richard Mulgan).

‘The Future Roles of Parliament’, ch 1 in Institutions on the Edge? Capacity for Governance. Eds M Keating and P Weller. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 2000 (jointly written with John Wanna), 10-44.

‘Public Service Ethics in Australia’, chapter 34 in Handbook of Administrative Ethics. Edited by Terry Cooper. Second edition. New York: Dekker, 2000, 719-740.

Recent journal articles

The Australian and New Zealand Parliaments: context, response and capacity’, Australian Journal of Political Science, 41/2, June 2006, 257-272 (jointly written with E McLeay).

‘Professional Ethics for Politicians?’, International Public Management Journal, 8/2, 2005, 247-261.

‘Integrity Symposium: How do we know what works?’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 64/2, June 2005,69-76.

‘Terra Infirma? Parliament’s uncertain role in the war on terror’, UNSW Law Journal, special issue, 27/2, 2004, 1-15.

‘Parliament and the Executive’, Adelaide Law Review, University of Adelaide, 25/1, 2004, 51-65.

‘The Power of One’, in One Hundred Years of Women’s Suffrage in Australia: Papers on Parliament, no 41, Canberra: The Senate, June 2004, 47-63.

‘Explicating the Australian Senate’, Journal of Legislative Studies, 8/3, Autumn 2002, 3-26

‘Parliament and Public Deliberation: Evaluating the Performance of Parliament’. University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol 24, no 3, November 2001, 708-723.

‘Marketing Parliamentary Committees’, Canberra Bulletin of Public Administration, no98, December 2000, 38-41; republished in Australasian Parliamentary Review 16.2, Spring 2001, 101-9.

‘Making Sense of the Referendum’, Papers on Parliament, May 2000, 1-20.

‘The Australian Senate in its Second Century’, Representation (UK), vol37, no2, 2000, 139-145.

‘Testing Deliberative Democracy: the 1999 Australian republic referendum’, Government and Opposition (UK), 35/2, Spring 2000, 189-210.

‘After The Referendum: The Future of Constitutional Change’, Public Law Review, volume 11, no 1, March 2000, 7-10.

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