Australia could face the same problem as the UK when trying to call its Brexit election if the country moved to fixed four-year parliamentary terms.
The House of Representatives's Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs held a constitutional roundtable on Thursday about the prospect of extending the parliamentary cycle by one year and locking in the election date.
Experts told MPs fixed terms would allow governments to focus on good policy, instead of the election cycle, and give them the space to make unpopular but necessary decisions.
It would also reduce the cost of running elections, which in turn would reduce the need for political parties to solicit campaign donations, as well as the reliance on public funding.
But University of Sydney constitutional law professor Professor Anne Twomey warned if it was not done right, Australia could encounter the same problem as the UK when trying to call an election to resolve the Brexit stalemate.
"In relation to Brexit, there was an argument that the government needed to be able to call an election to resolve deadlock in relation to Brexit and it was unable to do so unless it could convince the opposition to support an election motion or indeed, a vote of no confidence in it," Professor Twomey said.
"What they've been going through recently has been a consequence of that [fixed term] act, being enacted as a reaction to a coalition government where one party was concerned that the other party was going to drop it and go to an election whenever it's convenient to do so. And the fixed term parliament act was really the consequence and a reflection of that. It was not well drafted. It's got all sorts of horrible flaws in it."
One of those flaws is that the UK's act does not stop the prime minister from seeking a prorogation of Parliament in the 14 days after a vote of confidence, Professor Twomey said.
"In comparison, the NSW legislation does expressly prevent or negation in those circumstances. And indeed, I pointed that out to a UK parliamentary committee when they their bill being drafted. Nobody did anything about it,"Professor Twomey said.
Professor Cheryl Saunders from the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at Melbourne Law School also said moving to four-year terms potentially reduced accountability.
"In the Australian constitutional system, fairly regular elections are an important part of the checks and balances in a country that otherwise has relatively few checks and balances, and no bill of rights," Professor Saunders said.
"We're having a national debate on that at the moment as the prosecution of journalists proceeds, a fairly centralised federal system, a party system in which party discipline is very tight, and [this would reduce] the checks that the parliament plays on the executive branch."
However, the problems were not insurmountable.
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UNSW Law Dean Professor George Williams said Australia could also move to fixed three-year terms, which would solve the fewer elections issue.
But Professor Williams said there was a need for a wider constitutional tune-up, given the issues experienced with section 44.
He said it was a problem that no referendum had succeeded since 1977 and reform was needed "more needed than ever" of the "ageing constitution".
"I'd also say that we're now overdue for a holistic review of the constitution that they have occurred every 30 years since federation, 1929 we had a royal commission, 1959 we had a joint Select Committee Parliament, 1988 we had a constitutional commission. So the next report was due in 2018 if you follow that pattern," Professor Williams said.