- The Oxford Handbook of the Australian Constitution
- Table of Cases
- Table of Legislation
- List of Abbreviations
- List of Contributors
- First Peoples
- Rule of Law
- Common Law
- Unwritten Rules
- International Law
- Comparative Constitutional Law
- State Constitutions
- Australia in the International Order
- Authority of the High Court of Australia
- Judicial Reasoning
- Standards of Review in Constitutional Review of Legislation
- Techniques of Adjudication
- Separation of Legislative and Executive Power
- The Judicature
- The Separation of Judicial Power
- The Constitutionalization of Administrative Law
- Co-Operative Federalism
- The Passage Towards Economic Union in Australia’s Federation
- The Federal Principle
- Federal Jurisdiction
- Rights Protection in Australia
- Due Process
- Political Participation
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explains how constitutionalism developed and how it currently operates in Australia. It first explains the historical developments whereby Australia combined elements of the British and American models of constitutionalism, which employ legal and political constitutionalism in very different ways. The chapter then describes three main stages in the development of Australian constitutionalism. The first was the establishment in the nineteenth century of colonial Constitutions, which employed a predominantly political form of constitutionalism and, upon federation in 1900, became the Constitutions of the six Australian States. The second was the establishment of the Commonwealth Constitution in 1900, which necessarily blended elements of political and legal constitutionalism. The third consists of more recent innovations by the High Court that have expanded the role of legal constitutionalism. Each development has built on its predecessor, resulting in a distinctive combination of political and legal constitutionalism.
Keywords: constitutionalism, British constitutionalism, American constitutionalism, legal and political constitutionalism, Australian constitutionalism, colonial constitutions, State Constitutions, Commonwealth Constitution, legal constitutionalism
Jeffrey Goldsworthy is Professor at the Faculty of Law, Monash University.
Lisa Burton Crawford is a senior lecturer at UNSW Law School.
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