Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Australia’s federal framework is fundamental and pervasive. This chapter explains the federal logic of the Australian Constitution, discusses the evolution of the federal system in light of the constitutional framework, and critically evaluates attempts to reform the system. It is argued that, while the Constitution was designed to allow a degree of flexibility in the operation of the federal system, the constitutional, legislative, and administrative changes that have been introduced, frequently supported by the High Court’s centralizing interpretations, have sometimes contributed to problems in the practical functioning of the system rather than ameliorating them. The result has been a path dependency that makes it difficult to institute reforms that would improve the operation and effectiveness of Australian federalism.

Keywords: federalism, Constitution, division of powers, senate, fiscal powers, Commonwealth, states, High Court, reform

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.