Introduction: Australia as a Federal Commonwealth
THE CONSTITUTION OF A FEDERAL COMMONWEALTH: THE MAKING AND MEANING OF THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION, Cambridge University Press, 2009
10 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2009
This book offers an exposition of the idea, proclaimed in the Preamble to the Australian Constitution, that Australia is a federal commonwealth. Original sources are analyzed, neglected writers are brought to light, and conceptual frameworks are evaluated. The book takes careful account of the influence which the American, Canadian and Swiss Constitutions had upon the framers of the Australian Constitution, and shows how the framers wrestled with the problem of integrating federal ideas with inherited British traditions and their own experiences of parliamentary government. In so doing, the book explains how the Constitution came into being in the context of the groundswell of federal ideas then sweeping the English-speaking world. In advancing an original argument about the relationship between the formation of the Constitution, the representative institutions, configurations of power and amending formulas contained therein, the book sheds fresh light on the terms and structure of the Australian Constitution and marshals these insights to address a range of problems associated with the interpretation and practical operation of the Constitution.
Keywords: Australia, federalism, constitutionalism, comparative constitutional law, constitutional history, judicial interpretation, originalism, structuralism
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