Federalism and the Judges: How the Americans Made Us What We Are
Australian Law Journal, Vol. 74, p. 107, 2000
10 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2010
Date Written: April 21, 1999
Federalism as we know it now is an American invention. But those who wrote and adopted the United States Constitution do not deserve full creative credit, for their document had little to say about how its two levels of government should relate to each other. Producing principles of federalism became a job for judges, to whom conflicts between the governments under the new system were referred. Faced with a similar set of conflicts a century on, Australian judges turned to their American counterparts for guidance.
This is an edited version of a public lecture given at Trinity College, University of Melbourne, on April 21, 1999.
Keywords: constitutional law, constitutional theory, constitutional interpretation, comparative constitutionalism, federalism, confederalism, intergovernmental immunity
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