The High Court's Agenda: More Interesting than it First Appears
34 Pages Posted: 4 May 2010
Date Written: April 16, 2010
At first glance, the High Court of Australia’s agenda looks relatively dull. It reports few cases, and only a small proportion of these cases are what American legal observers might consider interesting. Under the surface, however, hides an active docket of cases that drive policy innovation and reflect social change. By examining the many layers of the High Court’s docket in terms of its institutional context, this paper shows that the High Court’s agenda is far more interesting than it first appears. The Court is much busier than its reported decisions indicate and, because of the nature of the Australian Constitution and the High Court’s institutional design, the foundationally important cases are tucked in amongst cases dealing with government regulation, non-constitutional criminal cases and even torts.
Keywords: High Court of Australia, agenda, workload
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