Heresy in the High Court? Federalism as a Constraint on Commonwealth Power

Federal Law Review Vol.41, Issue 1, 2013

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2013-55

23 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2013

See all articles by David Hume

David Hume

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law; Six Selborne / Wentworth Chambers

Andrew Lynch

University of New South Wales

George Williams

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 18, 2013

Abstract

Williams v Commonwealth of Australia is a landmark decision of the High Court on the scope of federal executive power in s 61 of the Constitution. The decision is also important for the interpretive methodology adopted by the Court. Notably, each judge based their understanding of s 61 upon federal readings of the Constitution. This methodology raises fresh questions about how the Constitution is to be interpreted, and whether Williams marks a break from orthodox understandings of that task. This article assesses the significance of Williams for constitutional interpretation in Australia, and whether it lays the foundation for a more robust protection of state interests by the High Court.

Suggested Citation

Hume, David and Lynch, Andrew and Williams, George, Heresy in the High Court? Federalism as a Constraint on Commonwealth Power (August 18, 2013). Federal Law Review Vol.41, Issue 1, 2013; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2013-55. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2311890

David Hume

Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.gtcentre.unsw.edu.au

Six Selborne / Wentworth Chambers ( email )

Sydney
Australia

Andrew Lynch

University of New South Wales ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney NSW 2052
Australia

George Williams (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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