Papers on Parliament, Vol. 61, pp. 73-80, 2014
8 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2014 Last revised: 6 Oct 2014
Date Written: January 27, 2014
Andrew Inglis Clark, the 19th century Tasmanian politician, jurist, and ardent Americanist, is often (these days) described as the primary ‘architect’ or ‘author’ of Australia’s Constitution. Equally frequently, he is credited with valiantly, albeit unsuccessfully, proposing a Bill of Rights for the Constitution. This paper challenges these claims. It poses three questions: Was Clark the primary author of the Constitution?; If not, was he one of the Constitution’s ‘architects’? If neither, was he nevertheless a ‘Founding Father’? It concludes that Clark was none of these, but that he deserves recognition for a different contribution: namely, his successful insistence, before the Constitution was written, that Australia should follow the U.S. form of federalism, and finally, for his vision of Australian judicial independence.
Keywords: Clark, A.I, Australian Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federation
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Irving, Helen, The Over-Rated Mr. Clark: Putting Andrew Inglis Clark's Contribution to the Constitution into Perspective (January 27, 2014). Papers on Parliament, Vol. 61, pp. 73-80, 2014; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 14/04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2386406