'We, What People?' Constitutional Identity in Australia
This Century's Review, Vol. 2, 34-36, 2017
5 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 12, 2018
Constitutions lay at the heart of a nation’s identity. What they say, and what they do not say, can tell us much about the character of the country itself. The Australian Constitution is a case in point. The Australian example reveals how constitutional law – the text and surrounding interpretation – can give a rich account of who the constitutional “people” are. Yet, it also shows that the legal construction of “the people” may only ever be an imperfect reflection of the real identity of those people, due to silences or statements in the document that conflict with an identity that has changed since the document was written.
Keywords: constitutional identity, Australian Constitution, the constitutional people
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation