'We, What People?' Constitutional Identity in Australia

This Century's Review, Vol. 2, 34-36, 2017

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/17

5 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2018

See all articles by Elisa Arcioni

Elisa Arcioni

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: April 12, 2018

Abstract

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

Arcioni, Elisa, 'We, What People?' Constitutional Identity in Australia (April 12, 2018). This Century's Review, Vol. 2, 34-36, 2017; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3161844

Elisa Arcioni (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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