Protecting Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law: Dixon’s Chapter III Legacy
In: John Eldridge and Timothy Pilkington (eds), Sir Owen Dixon’s Legacy (Federation Press, Alexandria, 2019) Pages 80-97
Posted: 29 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 28, 2019
Sir Owen Dixon’s achievements in what we would now call the Ch III jurisprudence of the High Court remain seminal. This is perhaps something of a surprise. Dixon’s appointment to the High Court came after it had already articulated a key definition of judicial power, and imposed limits on the conferral of judicial power on non-judicial bodies, and the conferral of non-judicial powers on courts. Dixon was on the Court decades before the persona designata doctrine was used to limit the use of judges in extra-judicial roles, imposing rules inconsistent with Dixon’s own repeated conduct; or before the Court identified a relevant limitation on the treatment of State courts in Kable; or before the full scope of Ch III jurisprudence was highlighted by Deane J’s observations that Ch III is the ‘most important’ of all the ‘express or implied guarantees of rights and immunities’ contained in the Constitution, and stands as ‘the Constitution’s only general guarantee of due process’.
Keywords: Protecting Judicial Independence, Rule of Law: Dixon’s Chapter III Legacy, Dixon’s Chapter III Legacy
JEL Classification: K1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation