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Australia’s Constitutional Government

Australia’s Constitutional Government

Richardson, J, 2016

Available Formats

Format ISBN Price
Book 9780409341126 $104.00

Australia’s Constitutional Government is a clear and succinct introduction to constitutional law in Australia, this book comprehensively describes Australia’s unique pattern of constitutional government.


Format: Paperback


Australia’s Constitutional Government describes Australia’s unique pattern of constitutional government. Jack Richardson was always convinced that the legal basis of federal government and the evolving patterns of power should be understandable — not just to experts in constitutional law, but to people in all walks of life. He believed that knowledge of the principles by which we are governed must be available to the general public, and to participants in the federal system. The author advances expert knowledge by divining those principles. By describing their operation in words intelligible to readers who are not legally qualified, he achieves his aim of acquainting a much wider range of people with the powers that rule them.

The result is a book that will be a great help to students and scholars of law, government, politics and history, as well as a useful guide for administrators, journalists, politicians and legal practitioners. Anyone who needs a straightforward explanation of an element of constitutional government will value the understanding they can easily get from the book.



• highly authoritative author
• approachable, readable text


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Trone, Quick Reference Card — Constitutional Law, 2015

Table of Contents

Part One: Colonisation to Federation

1. From Penal Settlement to Representative and Responsible Government
2. Towards Federation
3. The National Australasian Convention 1891 and the Path to Adelaide
4. The Convention Debates 1897-98
5. Final Steps to Federation
6. The First Decade of Federation
7. Reflecting on the Work of the Founders

Part Two: The Commonwealth Parliament

8. Federal Parliament
9. Parliamentary Committees
10. Parliament in Action
11. Resolving Deadlocks Between the Two Houses: Section 57

Part Three: The Growth of a Nation

12. Historical Factors in a Century of Federalism
13. Colony – Dominion – Nation
14. Interpreting the Constitution
15. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Part Four: Commonwealth Legislative Powers

16. Trade and Commerce
17. The Taxation Power
18. Corporations
19. Defence Power
20. The External Affairs Power
21. The Conciliation and Arbitration Power
22. The Territories Power
23. Freedom of Interstate Trade, Commerce and Intercourse

Part Five: Federalism

24. Commonwealth-State Relations
25. The Future of the Commonwealth-State Balance
26. The States
27. Inconsistency between Laws of the State and the Commonwealth
28. The Reference Power

Part Six: Commonwealth Executive Power

29. The Executive Government
30. The Governor-General and the Double Dissolution of 1975
31. Exercise and Scrutiny of Executive Power

Part Seven: Rights and the Future

32. Constitutional Rights
33. Constitutional Change

Appendix A: The Constitution

Appendix B: Statement of Reasons by the Governor-General

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