Australia’s Constitutional Government

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

Edited by Jack Richardson

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ISBN/ISSN: 9780409341126
Release Date: September 01, 2016
AUD$ 120.00
Best value


ISBN/ISSN: 9780409341133
Release Date: September 01, 2016
AUD$ 120.00
Best value

Product description

The late Jack Richardson was 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 it is essential that knowledge of the principles by which we are governed 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, the author 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.


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

  1. Federal Parliament

  2. Parliamentary Committees

  3. Parliament in Action

  4. Resolving Deadlocks Between the Two Houses: Section 57

Part Three: The Growth of a Nation

  1. Historical Factors in a Century of Federalism

  2. Colony – Dominion – Nation

  3. Interpreting the Constitution

  4. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Part Four: Commonwealth Legislative Powers

  1. Trade and Commerce

  2. The Taxation Power

  3. Corporations

  4. Defence Power

  5. The External Affairs Power

  6. The Conciliation and Arbitration Power

  7. The Territories Power

  8. Freedom of Interstate Trade, Commerce and Intercourse

Part Five: Federalism

  1. Commonwealth-State Relations

  2. The Future of the Commonwealth-State Balance

  3. The States

  4. Inconsistency between Laws of the State and the Commonwealth

  5. The Reference Power

Part Six: Commonwealth Executive Power

  1. The Executive Government

  2. The Governor-General and the Double Dissolution of 1975

  3. Exercise and Scrutiny of Executive Power

Part Seven: Rights and the Future

  1. Constitutional Rights

  2. Constitutional Change

Appendix A: The Constitution

Appendix B: Statement of Reasons by the Governor-General