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Article

Rights in the Australian Federation

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2-3 2018
Keywords Australian Constitution, bill of rights, constitutional rights, democracy, federalism, freedom of interstate trade, freedom of religion, implied rights, judicial independence, property rights, right to trial by jury, separation of powers
Authors Nicholas Aroney and James Stellios
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Australian Constitution is unique among constitutional instruments. It was primarily designed to federate self-governing British colonies within the British constitutional tradition and to establish institutions of federal government. As such, the constitutional instrument does not contain an entrenched bill of rights. Yet Australia has been a stable federal democracy since its establishment in 1901 and, by international standards, it is consistently assessed as maintaining high levels of personal freedom, political rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. This article considers the place of rights in the Australian federation against Australian constitutional history and its constitutional context.


Nicholas Aroney
Nicholas Aroney is Professor of Constitutional Law, The University of Queensland. The support of Australian Research Council grant FT100100469 is gratefully acknowledged. Thanks are also due to Terry East for his very capable research assistance. James Stellios is Professor, Law School, Australian National University. Part of this article benefited from the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme: DP140101218. Part of this article benefited from the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme: DP140101218. This volume (The EU Bill of Rights’ Diagonal Application to Member States. Ed. Csongor István Nagy) was published as part of the research project of the HAS-Szeged Federal Markets ‘Momentum’ Research Group.

James Stellios
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