Australian constitutionalism between subsidiarity and federalism

Gussen, Benjamen Franklen (2016) Australian constitutionalism between subsidiarity and federalism. Monash University Law Review, 42 (2). pp. 383-418. ISSN 0311-3140


A full 125 years has passed since Sir Henry Parkes delivered a speech at Tenterfield advocating for a political process that led to the Federation.Throughout this period, our constitutionalism was understood through the prism of the federal model where sovereignty is divided between different tiers of government. This article argues that a refined understanding of our constitutional journey suggests a different model, one based on the principle of subsidiarity where sovereignty is not divided but shared. The article proposes a fundamental shift in the way we see federalism
— from a value in itself to a subset of subsidiarity. On 27 October 2014, the Australian Prime Minster delivered another speech at Tenterfield that called for a bipartisan reform plan to fix the Federation. On the same day, The Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (‘CEDA’), a bipartisan, non-profit, national think tank, published a report on the Federation that details some reform options. Understanding that subsidiarity forms the hypostasis of our constitutionalism is imperative to any successful reform.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Tied second place winner for the USQ School-Specific 2016 Publication Excellence Awards for Journal Articles - School of Law and Justice. Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2017 01:33
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2017 02:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: subsidiarity, federalism, constitutionalism, Australia, CEDA, economic development, sovereignty
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180108 Constitutional Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180106 Comparative Law
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940203 Political Systems

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