Path dependency, the High Court, and the Constitution

Patrick, Jeremy (2020) Path dependency, the High Court, and the Constitution. Journal of Judicial Administration, 30 (2). pp. 51-63. ISSN 1036-7918


Path dependence is a concept that originally arose in the field of economics before gaining currency with political scientists and historians. The essence of path dependency is that temporality matters: once a decision is made, it often becomes 'locked-in' and persists despite the existence of more efficient or otherwise better alternatives that could become apparent later. The tentative hypothesis advanced here is that the concept of path dependency is useful for understanding why some doctrines of Australian constitutional law have changed dramatically since first developed while others remain largely the same. An example of one arguably path-dependent line of doctrine and one arguably non-path-dependent line of doctrine are discussed and analysed to demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of the theory.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2020 06:42
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2021 23:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: path dependency, high court, australian constitution, grants, protectionism
Fields of Research (2008): 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180108 Constitutional Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180122 Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation
Fields of Research (2020): 48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4807 Public law > 480702 Constitutional law

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