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Interpreting Constitutions

Theories, principles and institutions

Edited by Charles Sampford and Kim Preston


Constitutions can be viewed as the road map of liberal democracies. And like any road map, they need to be constantly reconsidered and redrawn as the territory develops and changes.

The contributors undertake this re-interpretation on a number of levels. They examine first the theoretical approaches to constitutional interpretation and then move on to implied rights. There then follows a consideration of the role of the judiciary and parliament in constitutional interpretation, drawing upon a number of examples from around the world.


Charles Sampford and Kim Preston

Theoretical Approaches to Constitutional Interpretation

The interpretation of a constitution in a modern liberal democracy
Sir Anthony Mason
Paradigm shifts in judicial interpretation: reframing legal and constitutional reasoning
Bryan Horrigan
Constituting a nation: adjudication as constitutive rhetoric
Sandra S Berns

Democracy and Judicial Choice: The Implied Rights Debate

Constitutionally entrenched common law rights: sacrificing means to ends?
George Winterton
A return to Dicey? The philosophical foundations of the Australian High Court's implied rights jurisprudence
Haig Patapan
Judicial invalidation of legislation and democratic principles
David Wood

Judiciary and Parliament: Aligning Institutional Roles

The Australian High Court's role in institutional maintenance and development
Brian Galligan
The Australian Parliament and High Court: determination of constitutional questions
Daryl Williams
Politically sensitive interpretation
David Solomon
Overruling constitutional interpretations
JW Harris
International dimensions of constitutional interpretation
HP Lee

Table of Cases/ Table of Statutes/ References/ Index


Published November 1996
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862872417
Australian RRP $85.00
International Price $80.00
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Law - Constitutional

Law, Ethics and Public Affairs Series

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