“[T]his work is comprehensive in its treatment of all aspects of Victorian constitutional law whether they be historical, jurisprudential or practical. Occasionally the author offers his own views upon the direction which the law has taken or should take, but in a manner which adds freshness to the text or adds interest for the reader.
This is a legal text-book and is bound to be a standard text for many years to come. There is no other comprehensive work which covers Victorian constitutional law. But it is digestible in a way that many other text-books are not. It will provide a wealth of understanding and insight to teachers, students, practitioners, public servants, members of Parliament and others for whom an understanding of the Victorian Constitution is of interest and, often, necessity. It is not only the courts which are concerned with constitutional law. This work has a practical application in many other areas and for many who are not lawyers. It will provide practical guidance where that is possible and, where it is not, will provide a scholarly foundation upon which to build the correct answer.”
Sir Daryl Dawson, from The Foreword – full text below (see Extracts)
This is the standard reference work on the Constitution of Victoria. Since the election of the Bracks government and its gaining a majority in both Houses of Parliament, the Victorian Constitution has undergone far-reaching change, making it markedly different from other Australian State Constitutions in a number of respects.
This work analyses and comments on the new and old provisions of the Victorian Constitution and is essential for understanding the effect of the changes, some of which are of doubtful validity.
State constitutional law in Australia
Sources of Victorian constitutional law
Reception of English common law and British statutes in Victoria
Boundaries of Victoria
State emblems and seals
Victorian Constitutionalism – A Brief History
Bearbrass and the Port Phillip District
The Constitution of 1855
Early constitutional development
Developments from Federation to the Constitution of 1975
The 1975 consolidation and afterwards
The Crown and The Executive
Demise of The Crown, regency and succession
Royal Style and Titles
The Lieutenant-Governor, Administrator and Deputies
Executive Council : Law
Executive Council : Practice and procedure
Powers of the Governor : Statutory
Powers of the Governor : Prerogative
Constitutional conventions and reserve powers
Membership and operation
The Attorney-General – not just a Minister
Parliament – Structure and Powers
The title “Parliament”
Accountability of members of Parliament
Election and supervision of executive
‘[I]n and for Victoria in all cases whatsoever
Qualifications of members
Disqualifications arising after election
‘The principle of Government mandate’
Restrictions on State legislative power
Parliament – Workings and Practice
The legislative process
Public and private Bills
Drafting and commencement of Acts
Expiry, dissolution, prorogation, adjournment
Disputes between the Houses
Special legislative procedures for financial Bills
Standing rules and orders
Titles of members
Victoria’s Electoral System
by Dr Nick Economou
The Supreme Court of the State of Victoria
Role of the High Court of Australia
Other Courts and tribunals
Appointment of Judges
Removal of judicial officers from office
Separation of powers : non-judicial functions and the State Judiciary
Separation of powers : legislation affecting judicial process
Amendment of the Constitution
The applicable law
Analysis of Victorian provisions
Interpretation and enforcement
Being the first book to cover the topic in such detail, it is clearly a necessary addition to any law library. The author does not leave any stone unturned and indeed, this marks it as a very useful reference book but not, for the same reasons, a particularly good cover-to-cover read. … Taylor’s thoroughness sometimes led to the sort of tedium associated with State constitutional law. That said, the refreshing lack of tedium associated with The Chameleon Crown and State Constitutional Landmarks are more to do with the purpose of those books, which were published for a wider readership than the legal community. Taylor’s book is not intended to be an entertaining read, but a scholarly reference book.… The final chapter on amendment of the constitution is very good. The Victorian Constitution is unique in the manner of its mechanism for dealing with amendment, and Taylor shows a powerful grasp of its characteristics. Indeed, the author’s command of his subject is redoubtable. …
Those most likely to find the book useful in their professional life are Victorian judges, barristers and parliamentarians. …
Those possessing the book will have at their fingertips a resource giving them command over every aspect of the present-day Victorian Constitution. It is the only book in its field and will be an invaluable resource for some time to come … its place in any good reference collection ought to be assured.
Australian Law Librarian, Vol 15 No 2, 2007
Victoria now has Dr Greg Taylor’s handsome and wide-ranging work on the Victorian Constitution.… The chief focus of the work is the Constitution Act, but, wisely, the author analyses, in varying degrees of detail, many other sources of constitutional law and practice, including the Australia Act 1986 (Imp and Cth), the Kable doctrine, and constitutional conventions. Where appropriate, the law is set against the “realities of political life in Australia” to give the reader a sense of the significance of the law. Comparisons are drawn with other constitutions in Australia and overseas.
The legal analysis is excellent and frequently penetrating. The law is never dryly summarised. Classical references … add interest. The text as a whole evidences a prodigious amount of wider reading – the bibliography alone extends to 20 pages. Yet the prose remains clear, crisp and fluent throughout.
This is a work of great erudition, industry and scholarship and it deserves a wide readership among public lawyers.
Law Institute Journal (Victoria), August 2007
The exposition of Victorian constitutional law in this work will be an invaluable aid …If such a text as this falls within one’s area of practice, and you are not simply looking for a slinky black hard-back text to fill the bookcase, this comprehensive review and analysis from an author expert in the field should not be missed!”
Brief (Law Society of WA), April 2007
… a scholarly and comprehensive excursion through the intricacies of the legal foundation of the political entity ― the State of Victoria.… The book … is a valuable and scholarly contribution to an important, but often underestimated area of public law in Australia. The work is written in an easy style and usefully concentrates on the current Victorian constitutional position. Accordingly, this book is not some musty tome about arcane practices largely rooted in a dim colonial past, but is a modern, up-to-date and scholarly work dealing with a Constitution of relevance and importance to all Victorians. This relevance is highlighted by the significant recent electoral chances that passed their first test in the 2006 Victorian State Election. The Constitution of Victoria should have a place on the bookshelves of lawyers, parliamentarians and politicians, judicial officers, public servants and those interested [in] questions of public law in Australia generally and Victoria more generally.
P.W. Lithgow, Victoria Bar News, Summer 2006
The Honourable Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC’s speech
Remarks of the Honourable Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC, Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria at the launch of The Constitution of Victoria by Dr Greg Taylor, held at the Supreme Court Library, Supreme Court of Victoria 27 November 2006.