The Federation Press

Parliament - The Vision in Hindsight


The Federation Fathers agreed a federal Constitution which has enabled the Australian Parliament to play an important, even a leading, role in the development of national authority. The legislative powers conferred on the Parliament have enabled it to pass laws which have gone far beyond what might have been contemplated in 1900.

On the occasion of the centenary of Federation, Parliament The Vision in Hindsight explores the way in which the Parliament has developed and influenced the operation of the Australian Constitution - and asks how well it has done its job.

What vision had the framers in mind in designing the Parliament and its powers? How has the Parliament exercised those powers? How does the original design look with the benefit of hindsight? What has the past century taught us about the future powers and roles the Parliament should exercise and play in the future?

The Parliamentary Library has brought together a distinguished group of scholars under the editorship of Professor Geoffrey Lindell, Reader in Law at the University of Melbourne.


... meets the high production standards readers have come to expect from Federation Press publications.
Given the stature of the authors, it is not surprising that the 11 papers successfully inform the reader of the vision propounded by those people who were responsible for drafting the Australian Constitution in the final decade of the 19th century. The various authors’ evaluations of the role played by Parliament in the development of the Australian Constitution throughout the 20th century are similarly thorough and useful. ...
The collection well demonstrates that the framers’ vision for the Parliament was cautious. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the institution has endured. Many readers may depart this book believing that our constitutional commentators are performing at a higher level than our national legislature. The authors and editors merit praise. - Professor Neil Rees, Newcastle Law Review, Volume 7(1) 2003

Table of Contents

The Vision in Hindsight Explained - Professor Geoff Lindell

Parliament’s Development of Federalism - Professor Brian Galligan
Federal Parliament’s Changing Role in Treaty Making and External Affairs - Ms Anne Twomey
Parliament and the Industrial Power - Dr Andrew Frazer
The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia and Indigenous Peoples 1901-1967 - Mr John Summers
Federal-State Financial Relations: The Deakin Prophecy - Mr Denis James
Rules for Representation: Parliament and the Design of the Australian Electoral System - Dr John Uhr
Resolving Deadlocks in the Australian Parliament - Professor Jack Richardson
Parliament and Administrative Law - Professor John McMillan
Government Business Enterprises and Public Accountability through Parliament - Professor Stephen Bottomley
Executive and High Court Appointments - Dr Max Spry
The Parliament as Partner: A Centenary of Constitutional Change - Professor Cheryl Saunders

Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

Of interest...