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Constitutional Law

LAW301 Examine the law-making powers of the Commonwealth and Queensland parliaments with particular emphasis on the Commonwealth.

What is Constitutional Law?

The basic or fundamental law, whether statutory or common law, governing the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of a state. In Australia, the Commonwealth and State Constitutions are primarily statutory and written, although they take definition from basic or fundamental common law.
(Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary, 2011)

Section 109 of the Constitution states that if the Commonwealth and a State Parliament both pass laws on the same subject, the Commonwealth law overrules the state law to the extent of any inconsistency. 

History of the Constitution

Commonwealth Founding Documents (open access) - documenting a Democracy: Australia's Story includes texts and background of key Australian constitutional documents from the National Archives. 

Free online - Historical Introduction to the Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth - reproduced by the University of Sydney from the original by John Quick in 1901) - an extensive historical introduction to the Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth.

Free online - The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia - reproduced by the University of Sydney in 2000 from the original 1902 book by W Harrison Moore.

Documenting a Democracy - Scanned images of significant constitutional legislation and documents. Includes images and a timeline. (National Archives of Australia)

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Snapshots - The Constitution

A short video on the development of the Australian Constitution.


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