This book seeks to understand how women judges are situated as legal knowers on the High Court of Australia by asking whether a near-equal gender balance on the High Court has disrupted the Court’s historically masculinist gender regime. This book examines how the High Court’s gender regime operates once there is more than one woman on the bench. It explores the following questions: How have the Court’s gender relations accommodated the presence women on the bench? How have the women themselves accommodated those pre-existing gender relations? How might legal judgments and reasoning change as a result of changing gender dynamics on the bench? To develop answers to these (and other) que...
This book examines the Australian High Courts enormously controversial and politically explosive transformation during the 1990s. Led by Chief Justice Anthony Mason, the Court embarked on a concerted effort to recast its role within Australias legal and political systems. The Court moved to the storm center of Australian politics as it became a catalyst for reforms that appeared unobtainable through parliamentary means, including rights for Australias indigenous population and free speech protections. Securing unprecedented access to Australias High Court and senior appellate judges, Pierce describes how the transformation unfolded, identifies the conditions that encouraged it, and explores how the Mason Court reforms have attenuated in recent years in the face of a hostile conservative government and in the absence of formal support structures, such as a bill of rights. The book situates the High Courts transformation in the wider context of similar changes that occurred in other common law judicial systems during recent decades, including the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.
Australian Constitutional Landmarks presents the most significant cases and controversies in the Australian constitutional landscape up to its original publication in 2003. Including the Communist Party case, the dismissal of the Whitlam government, the Free Speech cases, a discussion of the race power, the Lionel Murphy saga, and the Tasmanian Dam case, this book highlights turning points in the shaping of the Australian nation since Federation. Each chapter clearly examines the legal and political context leading to the case or controversy and the impact on later constitutional reform. With contributions by leading constitutional lawyers and judges, as well as two former chief justices, this book will appeal to members of the judiciary, lawyers, political scientists, historians and people with a general interest in Australian politics, government and history.
The High Court is taking an increasingly important role in shaping the contours of democracy in Australia. In deciding fundamental democratic questions, does the Court pursue a consistent and overarching democratic vision? Or are its decisions essentially constrained by institutional and practical limitations? "Judging Democracy" addresses this question by examining the Court's recent decisions on human rights, citizenship, native title and separation of powers. It represents the first major political and legal examination of the Court's new jurisprudence and the way it is influencing democracy and the institutions of governance in Australia.