Subsidiarity and Federalism: A Case Study of the Australian Constitution and Its Interpretation

  • Michelle EvansEmail author
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 37)


Since the landmark decision of the Australian High Court in the Engineers case, the Australian federation has become increasingly centralised to the extent that Australia has become less than an authentic federation. This paper evaluates whether the principle of subsidiarity, which is a fundamental characteristic of a federal system of government, could be implemented in Australia to restore legislative and financial powers to the Australian states. The chapter suggests specific constitutional and other reforms.


Australian federation Federal balance Subsidiarity Government Decentralisation High Court Constitutional reform 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Curtin University Law SchoolPerthAustralia

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