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Australian & Comparative Constitutional Law: The Constitution - History, Text and Interpretation

This guide will help with your research in Australian, Global and Comparative Constitutional Law.

Annotated Constitution - section by section treatment

Current Annotated Constitutions

The following 'annotators' list cases and commentary for each provision.

  • Constitutional Law on Weblaw – although a little out of date, this is a fabulous and comprehensive list of mainly free internet resources. Its focus is primarily Australia (both federal and states) and it includes links under headings such as legislation, founding documents, cases, organisations, constitutional history, implied rights in the Constitution, journals, ‘plain language’ fact sheets and articles on each section of the Constitution.
  • The Australian Constitution (annotated) / annotated text Cheryl Saunders (Constitutional Centenary Foundation, 2000). UniM Law   KM 76 AUST - this book sets out the text of the Constitution with notes to explain the effect of each chapter and each section. 


Contemporaneous Commentaries on the Constitution

There are two contemporaneous commentaries written at the time of the drfting of the Constitution. Both are widely cited in caselaw and scholarly writings and held to be authoritative. These are by Quick & Garren and by Moore.

The Text of the Constitution of Australia

Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK) (The Constitution)

As made

Current compilation

Federal Register of Legislation - official version, incorporating all amendments on the Federal Register of Legislation

History of the Constitution

The Federation Debates of the 1890s - from the University of Sydney

The Australian Federation Full Text Database - from the University of Sydney. This databases includes the federation debates, participants accounts and associated writings, and photograph of members of the Federal Council 1890. The database is keyword searchable.

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