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Part I Foundations, Ch.4 Independence

Anne Twomey

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Australian Constitution

Edited By: Cheryl Saunders, Adrienne Stone

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 March 2023

This chapter examines the notion of ‘independence’ in the Australian context. In Australia, there was no definitive act in creating an independent nation, as in other countries. There is no ‘Independence Day’ to celebrate, as no one knows exactly when the balance tipped from being a dependency of the British Crown or a self-governing Dominion, to an independent sovereign nation. Independence was administered in small doses—sometimes sought, sometimes imposed, and often neglected. The chapter discusses the ways in which Australia had attained independence depending on what definition of the term is used—when Australia attained its separate Crown, when it began exercising independence, when it ceased being dependent on the British Crown, and so on. In addition, the chapter explores the ways in which Australia does not quite meet the definition of independence, as it still retains some links to its colonial past.

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