This introductory chapter places the Australian Constitution in a comparative perspective. It does so both to throw light on Australian constitutional law and practice and to identify ways in which Australian constitutionalism contributes to the present store of global constitutional experience. The chapter then contrasts features of the Australian constitutional system that are broadly familiar in constitutional democracies elsewhere which exhibit characteristics of Australian constitutional law that are more distinctive. A reflection on the ways in which the Australian constitutional system currently is grappling with change or might need to do so in the foreseeable future is also provided. In addition, this chapter explains the seven broad concepts around which the chapters in this volume have been organized. Finally, the chapter briefly touches on aspects of the methodology by which this volume was brought together and expresses thanks to the people who have contributed to its publication.
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