Part I Foundations, Ch.5 Evolution
Edited By: Cheryl Saunders, Adrienne Stone
This chapter is about Australian constitutional evolution. It concerns the meaning, the processes, and the possibilities of constitutional change in Australia. ‘Constitutional evolution’ here means the transformation of the Australian constitutional system from its original form in 1901 into different forms until it reached the form we know today, by an aggregation of changes over time. These changes have mostly occurred in the constitutional space for which the written Constitution originally provided, with the result that, from 1901 until now, the Constitution has provided the framework for the Australian federation. The Constitution, as enacted by the British Parliament and as formally amended by popular referenda, has been critical to this evolutionary process; but the changes in the constitutional system, though consistent with the written text, have not been required by it.