Introduction: The Commonwealth of Australia
Zimmermann, A. (2012) Introduction: The Commonwealth of Australia. Giornale di Storia Costituzionale (Journal of Constitutional History), 24 . pp. 5-19.
This special issue of Journal of Constitutional History is focused on themes and traditions in Australia’s constitutional law and history. Written by leading Australian legal academics, the articles contained in this issue were especially prepared for a European public who may not be entirely familiar with the country’s rich constitutional history.
Australia was colonised by Britain, and its path towards independence was gradual. It is not possible to identify a single event that marked the final break with the British Empire. Between 1855 and 1890, responsible government was achieved, and the Governors of the several colonies were bound to invite the leader of the largest party or coalition in Parliament to form the government. The majority party leader and the other members in his Cabinet remained in office as long as they commanded the support of Parliament.
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