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In the modern State, power rests on the consensus of the citizens. They accord its institutions the authority to regulate society. Contemporary state theory suggests that this authority is a right to speak on certain matters in certain ways and to have the audience agree with those statements. It is a matter of an authorised language; all others fall into the category of ratbaggery. In this, the first major book applying contemporary State theory to Australia, Alastair Davidson shows how Australian citizens were formed in the nineteenth century, and how their particular characteristics led to the empowering of a certain language of power: legalism. He further shows that this made the judiciary the most powerful arm of government - unlike countries where the people arm sovereign and the legislature supreme - because the judiciary has the last say on all issues and in its own language.