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This book looks at responsible government under the Australian Constitution. It undertakes a detailed examination of the history leading to the incorporation of responsible government into the Constitution, examining the political history and constitutional ideas which informed the framers' views. It draws on this history to develop a theory of responsible government and explore its implications for the interpretation of the Constitution and the structure of modern government in Australia.
The book fills a major gap in our knowledge of the intellectual background of the Australian Constitution by explaining the constitutional ideas that have shaped the text and structure of the Australian Constitution. It contributes to worldwide debates about constitutional interpretation by showing how rigorous use of history can lead to novel interpretations of constitutions without being tied to the 'dead hands of the founders'.