Thursday, February 13, 2014

Irving on "The Over-Rated Mr. Clark"

Helen Irving, University of Sydney Faculty of Law, has posted The Over-Rated Mr. Clark: Putting Andrew Inglis Clark's Contribution to the Constitution into Perspective, which is forthcoming in Papers on Parliament, 2014.  Here is the abstract:
Credit: UTas Library
Andrew Inglis Clark, the 19th century Tasmanian politician, jurist, and ardent Americanist, is often (these days) described as the primary ‘architect’ or ‘author’ of Australia’s Constitution. Equally frequently, he is credited with valiantly, albeit unsuccessfully, proposing a Bill of Rights for the Constitution. This paper challenges these claims. It poses three questions: Was Clark the primary author of the Constitution?; If not, was he one of the Constitution’s ‘architects’? If neither, was he nevertheless a ‘Founding Father’? It concludes that Clark was none of these, but that he deserves recognition for a different contribution: namely, his successful insistence, before the Constitution was written, that Australia should follow the U.S. form of federalism, and finally, for his vision of Australian judicial independence.