Government and Citizenship

The Australian Constitution established a system of government for Australia that has remained largely unchanged since the beginning of the 20th century. However, the identity of the Australian community, the operation of its government and the functioning of its legal system have experienced dramatic changes since that time.

Government and citizenship

There is a group of researchers in the law school who focus their attention on the challenges of public law and policy in Australia.

  • Some issues go to the very heart of Australian identity, including relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, transformations in society as a result of large-scale permanent and temporary migration, changing conceptions of membership in the community and Australia’s contribution to processing and settling refugees.
  • Our researchers have a major focus on the administrative limits to government power, human rights institutions and protections and freedom of information. We examine the statutory mechanisms for holding government to account as well as the more overarching constraint of the rule of law.
  • We provide expertise on the foundations of public law in Australia and regularly contribute to government and parliamentary inquiries into contemporary issues in public law and policy.
  • As well as being leading researchers, we gather public law teachers from around the country each year to discuss how to most effectively teach the myriad of public law issues to students in their law degrees.

Our research units and groups working in this area