Issue 83: Sep 2018
Book Review: Australian Constitutional Law and Theory Commentary and Materials

australian-constitutional-law_book.jpg(7th ed)

Authors: Blackshield and Williams

Publisher: The Federation Press

Reviewer: Dr Chris McGrath

The 7th edition of Blackshield and Williams Australian Constitutional Law and Theory Commentary and Materials recently published by Federation Press is a great book that will make a useful addition to any chambers’ library.

The previous edition was published in 2014 and the new edition incorporates recent developments such as:

  • the evolution of the implied freedom of political communication in McCloy v New South Wales (2015) 257 CLR 178; [2015] HCA 34 and Brown v Tasmania [2017] HCA 43 ; and
  • what the authors colourfully describe as the “veritable cavalcade of parliamentarians and candidates [who] faced disqualification under s 44 of the Constitution.”

The insightful commentary and incorporation of a wide range of constitutional scholarship is what sets this book apart from many others in the field.

The new edition maintains the status of this book as “much more than a casebook” as Sir Anthony Mason said of a previous edition.

At a recommended retail price of $110, it is remarkable value for money.

In short, this is a really useful, authoritative reference on Australian constitutional law for any practitioner’s library.

Dr Chris McGrath