Journal article

Framing the First Victorian Constitution, 1853–5

John Waugh

Monash University Law Review | Faculty of Law, Monash University | Published : 1997


As the approaching centenary of federation renews interest in Australian constitutional history, it is timely to examine the colonial constitutions that were current law for the framers of the Commonwealth Constitution. They were the result of the first Australian exercises in constitution-making. Many of their provisions are still in force. This article describes the framing of one of the new constitutions of the 1850s, the Victorian Constitution Act of 1855. The work of the politicians who dominated Victoria at the start of the gold rush, it created the framework for the constitutional crises of the 1860s and 1870s and remains the source of many provisions of the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic..

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