Article: "Engineers and Constitution-Building" - Lessons from Australia for Multi-Level Government

By Profs Cheryl Saunders & Michael Crommelin

Amalgamated Society of Engineers v Adelaide Steamship Co Ltd (The Engineers’ Case) was decided relatively early in the life of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia. In contemporary parlance it contributed to “Constitution-building” in recently federated Australia.

This article examines Engineers through the lens of Constitution-building. It explores its continuing relevance for 21st century Australia, after the Constitution is well and truly built, the context in which it operates has dramatically changed, and the challenges that Australian federal democracy faces are quite different. It also asks what insights might be drawn from Australian experience with constitutional interpretation in the first few decades of federation for countries elsewhere facing the challenges of implementing new arrangements for multi-level government.

For access to this article, connect to the Public Law Review, vol 31, part 1.