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School of Law

Holistic Constitutional Implications by Dr Jonathan Crowe

3 February 2016

Time: 4:00 - 6:00pm
Venue: Room 313, Law Building, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Hosted by the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC), School of Law, Queen Mary University of London. This seminar, entitled ‘Holistic Constitutional Implications’, will be delivered by Associate Professor Jonathan Crowe (University of Queensland, Australia).


The academic discussion surrounding constitutional implications in Australia tends to have a sceptical tenor. This scepticism partly reflects a focus on what I will call (for want of a better term) specific implications: that is, implications drawn from a particular word or phrase in the constitutional text. The High Court of Australia has encouraged this emphasis by the way it has framed some of its more contested implications. This paper takes a different approach. Its focus falls not on specific implications, as defined above, but on what I call holistic implications: that is, implications founded on the constitutional text as a whole. The idea is that the existence of the constitutional text implicates a range of factual and normative assumptions that inform the way the Constitution is interpreted and applied. I suggest that these kinds of holistic implications provide a more plausible basis for the High Court's jurisprudence than the kinds of specific implications that form the focus of the existing literature. I develop this argument by way of an analogy between constitutions, on the one hand, and factual or fictional narratives, on the other.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

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