Title

Attorneys-general, solicitors-general and 'the public interest' in Australian constitutional cases: A case for citizen input into the development of constitutional policy

Date of this Version

1-1-2014

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Citation only

Keyzer, P. (2014). Attorneys-general, solicitors-general and 'the public interest' in Australian constitutional cases: A case for citizen input into the development of constitutional policy. In G. Appleby, P. Keyzer & J. M. Williams (Eds.), Public sentinels: A comparative study of Australian solicitors-general (pp. 105-116). Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Access the publisher

Copyright © Gabrielle Appleby, Patrick Keyzer and John M. Williams, 2014. All rights reserved.

2014 HERDC submission

ISBN

9781409454250

Abstract

This chapter explores the power enjoyed by Attorneys-General and their Solicitors-General to intervene in Australian constitutional cases and develops an argument that the public should have the opportunity to provide input into the development of constitutional policy that informs interventions. I use the expression 'constitutional policy' in this chapter to describe decisions about whether particular laws should be defended or opposed in constitutional proceedings. At present constitutional policy is resolved by Attorneys-General and Solicitors-General (and probably also Crown Solicitors and staff) without any direct public input. In this chapter I argue that because contemporary Australian constitutional cases raise significant civil liberty issues, and access to constitutional justice by conventional means is fraught with difficulty and risks, a consultation process should be developed to provide public input on the resolution of questions of constitutional policy.

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This document has been peer reviewed.