Simon Evans


In this chapter I argue that the law relating to standing in constitutional cases is complex, draws invidious distinctions, and produces unnecessary uncertainty. Reform is necessary. In this, I agree with Keyzer and others who have powerfully critiqued aspects of the Australian law of standing. However, I also argue that any reform proposals must pay close attention to, and work within, the Australian constitutional tradition. Accordingly, I focus on the potential for the rule of law to function as an organising principle for reform of the law of standing. I suggest that it is not likely to be fruitful to base arguments for reform on a principle of access to constitutional justice. Although arguments based on popular sovereignty and freedom of political communication draw on the Australian constitutional tradition, I find them unpersuasive. Finally, in arguing for reform of the law of standing, I resist the movement towards assimilating its content with the concept of a ‘matter’ under Ch III of the Australian Constitution