Liam Boyle


For nearly 100 years following federation there was not a settled view as to whether there existed but one common law in Australia, as opposed to a common law for each polity in the Australian federation. This article investigates why that was so. It considers the constitutional and juristic underpinnings of the now established position that there is a single common law in Australia, identifying five conceptual versions of the common law in Australia and three stages in its evolution. The article also considers some of the consequences of the single common law in the Australian legal system.