Vigorous debate exists among constitutional scholars as to the appropriate 'modalities' of constitutional argument, and their relative weight. Many scholars, however, argue that one important modality of constitutional argument involves attention to underlying constitutional purposes or 'values'. In Australia, this kind of values-oriented approach has been advocated by leading constitutional scholars, and also finds support in the judgments of the High Court at various times, particularly during the Mason Court era. Much of the scholarly debate on constitutional values to date, however, focuses on whether the Court should in fact look to constitutional values in this way, not the kinds of values the Court should consider, given such an approach.
This book responds to this gap in the existing scholarly literature, by inviting a range of leading Australian constitutional lawyers and scholars to address the relevance and scope of various substantive constitutional values, and how they might affect the Court's approach to constitutional interpretation in various contexts. It is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Australia's constitutional system.