Reforming Australian Government
Edited by Paul Kildea, Andrew Lynch, George Williams
Federation Press – 2013 – 400 pages
This book is a major work on federalism and intergovernmental relations in Australia. It moves beyond familiar discussions about reforming the federal system to address the practical means by which reform can be achieved. The book adopts a hard-headed approach to the question of how reform is being advanced and suggests ways in which it might be accomplished in the future.
The matters considered in this book range from the political to the constitutional, the legal to the economic. They include the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), intergovernmental agreements, referenda and public opinion. The collection offers in-depth analysis of recent developments, such as the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations and the creation of the COAG Reform Council.
A special feature is case studies analysing the path to reform in health, higher education, water management, and childcare and violence against women.
The volume brings together perspectives of those working in government and in academia. It is an essential text for readers wanting to understand the emerging currents and new challenges in reform of the Australian Federation.
Part 1. Intergovernmental Relations: Recent Developments and Future Directions, Part 2. Intergovernmental Grants and Federal Reform, Part 3. Legal Mechanisms and Federal Reform, Part 4. Case Studies in Federal Reform, Part 5. The Constitution and Federal Reform
Paul Kildea is a Research Fellow at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law in the Faculty of Law at UNSW, where he directs the Centre's research projects on Federalism and Referendums, and teaches Public Law.
Paul has authored numerous journal articles on federalism, constitutional reform and human rights, as well as conference and seminar papers in these areas. Additionally, Paul has given evidence to several parliamentary inquiries on subjects such as intergovernmental relations and referendum machinery.
Prior to joining the Law Faculty, Paul worked at the federal Attorney-General`s Department, and taught Australian politics at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW.
Andrew Lynch is the Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and an Associate Professor in the UNSW Faculty of Law. Andrew’s research in recent years has concentrated on the topics of judicial dissent in the High Court of Australia, federal reform and the intersection of public law and legal responses to terrorism.
He is an author of Equity and Trusts (2001 and 2005), What Price Security? Taking Stock of Australia’s Anti-Terror Laws (2006) and a co-editor of Law and Liberty in the War on Terror (2007) and Counter-Terrorism and Beyond: The Culture of Law and Justice After 9/11 (2010), as well as authoring journal articles, conference and seminar papers in these and other areas.
Additionally Andrew has frequently been called before parliamentary and non-government inquiries to speak to submissions on matters of public law and Australia’s counter-terrorism legislative scheme. He writes regularly on public law issues in the media.
George Williams AO
George Williams is the Anthony Mason Professor, a Scientia Professor and the Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales. As an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, he is engaged in a five year international project on anti-terror laws and democracy.
George has written and edited 26 books, including A Charter of Rights for Australia, Australian Constitutional Law and Theory and The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia.
As a barrister, George has appeared in the High Court of Australia in cases such as Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation on freedom of speech, the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Case on freedom from racial discrimination and Plaintiff S157/2002 v Commonwealth on review of government action and the rule of law. He has also appeared in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Fiji, including in Republic of Fiji v Prasad on the legality of the 2000 coup.
In 2005 he chaired the Victorian Human Rights Consultation Committee that lead to the enactment of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. In 2007 he chaired a NSW Government inquiry into Options for a New National Industrial Relations System, and was also a member of the High Level Advisory Group on Federal-State Relations to Kevin Rudd. In 2011 he was made a member of the Northern Territory Constitutional Convention Committee and the New South Wales Government’s Panel to Examine Recall Elections.
George is a well-known media commentator on legal issues and writes a fortnightly column for the Sydney Morning Herald. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011: ‘For distinguished service to the law in the fields of anti-terrorism, human rights and constitutional law as an academic, author, adviser and public commentator.