The Late Arrival of the 'judicial activism' Debate in Australian Public Discourse
Source TitlePublic Law Review
PublisherLaw Book Co
University of Melbourne Author/sJosev, Tanya
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsJosev, T. (2013). The Late Arrival of the 'judicial activism' Debate in Australian Public Discourse. Public Law Review, 24 (1), pp.17-36
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
The term "judicial activism" was coined by the historian Schlesinger in 1947 as a politically neutral descriptor for a voting bloc on the United States Supreme Court, but later became a catchword for commentators and lobbyists seeking to criticise the work of certain judges. Despite the apparent lay appeal of the terminology, and various Australian legal academics being familiar with the terminology as early as the 1960s, the words "judicial activism" have only appeared in Australian public discourse in recent decades. This article explores the reasons behind the terminology lying dormant in Australia for over four decades, concluding that the ingredients behind Schlesinger's early formulation of "activism" were simply not present in Australia at this time.
KeywordsConstitutional Law; Legal Institutions (incl. Courts and Justice Systems); Law not elsewhere classified; Government and Politics not elsewhere classified; Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
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