The Hon Robert French AC and US Influence on the Australian Legal System

The Hon Robert French AC and US Influence on the Australian Legal System

The Hon Robert French AC and US Influence on the Australian Legal System

By Hugo Seymour from Perth USAsia Centre | 10 Apr 2017

The Hon Robert French AC and US Influence on the Australian Legal System teaser

The Hon. Robert French AC, Former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, delivered a public lecture on 10 April 2017 on the significant influence the United States has had on the Australian legal system.

Key Takeaways

•    “From an Australian perspective, the United States legal system and jurisprudence is a rich intellectual resource for Australian judges, lawyers, academics and law-makers.” – The Hon. Robert Franch AC, 10 April, University of Western Australia.  Read the full speech here.

•    Australia and America share a common ancestry as two former British colonies; both nations share common law jurisdictions, both nations are federated democracies and both nations’ constitutions enshrine a parliamentary system with a separation of powers model.

•    As well as touching on the acute constitutional debate about the use of foreign law judgements in Australian jurisprudence, Justice French spoke eloquently about the intellectual cross-pollination of legal thinking from America to Australia.

•    Whilst touring the audience through some of the bedrock principles of Australian law, such as judicial review of executive action, Justice French reflected on how American legal institutions, cases and intellectuals have defined and still do refine the Australian legal system.


Hugo Seymour Research and Program Assistant at the Perth USAsia Centre

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