Path dependency, the High Court, and the Constitution

Article


Patrick, Jeremy. 2020. "Path dependency, the High Court, and the Constitution." Journal of Judicial Administration. 30 (2), pp. 51-63.
Article Title

Path dependency, the High Court, and the Constitution

ERA Journal ID35442
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorPatrick, Jeremy
Journal TitleJournal of Judicial Administration
Journal Citation30 (2), pp. 51-63
Number of Pages13
Year2020
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
ISSN1036-7918
Abstract

Path dependence is a concept that originally arose in the field of economics before gaining currency with political scientists and historians. The essence of path dependency is that temporality matters: once a decision is made, it often becomes 'locked-in' and persists despite the existence of more efficient or otherwise better alternatives that could become apparent later. The tentative hypothesis advanced here is that the concept of path dependency is useful for understanding why some doctrines of Australian constitutional law have changed dramatically since first developed while others remain largely the same. An example of one arguably path-dependent line of doctrine and one arguably non-path-dependent line of doctrine are discussed and analysed to demonstrate the possibilities and limitations of the theory.

Keywordspath dependency, high court, australian constitution, grants, protectionism
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480702. Constitutional law
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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