Consistent with the aims of the Constitutional Systems of the World series, this book canvasses the Australian constitutional system in a way that explains its form and operation, provides a critical evaluation of it, and conveys a sense of the contemporary national debate. The chapters deal with: the foundations of Australian constitutionalism * its history from the time of European settlement * the nature of the Australian Constitutions * the framework for judicial review * the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government * federalism * multi-level government * rights protection. Running through all the chapters is the story of the gradual evolution of Australian constitutionalism within the lean but almost unchanging framework of the formal, written, national Constitution. A second theme traces the way in which the present, distinctive, constitutional arrangements in Australia emerged from creative tension between the British and US constitutional traditions on which the Australian Constitution originally drew and which continues to manifest itself in various ways. One of these, which is likely to be of particular interest, is Australian reliance on institutional arrangements for the purpose of the protection of rights. The book is written in a clear and accessible style. Each chapter includes additional references to enable particular issues to be pursued further. The book will be of interest to academics and students interested in constitutional and comparative constitutional law, as well as politics.