Internal and external affairs: the Koowarta case in context

Author/s (editor/s):

Charlesworth, Hilary

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

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Open Access Research


This article is partly based on observation of the High Court deliberations on the Koowarta case in 1982 and partly on reflection on its significance in defining the relationship between the Australian legal system and international law. It also contrasts the broad approach of the majority to the external affairs power with its analysis of the races power. The article suggests that the intense legal debates about the proper spheres of international, national and state law contained in the judgments are reflected in political debates today.

Cite the publication as

Charlesworth, H 2014, ‘Internal and external affairs: the Koowarta case in context’, Griffith Law Review, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 35-43.

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