Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Constitutional Conventions in Westminster Systems
Controversies, Changes and Challenges

Brian Galligan, Scott Brenton, Nicholas Aroney, Patrick Weller, Jenny Menzies, Anne Tiernan, J. R. Nethercote, Campbell Sharman, Robert Hazell, Andrew C. Banfield, Nicholas Barry, Narelle Miragliotta, Grant Duncan, Peter H. Russell, Andrew Blick
View all contributors
  • Date Published: August 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107100244


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Conventions are fundamental to the constitutional systems of parliamentary democracies. Unlike the United States which adopted a republican form of government, with a full separation of powers, codified constitutional structures and limitations for executive and legislative institutions and actors, Britain and subsequently Canada, Australia and New Zealand have relied on conventions to perform similar functions. The rise of new political actors has disrupted the stability of the two-party system, and in seeking power the new players are challenging existing practices. Conventions that govern constitutional arrangements in Britain and New Zealand, and the executive in Canada and Australia, are changing to accommodate these and other challenges of modern governance. In Westminster democracies, constitutional conventions provide the rules for forming government; they precede law and make law-making possible. This prior and more fundamental realm of government formation and law making is shaped and structured by conventions.

    • Explains the Constitutions of the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in non-legalistic terms
    • Allows readers to compare constitutional politics in their own country with developments in similar countries
    • Draws upon contemporary political issues and provides examples to aid understanding of constitutional politics
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… the scope and terrain of the material covered in the book is impressive (for example, the caretaker conventions chapter) and should provide a useful steer to further research using other cases across the subject terrains discussed (as well as possibly some that are not discussed such as conventions and courts).' Mark Shephard, Parliaments, Estates and Representation

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107100244
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Brian Galligan and Scott Brenton
    1. Constitutional conventions Brian Galligan and Scott Brenton
    2. Law and convention Nicholas Aroney
    3. Executive conventions Brian Galligan
    4. Cabinet government Patrick Weller
    5. Caretaker conventions Jenny Menzies and Anne Tiernan
    6. Minority and multi-party government Scott Brenton
    7. Parliament J. R. Nethercote
    8. Upper houses Campbell Sharman
    9. The United Kingdom Robert Hazell
    10. Canada Andrew C. Banfield
    11. Australia Nicholas Barry and Narelle Miragliotta
    12. New Zealand Grant Duncan
    13. Codifying conventions Peter H. Russell
    14. Constitutional reform Andrew Blick
    Conclusion Brian Galligan and Scott Brenton.

  • Editors

    Brian Galligan, University of Melbourne
    Brian Galligan is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne. He is the author or co-author of eight books on Australian politics and political economy, including: Beyond the Protective State (1992), A Federal Republic (1995), Citizens without Rights (1997) and Australians and Globalisation (2001). He is joint author of Australian Citizenship (2004) and Becoming Australian (2014) and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Australian Politics (2007) and Human Rights in Asia (2011).

    Scott Brenton, University of Melbourne
    Scott Brenton is a Lecturer in Political Science and the Director of the Doctoral Academy at the Melbourne School of Government. He has published extensively on Australian politics, particularly on altering traditional forms of governance and challenging, or rather adapting, existing conventions. He has contributed to several major Australian Research Council projects, including the Parliamentary Accountability Project, the Democratic Audit of Australia and Strengthening Parliamentary Institutions.


    Brian Galligan, Scott Brenton, Nicholas Aroney, Patrick Weller, Jenny Menzies, Anne Tiernan, J. R. Nethercote, Campbell Sharman, Robert Hazell, Andrew C. Banfield, Nicholas Barry, Narelle Miragliotta, Grant Duncan, Peter H. Russell, Andrew Blick

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.