The Crown

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Also available

Essays in Advocacy

Foreword by the Hon. Robert French AC
ed. Tom Gray, Martin Hinton and David Caruso
610 pages | AUD$90.00 $72.00 GST FREE | 2011 | Paperback

Hague’s History of the Law in South Australia: 1837 to 1867

Ralph Meyrick Hague
Foreword by the Hon. Justice Martin Hinton

956 pp | larger format | $170.00 GST FREE | 2019 | Hardback

The Crown: Essays on its manifestation, power and accountability

Foreword by the Hon. Justice Stephen Gageler AC of the High Court of Australia
edited by Martin Hinton and John M. Williams

University of Adelaide Press

$90.00 | 2018 | Paperback | 978-1-925261-79-0 | 394 pp

$120.00 | 2018 | Hardback | 978-1-925261-72-1 | 394 pp

The notion of the Crown, no less than the notion of the people, is a value‑laden abstraction. Within a system of representative and responsible government, the two abstractions are intertwined. The notion of the Crown is capable of appreciation only in its relation to the notion of the people, and only then in the sweep of history and with an understanding of the practical working of democratic and administrative processes. Both notions bring with them a sense of unity and continuity. But it is in the notion of the Crown that there is captured that expectation of tempering privilege with responsibility which characterises our fundamental attitude to institutions of government.


Because it is a notion that is not the product of the law, the Crown defies legal definition. Aspects of its operation and application have been described by lawyers, and aspects of its legal incidents and legal consequences have been identified. But its contours have never been mapped. Perhaps because it has defied definition, it has been a source of both fascination and frustration over many years to many lawyers, whose professional habit of mind has often led them on a quest for greater precision than the subject matter of their study will bear.

From the Foreword by the Hon. Justice Stephen Gageler AC

Click for list of contents

1. The Crown
Professor John Williams

2. Sovereignty and the First Australians
Professor Megan Davis

3. Sovereignty and the Australian People
Richard Niall QC (now the Hon. Justice Richard Niall)

4. The Vice Regal Offices
Michael Sexton SC SG

5. The Model Litigant
Grant Donaldson QC

6. Judicial Review and the Commonwealth Crown
The Hon Chief Justice Michael Grant

7. The Rule of Law and the Crown
Justin Gleeson SC and Celia Winnett

8. The Executive Power of the Crown
The Hon Justice Martin Hinton and Sue Milne

9. The Crown as Prosecutor
The Hon Kevin Duggan AM RFD QC

10. Can the Crown Do Wrong?
Michael Evans QC and Fiona McDonald

11. Executive Power and Responsible Government
Chris Bleby SC

12. The A-G, the DPP, the Police and the Crown
A P Kimber SC

13. Future Directions in the non-statutory power of the executive government to contract and spend
Chad Jacobi and Damian O’Leary

14. Judicial Review and the State Crown
The Hon Justice Stephen McLeish

15. The First Law Officer
Walter Sofronoff QC

16. The Second Law Officer
Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby

17. Advising and Acting for the Crown
The Hon Justice Greg Parker

About the editors

The Hon. Justice Martin Hinton was appointed to the to the bench of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 2016. Before that, he served as the second law officer of South Australia in the role of Solicitor-General, appearing for the State in numerous matters before the High Court.

Professor John Williams is Executive Dean Professions, Former Dean of Law, at The University of Adelaide. His main research interests are public law, in particular Australian constitutional law, The High Court of Australia, comparative constitutional law, federalism and legal history.

john [at]

© 2024 John Emerson. All rights reserved.