Evaluate the impact of the High Court of Australia on Australia's Federal Experience.

Essay by FlissHigh School, 12th gradeA, April 2004

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To evaluate the impact of the High Court on Australia's federal experience, it's important to discuss the High Court, ideas of centralism and federalism and the five phases of the High Court.

The High Court of Australia is the superior court of the Australian hierarchy of courts. It's the only court that's directly established by the Australian Constitution. It has original jurisdiction over constitutional disputes (interpreting the constitution) and appellant jurisdiction over all civil and criminal law in Australia (highest court of appeal). The HCA also resolves inter se disputes between the Commonwealth and States. Generally the HCA only hears State and Commonwealth disputes and Supreme Court cases (civil and criminal appeals) due to how expensive it is to be heard by the High Court. Also the HCA can refuse to hear some cases, and will sometimes refuse to hear cases apart from those mentioned above.

The doctrine of 'separation of powers' says that the judiciary should be independent of the executive and legislature.

Although, the High Court has become more of a political institution than a legal institution, which means that, the High Court (Judiciary) is becoming less independent from the Executive and Legislature. High Court judges are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This can cause controversy due to the possible political and ideological bias of the judges. The High Court can interpret the Constitution in different ways. It can be interpreted so that rulings are based on the effect it will have on the Division of Powers. There's also the legalist approach, which is that the constitution should be interpreted like any statute, with the emphasis placed on the actual words rather than on how the decision may affect the division of powers.

The High Court has gone through...