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The High Court on Constitutional Law: The 2016 Term


Sarah Murray

‘[c]ertainty generally is illusion…’ [1]

In pondering the High Court’s 2016 constitutional law term it is hard to ignore the broader commentary of the year. For The Economist, 2016 was the ‘year of shocks’.[2] The Sydney Morning Herald noted that 2016 had been given the inauspicious and not easily obtained title of the ‘worst year ever’, citing any number of events from Brexit and the war in Syria to the loss of countless musical and acting legends as well as the likes of Justice Antonin Scalia and Muhammad Ali.[3]

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  1. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, ‘The Path of the Law’ (1897) X Harvard Law Review 457, 466.
  2. Buttonwood, ‘Seeing Through a Glass Darkly’, The Economist (London), 24 December 2016, 88.
  3. Christopher Borrelli, ‘2016 Was A Year Defined by Loss’, Sydney Morning Herald (online), 5 January 2017 <>.