The High Court’s 1983 decision in the Tasmanian Dam Case was a defining moment in Australian law and politics. The Court’s decision had enormous implications for the constitutional and political relationship between the Commonwealth and State governments. The decision paved the way for increased opportunities for the federal government to regulate in areas once the domain of the State governments, and added further constitutional significance to the Commonwealth government’s engagement at the international level. The impact of these dimensions of the case has been most prominent for environmental policy and in the protection of human rights in Australia.
The ANU Centre for International and Public Law and the Australian Centre for Environmental Law, in association with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, will host a symposium on the 30th anniversary of this landmark case. The symposium brings together leading Australian commentators to explore, 30 years on, its various dimensions and implications.