Samuel Griffith Society

The Samuel Griffith Society was founded by former Chief Justice Sir Harry Gibbs, John Stone and others in 1992. Named after Sir Samuel Griffith, one of the architects of the Australian Constitution, the society describes its prime role: "... to ensure that proposals to change the Australian Constitution will be subjected to the most intense scrutiny." It holds annual conferences and publishes an annual journal of conference proceedings entitled "Upholding the Australian Constitution".

It is one of a number of groups including the H. R. Nicholls Society, Bennelong Society and Lavoisier Group, that were promoted by Australian business leader and political activist Ray Evans.

Core beliefs

  • To oppose the further centralisation of power in Canberra.
  • To restore the authority of Parliament as against that of the Executive.
  • To defend the independence of the Judiciary.
  • To foster and support any reforms of Australia's constitutional arrangements which would help achieve these objectives.
  • To promote discussion on constitutional matters to establish a clear position in support of the decentralisation of government power.
  • To encourage a wider understanding throughout the community of the Constitution and the nation's achievement under it."

Current performance

The Society has criticised the Mabo Decision, supported Australia remaining a constitutional monarchy and opposed an introduction of a Bill of rights.[1]

The Society seems to support its core beliefs, according to James Allen: "The Society’s members remain stalwart supporters of federalism, in line with the clear and unmistakable intentions of those who drafted our Constitution and worked to see it ratified, and despite the truly abysmal track record of our High Court in federalism disputes since 1920."[2]

See also


  1. ^ National Observer Winter 1999
  2. ^ Allen, James, (2015).

External links

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