The Historical Roots of the Australian Constitution

In the vital 1884 New South Wales case of Regina v. Darling & Others, on appeal, Chief Justice Martin stated:69 "An opinion has been expressed that the Christian religion in any of its forms is not recognised by the law of this country. No greater mistake can be made. It has been frequently and correctly stated both in England and here that Christianity is part of the Common Law…. Christianity is part of the Common Law…of this Colony."

From then onward, both France and Germany pursued an aggressive expansionistic imperialism in the South Pacific. To the Australian Colonies, especially after 1885, the common needs of their defence and trade became very pressing. Constitutional confederation was seen to be the right road ahead. In 1885, the 'Father of the Federation' Sir Henry Parkes declared:70 "We are a British people — are pre-eminently a Christian people…. Our laws, our whole system of jurisprudence, our Constitution…are based upon and interwoven with our Christian belief."