Skip to main content
  • Home
  • Research
  • ...
  • 10
  • Research Seminar - Path Dependency, the High Court, and the Constitution

Research Seminar - Path Dependency, the High Court, and the Constitution

Presented by Jeremy Patrick, School of Law & Justice

Date: 16 October 2019
Time: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Venue: Toowoomba - Q420, Springfield - A602 or via Zoom
RSVP: Please RSVP to AD Seminars by Friday 11 October, 2019
Contact: For more information, please contact AD-Seminars.
Save to calendar: Download

Path dependence is a concept that originally arose in the field of economics before gaining currency with political scientists and historians. Can it be applied to law? 

The essence of path dependency is that temporality matters: once a decision is made, it often becomes “locked-in” and persists despite the existence of more efficient or otherwise better alternatives that could become apparent later.  A classic example in the literature is the QWERTY keyboard: we all use a keyboard designed in 1873 to intentionally slow typing speed (to prevent typewriter jamming).  The tentative hypothesis advanced here is that the concept of path dependency is useful for understanding why some doctrines of Australian constitutional law have changed dramatically since first developed while others remain largely the same.  An early decision that easily could have gone the other way may impact society for generations to come, and path dependency is part of the explanation for this phenomenon.

Dr. Jeremy Patrick is a Lecturer in the USQ School of Law and Justice.  He teaches and researches in the areas of constitutional law and law and religion.