Keeping the Peace of the Realm

An insightful analysis of the sources of power for domestic deployment of Australia’s Defence Force

Published: 12 October, 2021

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Book: Paperback
AUD$ 69.00
In Stock ISBN: 9780409354379
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In Stock ISBN: 9780409354386

Keeping the Peace of the Realm addresses the constitutional frameworks and authorities relating to the use of the Australian Defence Force in conducting domestic security operations. Generally speaking, use of the military domestically falls into two broad policy categories: Defence Assistance to the Civil Community, covering situations where there is no likelihood of force being used, and Defence Force Aid to the Civil Authority, applied where there is. The first category is not particularly controversial and has been the legal and policy construct for the management of natural disasters, such as bushfires and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Equally, there are clear statutory regimes enabling the Defence Force to assist in response to threats of domestic violence, a term found within s 119 of the Australian Constitution. What, then, for operations that envisage some force, but not with respect to domestic violence – such as countering cyber threats? Any such use of the ADF currently must be done through non-statutory executive power.

Until now, little has been written on the legal authorities, and constraints, on the utilisation of Australia’s military domestically. The author reviews the ambiguities in this area of law and definitively covers the legal authorities – an internal security prerogative, or the nationhood power – that would allow for the Australian Defence Force to undertake civil aid deployments. It further addresses the extent to which current statutory regimes have abridged the prerogative power.

The in-depth analysis makes this text an essential reference for military and security lawyers and other sections of government, at both state and federal levels. It is highly relevant to public, administrative and constitutional lawyers and to anyone interested to understand non-statutory executive power underpinning the utilisation of the Defence Force domestically in Australia.

Book Review - Justice Logan | April 2022

Book Review - Lincoln Sudholz | February 2022

Book Review - David Letts | August 2022

'Remarks on the Launch of Keeping the Peace of the Realm, authored by Sam White' - John Logan | 2022

Book Review - David Thomae | 2022

The material from the Adelaide Law Review is reproduced with the kind permission of the editorial board.


• Addresses an area of ambiguity in Australian law
• Clear expert analysis
• Topical discussion

Related Titles

• Bateman et al, Hanks Australian Constitutional Law: Materials and Commentary, 11th ed, 2021
• Hanks, Gordon & Hill, Constitutional Law in Australia, 4th ed, 2018
• Stephens & Stubbs (eds), The Law of Naval Warfare, 2019

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