Global Book Series: The New Fourth Branch by Professor Mark Tushnet

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Current constitutions complicate our understanding of the traditional separation of powers. In addition to courts, legislative and executive actors, most democratic constitutional systems now have a vast array of ‘fourth branch’ bodies – including equality, human rights, electoral and integrity commissions.

In this seminar, we explore the origins and function of these bodies in global perspective, in conversation with Harvard Law School Professor Mark Tushnet, author of The New Forth Branch and UNSW Professor Gabrielle Appleby, a leading expert on integrity and other fourth branch institutions in Australia. The session will be chaired by Professor of Law and Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, Rosalind Dixon.


Professor Mark Tushnet is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law emeritus at Harvard Law School. He is a leading scholar in comparative constitutional law and judicial review.

Professor Gabrielle Appleby’s research focusses on the accountability of public power, as exercised by the government, the parliament and the judiciary. Gabrielle is the Director of The Judiciary Project and the Gender and Public Law Project at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, the constitutional consultant to the Clerk of the Australian House of Representatives, a Director of the Centre for Public Integrity a member of the Indigenous Law Centre, and a series editor for the Hart Publishing Rule of Law in Context collection.

Rosalind Dixon is a Professor of Law and Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW. She previously held an appointment at the University of Chicago Law School and is a leading comparative constitutional law expert and the immediate past president of the International Society of Public Law.