Andrew Inglis Clark

Andrew Inglis Clark (1848-1907) was an influential Federationist and one of the principal drafters of the Australian Constitution. A democrat and republican, he served (1878-82 and 1887-98) in the Tasmanian parliament where, as attorney-general (1887-92 and 1894-97), he introduced progressive and humanitarian legislation and the Hare-Clark proportional representation system. He was a judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania (1898-1907).


20 January 1897

Hare–Clark proportional representation

Tasmanians are granted proportional representation in the Legislative Assembly seats of Hobart and Launceston, followed by the whole state in 1907. Andrew Inglis Clark, Tasmania’s Attorney General, seeks to reform the colony’s electoral system during the 1890s. Clark was a promoter of the single transferable vote.


Picture of Hobart from Mt Nelson, Tasmania, c.1895.
3 June 1898

Constitution referendums

The Australian Constitution is endorsed by the voters of each Australian colony at referendums in 1898, 1899 and 1900, passed by the British Parliament and given Royal Assent on 9 July 1900. About 45.4 per cent of electors in four colonies (Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia) vote at the 1898 poll, increasing to 60.71 per cent of eligible voters in all six colonies at the 1899 poll. The first draft of the Australian Constitution is usually attributed to Sir Samuel Griffith, although some argue that Griffith rewrote Andrew Inglis Clark’s version.


Andrew Inglis Clark.