The unit of study examines key concepts in Australian constitutional law including techniques and principles of constitutional interpretation. The unit also investigates principal Commonwealth and State legislative powers and interrogates the extent of the major powers granted to the Commonwealth. The unit also discusses limitations on governmental power including express and implied constitutional guarantees of rights and freedoms and the concept of separation of powers.

Unit details

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Unit code:


BLB1101 - Australian Legal System in Context

BLB1114 - Legal Research Methods

LLW1000 - Introduction to Public Law

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Exemplify advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in the area of Australian constitutional law and its application to government, including high level competency in legal research in respect of all categories of research materials: primary, especially legislation and cases, and secondary; domestic and foreign;  
  2. Conceptually map the intersection between theory and practice with intellectual independence and make professional judgements in applying constitutional law for public and client benefit in contemporary settings;  
  3. Analyse, extrapolate and interpret legal research implications, knowledge and skills to provide solutions to complex legal problems related to Australian constitutional law and government as demonstrated through a research essay and problem-based examination;  
  4. Exercise critical thinking and judgement in the learning and application of Australian constitutional law, drawing on knowledge of research principles and methods of law and cognate disciplines, especially political science;  
  5. Design and implement a research study to investigate an Australian constitutional law question through analysis, critical review and interpretation of relevant data; and  
  6. Apply knowledge and skills in the area of Australian constitutional law in recommending ethical resolutions to complex legal issues.  


Three types of assessment
Assessment type Description Grade
Other Quiz 10%
Assignment Research assignment 40%
Examination Final exam 50%
The total assessment in this unit is equivalent to 5,500 words

Required reading

Required Texts

Blackshield and WilliamsHanks Australian Constitutional Law Materials and Commentary 10th
Meagher, D, Simpson, A, Stellios, J, Wheeler, F(2016)

Constitutional Law 2nd
Harvey, M, Longo, M, Ligertwood, J, Babovic, D, Parker, D (2014)


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