Constitutional Theory (JURS6018)


This unit will address the role that constitutionalism is expected to play in a democratic state, and will explore various constitutional theories. The main focus will be on theoretical attempts at reconciling commitments to constitutionalism with emphasis on democratic participation: Is it paradoxical that a state governed by majority rules withdraws certain areas from collective decision-making? Various theories of constitutionalism, of constitutional interpretation, and of constitutional judicial review will be explored. The unit will also discuss the question of constitutional charters of rights, different models of judicial review, separation of powers, direct democracy and the functions of constitutions in transitions to democratic systems. The unit will follow a seminar format with the emphasis on class discussion of unit materials. First two days will be focused on the instructor's lectures while two remaining days on students' presentations.

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Aug 4, 5 & 18, 19 (9-5)


Options: (i) class participation (20%), oral presentation (20%) and 4500wd essay (60%) or (ii) 2 x oral presentations (20% each) and 3000wd essay (40%)

Faculty/department permission required?


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Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.