Immigration and Nationality Law (LAWS6223)


This is a survey unit designed to introduce students to one of the most fast moving and engaging areas of public law. Immigration law is all about government regulation of the entry of persons into Australia. As such, it is a branch of applied administrative law that concerns the very make-up of our society, affecting both who we live with and how we live our lives. Statistics show that nearly one in four Australians were either born overseas or had an overseas-born parent. In spite of this, controversy persists over whether Australia should have an immigration program and the extent to which the government is doing enough to control both unlawful entry and the quality of the (lawful) migrants. With Sydney receiving the lion's share of the migrants who come to Australia each year, migration law has become a growth area for both lawyers and migration agents. By placing the current mechanisms for controlling migration in their legal, social, historical and economic contexts, this unit provides an opportunity to explore the 'big' issues raised by immigration and to look at why the subject has assumed such a central role in the development of Australia's identity as a nation. The unit of study is designed to foster the following skills: skills of statutory interpretation and problem-solving, through the study and use in practical situations of the Migration Act 1958 and its associated Regulations; skills of legal analysis and evaluation, gained through the examination and synthesis of relevant legislation; of court decisions and of rulings by the Migration Review Tribunal; the Refugee Review Tribunal; and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in its migration division; and oral and written skills, through class participation, simulation exercises and the preparation of a major research paper.
The survey unit does not consider the area of refugee law, which is the subject of a separate postgraduate offering. It is designed as a foundational unit for students who have no background in migration law and who wish to move into the area. The unit complements the more specialised units of Refugee Law and Immigration and Labour Law.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Oct 11, 12 & 25, 26 (9-5)


class participation (10%), 3000wd essay (50%) and take-home exam (40%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

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.