The main objective of the course is to impart an understanding of the fundamentals of federal constitutional law through the study of key judicial decisions on powers and prohibitions in the Commonwealth Constitution. In a one session course it is neither feasible nor desirable to study all aspects of federal constitutional law. The course is designed to provide a general conceptual framework for solving problems about federal constitutional law by a detailed treatment of selected topics. The course also aims to: - Provide analysis of the function of the High Court as the final arbiter of constitutionality. - Develop an understanding of the techniques of judicial review as applied in Australia. - Encourage discussion on the adequacy of the Constitution as Australia's basic instrument of government and on the scope for 'reform' by interpretation. The topics covered in detail are: Trade and commerce, severance and reading down, inconsistency, external affairs, defence, corporations, freedom of interstate trade, general doctrines of characterisation and interpretation, grants, revenue powers, excise duties, and constitutional rights. The course includes some material on the US Constitution to provide points of comparison and contrast.
2x2hr lectures/week for 10 weeks (daytime stream), 1x3hr seminar/wk for 13 weeks (evening stream)
Compulsory problem assignment (30%) and final 2 1/2hr exam (70%) (daytime stream), Optional assignment (20%) and 2hr final open-book exam (80% or 100%) (evening stream)
LAWS1004 or LAWS3000 or LAWS3003 or LAWS5011