This unit is designed to introduce students to the principles and structures that underpin constitutional and administrative law in Australia. It is broader than either of these subjects because its focus is on generic issues of governance and accountability, focusing on questions of governmental power: what power is exercised by whom, from what source, with what limits and how and by whom is the exercise of those powers to be scrutinised. The unit begins with an introduction to the Constitution, its history, and the structures established by it, together with consideration of how to change both State and Commonwealth Constitutions. The unit then moves to consider the three arms of government and related concepts such as representative and responsible government; the separation of judicial power and institutional integrity of the courts. The course also introduces various mechanisms by which the executive can be made accountable, including by the Parliament, through freedom of information laws, and investigative tribunals.
2x2hr seminars/week for 10 weeks
1hr interim exam (30%) and 2hr final exam (70%)
LAWS1004 or LAWS2002 or LAWS3003 or LAWS5007