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 include: The basic principles of constitutional interpretation (in relation to which the trade and commerce power will be used to illustrate); inconsistency between Commonwealth and State laws; Commonwealth legislative power including, in addition to trade and commerce as above, external affairs, corporations, defence, tax and revenue powers, grants, excise; and prohibitions on Commonwealth legislative power such as freedom of interstate trade, the implied freedom of political communications and the principles of intergovernmental immunity.
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)
PA Gerangelos et al, Winterton's Australian Federal Constitutional Law, (4th ed 2017)
LAWS1004 or LAWS3000 or LAWS3003 or LAWS5011