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Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton Second semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Jeff Goldsworthy


The course focuses on contemporary problems in Australian constitutional law that are not covered in depth in Constitutional Law, LAW3201, with a comparative dimension where appropriate. Topics will include methods of constitutional interpretation (including the tension between the framers' original intentions and contemporary values); express constitutional rights (trial by jury and freedom of religion); implications drawn from the Constitution, including the separation of powers as a new springboard for implied rights and the demise of the cross-vesting scheme; the "races power"; the defence power both in war and peace; militiary discipline tribunals; and parliamentary privilege.


On completion of this unit students should

  1. have extended their basic understanding of Australian constitutional principles;
  2. have acquired an appreciation of contemporary issues relating to the constitutional system;
  3. be able to evaluate critically the role and functioning of the High Court in contemporary Australian society; and
  4. have developed a greater appreciation of the complex task of constitutional interpretation, with particular emphasis on fundamental doctrines.


Class participation 10%; research assignment (2000 words) 40%; final examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time) 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW3200/LAW3201