Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013


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
  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)

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW3200/LAW3201