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LAW3200 - Constitutional law 312

12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Law


Clayton Full year 2007 (Day)


Topics include: basic constitutional principles including representative and responsible government, parliamentary sovereignty and separation of powers; the constitutions of the Australian States (emphasising Victoria), the Federal Constitution, Statute of Westminster and Australia Acts; Australian federalism including distribution of legislative and fiscal powers between Commonwealth and States, inconsistency of laws and intergovernmental immunities; techniques and principles of constitutional interpretation; principal Commonwealth legislative powers; limitations on governmental power; express and implied rights.


Students who successfully complete this unit should

  1. be able to present arguments for or against, and make an objective assessment of, the constitutionality of Commonwealth and Victorian legislation and Commonwealth executive government action by reference to the doctrines of constitutional law and the provisions of the Commonwealth and Victorian Constitutions studied in this course;
  2. be able to advise the Victorian and Commonwealth governments on ways and means of achieving governmental objectives consistently with constitutional requirements and prohibitions;
  3. be able to analyse and critically comment upon the current state of federal and Victorian constitutional law and practice and to discuss how current law and practice could be changed to better accommodate the national and regional interests of the Australian people;
  4. be able to carefully analyse and critically evaluate judgments of the High Court of Australia on constitutional law from the perspectives of
    1. the interpretive techniques used and
    2. the underlying policy goals of the relevant constitutional doctrines or provisions and other relevant policy perspectives; and
  5. experience an enhancement of their abilities for critical analysis, research skills and skills of written argument.


Mid-year examination (3 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 50%
Research paper (7000-9000 words): 50%

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week and one hour tutorial per fortnight in 1st semester. Individual research in 2nd semester.


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102