Faculty of Law

Monash University

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.

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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
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2013 (Day)


Topics include: the Constitutions of Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia, the Statute of Westminster and the Australia Acts; basic constitutional principles such as representative and responsible government, parliamentary sovereignty, and separation of powers; techniques and principles of constitutional interpretation; Australian federalism and inter-governmental relations, including the distribution of legislative and fiscal powers between the Commonwealth and the States, inconsistency of laws, and intergovernmental immunities; principal Commonwealth legislative powers; limitations on governmental power including selected express and limited constitutional rights and freedoms.
Students wishing to practise law in Malaysia must undertake LAW3200, a full-year offering of Constitutional law.


Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  1. present arguments for or against, and objectively assess, the constitutional validity of Commonwealth and Victorian legislation and executive government action
  2. analyse and critically evaluate the current state of federal and Victorian constitutional law and practice, and discuss the desirability of reform and
  3. analyse and critically evaluate judgments of the High Court and other Australian courts in constitutional cases, from the perspectives of:
    1. the interpretive techniques used
    2. the principles or policies underlying the relevant constitutional doctrines or provisions.


Tutorial Participation: 10%


Research Assignment (1,500 words): 30% plus
Final Examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 60%


Final Examination (3 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 90%

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Melissa Castan (First Semester)
Professor Sarah Joseph (Second Semester)

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week and one hour tutorial per fortnight.


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104