Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 1 2014 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Trimester 2 2014 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Trimester 3 2014 (Day)


Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.


This unit will give students an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of Australian constitutional law, State and Federal, and of the philosophy underlying them. Students will acquire the capacity to identify and analyse constitutional issues and to apply them in relevant factual contexts which they are likely to encounter in practice. The unit will examine the role of the High Court, and the trends in interpretive styles that have developed, and apply to contemporary constitutional problems.


On completion of this unit students will have:

  1. acquired a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of Australian constitutional law, both State and Federal, including an understanding of the importance of the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary
  2. acquired an understanding of the theoretical and practical operation of the Australian federal system and its effect on daily commercial transactions
  3. acquired an understanding of the developments in the distribution of powers within the Australian system and their likely future directions
  4. acquired some familiarity with other constitutional systems and the relevance of such systems to trade and other commercial dealings with nations under such systems
  5. further developed skills in case law analysis.


Research essay: 30%
Final examination: 70%

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Erica Contini (Trimester 1)
Ms Yee-Fui Ng (Trimester 2)
Dr Ronli Sifris (Trimester 3)

Workload requirements

2.5 hours per week x 12 weeks