Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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

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

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 1 2015 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Trimester 2 2015 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Trimester 3 2015 (Day)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see http://www.law.monash.edu.au/current-students/postgraduate/pg-disc-dates.html
For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see http://law.monash.edu.au/current-students/course-unit-information/timetables/postgraduate/index.html
Previously coded as LAW7268

Quota applies

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


The unit examines the Victorian and Australian Constitutions, the Statute of Westminster and the Australia Acts; the separation of judicial powers at State and Commonwealth levels; 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; some principal Commonwealth legislative powers; limitations on governmental power, including selected express and limited constitutional rights and freedoms, and critical analysis of techniques and principles of constitutional interpretation.


At the successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. analyse and critically evaluate the current state of Commonwealth and Victorian constitutional law and practice, and discuss reform issues;
  2. analyse and critically evaluate judgments of the High Court of Australia and other Australian courts in constitutional cases, including from the perspectives of

a. the interpretive techniques used, and

b. the principles or policies underlying the relevant constitutional doctrines or provisions;

  1. demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills to justify and interpret professional opinions relating to the constitutional validity of Commonwealth and Victorian legislation and executive actions, and to make reasoned and appropriate choices among alternatives;
  2. select, analyse and apply constitutional law interpretive principles to generate appropriate jurisprudential and practical responses to complex legal issues;
  3. communicate and collaborate effectively and persuasively; and
  4. work with a high degree of autonomy, independence and professionalism


1. Research assignment (2,250 words): 30%
2. Examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading time): 70%

Workload requirements

Workload is 2.5 (or 3 for 2015+ cohort) hours per week x 12 weeks

Chief examiner(s)


LAW5000 or LAW5080 or LAW5081 and LAW5004 (for students beginning in 2015 or later)