LAW1112 - Public law and statutory interpretation - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit was previously coded LAW1104. This unit is only offered to students commencing in 2015 and beyond.


The unit will introduce the basic principles of public law, government and statutory interpretation in Australian law. The unit will investigate the range of legal devices whereby Australia is governed, and will introduce key ideas pertaining to public legal entities, including the Crown. Fundamental principles of public law will be considered, together with the broader contexts in which they arise and operate. So will fundamental, constitutional relationships between each of Parliament, the executive and the judiciary. The unit will also deal with statutory interpretation in depth, beginning with the fundamental constitutional principle of parliamentary supremacy, and exploring how the rules and principles of statutory interpretation flow from an understanding of the constitutional relationship between Parliament and the judiciary.


At the successful completion of this Unit students should be able to:

  1. explain the legal principles and institutional arrangements that underpin government in Australia
  2. demonstrate an awareness of the principles and values that have shaped the Australian system of government, including representative democracy, the rule of law and human rights
  3. critically examine the framework of Australian government with reference to a range of broader perspectives
  4. demonstrate an understanding of constitutionalism and the rule of law as values and modes of government that shape the broader political and institutional context within which particular legal issues arise
  5. articulate and critically examine the purposes and scope of the fundamental constitutional rules that govern the relationships between Parliament, the executive and the judiciary
  6. select, interpret and apply relevant rules and principles of statutory interpretation in order to reach a considered view on the legal meaning, or likely legal meaning, of a doubtful legislative provision
  7. give a reasoned opinion as to the appropriate meaning of a legislative provision which takes adequate account of the law of statutory interpretation
  8. demonstrate the intellectual and practical skills needed to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues.


  1. Legislative research quiz - 10% (2)

    1. Test or tests (in class or take home) totalling 30% (eg may be one 30% test or two 15% tests) or

    2. written assignment - 30% as selected by the Chief Examiner prior to the commencement of semester.
  2. 2 hour examination - 60%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Semester 1 : Mr Adam Fletcher

Semester 2 : Dr Eric Windholz


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

Students in LLB(Hons)/BE(Hons) (L3002):

LAW1111 Foundations of Law

All other single or double degree LLB(Hons) students:

LAW1111 Foundations of Law

LAW1114 Criminal Law 1