LAW5014 - Principles of administrative law - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Chief examiner(s)

Dr Eric Windholz (Trimester 1)
Jason Harkess (Trimester 2)
Dr Maria O'Sullivan (Trimester 3)

Quota applies

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

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Trimester 1 2018 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 2 2018 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 3 2018 (On-campus)


LAW5000 or LAW5080 or LAW5081, LAW5007 and LAW5004 (for students beginning in 2015 or later)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7274


Administrative law is the branch of public law that regulates the exercise of power by the executive arm of government. This unit introduces students to the structure of government administration, the sources of administrative discretion and the systems that have been developed to permit the review of the exercise of administrative discretion by administrative decision-makers. The unit compares review of the 'merits' of administrative actions, by administrative decision-makers, with review of their 'legality', by courts, pursuant to judicial review. The unit examines the judicial review of administrative action both at common law and under statute and has particular regard to the grounds of review; the courts' jurisdiction to entertain applications for review; the possession, by potential applicants for review, of standing; and the remedies available pursuant to a successful judicial review application. The unit will develop advanced and integrated skills in statutory interpretation in the context of regulatory legislation.


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

  1. critically analyse the substantive law of judicial review and merits review, as well as contemporary developments in that law and its practice, with reference to broader social, political and regulatory contexts;
  2. demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills in interpreting and evaluating professional conclusions and statutes
  3. exercise professional judgement to formulate and evaluate responses to factual scenarios, based on both jurisprudential and practical considerations;
  4. apply advanced knowledge and skills to determine, in relation to particular legislation, whether claims in judicial review or merits review may be successfully argued in particular factual contexts;
  5. communicate effectively, appropriately and persuasively on issues pertaining to Administrative Law;
  6. reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback as appropriate, to support personal and professional development; and
  7. learn and work with a high level of autonomy, accountability and professionalism.


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

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 36 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.