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Unit of study_

LAWS2011: Federal Constitutional Law

2024 unit information

The main objective of the course is to impart an undestanding of the fundamentals of federal constitutional law through the study of key judicial decisions on powers and prohibitions in the Commonwealth Constitution. In a one session course it is neither feasible nor desirable to study all aspects of federal constitutional law. The course is designed to provide a general conceptual framework for solving problems about federal constitutional law by a detailed treatment of selected topics. The course aims to:- Provide analysis of the function of the High Court as the final arbiter of constitutionality. - Develop and understanding of the techniques of judicial review as applied in Australia.- Encourage discussion on the themes of federalism, constitutional change through interpretation, and constitutionalism (for example, the rule of law, limits upon government power, and allocating power for public ends). The topics covered in detail include: The basic principles of constitutional interpretation (in relation to which the trade and commerce power will be used to illustrate); inconsistency between Commonwealth and State laws; Commonwealth legislative power including, in addition to trade and commerce as above, external affairs, corporations, tax, grants, defence, and "race"; and prohibitions on Commonwealth legsilative power such as freedom of interstate trade, the implied freedom of political communications, and the principles of intergovernmental immunity.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Law

Code LAWS2011
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
Prerequisites:
? 
None
Corequisites:
? 
LAWS1021
Prohibitions:
? 
LAWS5011

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. evaluate and critically analyse constitutional law issues by applying a detailed knowledge of the substantive content of constitutional law, and an understanding of the 'grammar' or modes of argument within constitutional law.
  • LO2. resolve new and sophisticated constitutional law problems by: (a) identifying legal issues using accepted and relevant constitutional law methods; and (b) creatively analysing facts and law (settled and as it may develop).
  • LO3. demonstrate an understanding of constitutional law doctrine, and identify and describe relevant constitutional law principles, thus evidencing the foundational knowledge needed to practice constitutional law.
  • LO4. reason with enhanced and rigorous analytical skills, creating precise, clear, well-structured, succinct, and persuasive legal arguments.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Remote
Semester 1 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.