University of Technology Sydney

70616 Australian Constitutional Law

Requisite(s): 70211c Contracts OR 70102 Foundations of Law
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject develops an understanding of the fundamentals of Australian constitutional law by examining the role and scope of the Commonwealth Constitution and the division of powers between the Commonwealth and the States under the system of responsible and representative government. Federalism and the fundamentals of State constitutional law are also addressed. Specific topics considered in this subject include: the philosophies and principles which shape Australian constitutional law; the content of the Commonwealth and State constitutions and theories used by the High Court when interpreting the Commonwealth Constitution; Commonwealth legislative powers. The role of international law in shaping Australian domestic law; the scope of executive, parliamentary and judicial powers and the relationship between these three arms of government; the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Australian Constitution are also explored.

The Supreme Court of each State and Territory within Australia requires all law students to study State and Federal Constitutional Law: this is because constitutional law is the bedrock of the Australian legal systems and a range of legal disputes have the potential to develop into constitutional problems. Students therefore explore aspects of the Commonwealth Constitution and the Constitution of NSW, analyse their provisions and develop a deeper understanding of our system of government. They learn the language and skills of constitutional lawyers: how to research constitutional questions, how to solve constitutional problems and how to predict constitutional outcomes. To appreciate the role of constitutional law and its relevance to other areas of legal study and practice a 'road map' has been developed for students (available on Canvas).

Detailed subject description.

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Access conditions

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