LAWS 2008 Government and Public Law

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 200984

Coordinator Elizabeth Handsley Opens in new window

Description Government and Public Law introduces students to the field of public law and the operation of government in Australia. The unit has four key focus areas: Public Law in Australia, How Government Works, Government Accountability and Integrity, and Individuals and Government. The unit is intended to provide an overview of government and public law in Australia. The unit provides a foundation for the later study of Administrative Law and Constitutional Law.

School Law

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

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Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Pre-requisite(s) LAWS 1003 OR
LAWS 1006

Incompatible Subjects LAWS 3010 - Commercial Transactions Law

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Discuss the history and operation of government in Australia;
  2. Examine key areas of public law in Australia;
  3. Apply public law to issues relating to human rights and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  4. Develop critical thinking and academic essay writing skills.

Subject Content

Public Law in Australia
- The idea of Public Law
- Development of Public Law in Australia
- Australian Federalism
How Government Works
- The Executive
- Democracy and Representative Government
- Parliamentary Process and Legislative Power
- The Judiciary
- International Law and the Australian legal system
Individuals and Government
- Human Rights
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Public Law
Government Accountability and Integrity
- Executive Accountability to Parliament
- Public Investigatory Bodies
- Misconduct by public officials


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay - (Draft) 1,500 words S/U N Individual
Report - Critical Review 500 words 15 N Individual
Essay 2,000 words 40 N Individual
Exam 3 hours (2,000 words) 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Gabrielle Appleby, Alexander Reilly and Laura Grenfell, Australian Public Law (OUP, 3rd ed, 2018): ISBN: 9780190310899

Teaching Periods




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Parramatta - Victoria Rd


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Structures that include subject