LAWS 7046 Constitutional Law

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 201058

Coordinator Azadeh Dastyari Opens in new window

Description Constitutional Law introduces the legal rules and doctrines governing State and Commonwealth Constitutional systems in Australia. Topics covered include: State and Commonwealth Constitutions; legislative powers of the Commonwealth and State governments; Executive; the separation of powers doctrine; the legal relations between State and Commonwealth laws; Constitutional freedoms and restrictions on Commonwealth legislative powers.

School Law

Discipline Constitutional Law

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Pre-requisite(s) LAWS 7057


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Examine the rules, doctrines and conventions that govern the Commonwealth and State constitutional systems in Australia;
  2. Construct solutions to legal problems that demonstrate deep comprehension of Constitutional Law;
  3. Assess techniques of constitutional interpretation and reasoning;
  4. Present persuasive and appropriately substantiated constitutional arguments;
  5. Ethically and accurately reference (using the Australian Guide to Legal Citation) legal information from a range of primary and secondary sources.

Subject Content

- introduction to Australian constitutional Law
- state Legislative powers
- constitutional Amendment
- separation of Judicial power
- The Executive
- constitutional interpretation
- Characterisation
- trade and commerce and Incidental powers
- Corporations power
- external affairs power
- Inconsistency between Commonwealth and state laws
- freedom of political communication


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
Presentation 10 minutes 20 N Individual
Research paper 3,000 words 35 N Individual
Exam 2 hours 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • George Williams, Sean Brennan and Andrew Lynch, Blackshield and Williams Australian Constitutional Law and Theory: Commentary and Materials (Federation Press, 7th ed, 2018).

Teaching Periods

Structures that include subject