LAWS 7057 Government and Public Law

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 201053

Coordinator Shreeya Smith Opens in new window

Description Government and Public Law is designed to provide an overview of government and public law in Australia and a foundation for the later study of Administrative Law and Constitutional Law. It introduces students to the principles and structures that underpin constitutional and administrative law in Australia. The subject. The subject has four key focus areas: Public Law in Australia, How Government Works, Government Accountability and Integrity, and Individuals and Government. Students will collaborate in problem/case-based learning and engage with online learning materials to develop knowledge and skills in legal research and communication enabling them to address critical contemporary public law challenges.

School Law

Discipline Law, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Co-requisite(s) LAWS 7056 Fundamentals of Australian Law and LAWS 7058 Introduction to Law

Incompatible Subjects LAWS 2008 Government and Public Law


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Critique the role and operation of government in Australia.
2. Examine the role and operations of public law in Australia from a policy perspective
3. Apply public law to issues relating to human rights and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
4. Construct a comprehensive analysis of contemporary public law
5. Reflect on individual performance to effectively undertake legal work

Subject Content

1. Public Law in Australia
- The idea of Public Law
- Development of Public Law in Australia
- Foundational public law values

2. How Government Works
- The Parliament
- The Executive
- The judiciary
- Intermediate Statutory interpretation: an exploration of statutory interpretation as an expression of the constitutional relationship between the arms of government
- International Law and the Australian legal system

3. Individuals and Government
- Human Rights
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Public Law

4. 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.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Reflection 400 words or equivalent 15 N Individual
Essay 2,500 words 40 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Lisa Burton-Crawford, Janina Boughey, Maria O’Sullivan and Melissa Castan, Public Law and Statutory Interpretation: Principles and practice (The Federation Press, 2nd ed, 2021) ISBN: 9781760022860

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)



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Parramatta - Victoria Rd


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