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 unit. The unit 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 HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Co-requisite(s) LAWS 7056


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
- Australian Federalism
2. How Government Works
- The Executive
- Democracy and Representative Government
- Parliamentary Process and Legislative Power
- The Judiciary
- 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.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Critical Review Report 500 words 20 N Individual
Case-based Essay 2,500 words 35 N Individual
Exam 2 hours 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

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

Teaching Periods


Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Shreeya Smith Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Structures that include subject