Faculty of Law

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Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 1 2010 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Trimester 2 2010 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Trimester 3 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy (T1-58), Professor Sarah Joseph/Ms Melissa Castan (T2-58), Dr Becky Batagol/Mr Peter Johnston (T3-58)


This subject will give students an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of Australian constitutional law, State and Federal, and of the philosophy underlying them. Students will acquire the capacity to identify and analyse constitutional issues and to apply them in relevant factual contexts which they are likely to encounter in practice. The subject will examine the role of the High Court, and the trends in interpretive styles that have developed, and apply to contemporary constitutional problems.


On completion of this subject students will have:

  1. acquired a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of Australian constitutional law, both State and Federal, including an understanding of the importance of the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary;
  2. acquired an understanding of the theoretical and practical operation of the Australian federal system and its effect on daily commercial transactions;
  3. acquired an understanding of the developments in the distribution of powers within the Australian system and their likely future directions;
  4. acquired some familiarity with other constitutional systems and the relevance of such systems to trade and other commercial dealings with nations under such systems;
  5. further developed skills in caselaw analysis.


Research essay: 30%
Final examination: 70%

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Jeffrey Goldsworthy (Trimester 1)
Professor Sarah Joseph (Trimester 2)
Dr Becky Batagol (Trimester 3)

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week x 12 weeks