LAWS 2008


Course Level


Offered Externally


Course ID


Unit Value


University-wide elective course

First Semester
(Study Period 2)
Course owner

Course owner
UniSA Justice & Society

Course aim

While studying Constitutional Law, students will examine key aspects of the Commonwealth Constitution and its judicial interpretation by the High Court. This course builds on students’ previous public law knowledge to examine the organisational structure, source and limits of Commonwealth and State powers, and the relationship between the three branches of government at both levels of government. Particular attention will be given to constitutional principles and foundations, the historical development of High Court decisions relating to the operation of the legislature, executive; immunities each branch of government enjoys against interference from the others, the nature of judicial review, as well as express and implied rights’ jurisprudence.

Course content

  • Constitutionalism in Australia. The fundamental principles of constitutional law including representative and responsible government, federalism, separation of powers and rule of law. The purpose and the High Court’s interpretation of the Commonwealth Constitution
  • The scope of Commonwealth legislative power (s 51), and an examination of specific heads of power including, economic powers, the ‘races’ power and external affairs. Inconsistency between Commonwealth and State laws (s 109)
  • Executive Power and the implied intergovernmental immunities’ doctrine
  • The nature of judicial review and judicial independence at Commonwealth and State levels
  • Express and implied limitations on Federal and State powers in the Commonwealth Constitution .


Jonathan Crowe 2022, Australian Constitutional Law , Oxford University Press, Australia


Common to all relevant programs
Subject Area & Catalogue Number Course Name
LAWS 1030 Law, Governance and Citizenship
LAWS 1029 Contracts
LAWS 1020 Legal Policy, Lawmaking and Justice
LAWS 1032 Torts



Teaching method

Component Duration
Lecture 2 hours x 10 weeks
Tutorial 2 hour x 10 weeks

Note: These components may or may not be scheduled in every study period. Please refer to the timetable for further details.


Advocacy exercise, Examination, Problem solving exercise


EFTSL*: 0.125
Commonwealth Supported program (Band 4C)
To determine the fee for this course as part of a Commonwealth Supported program, go to:
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Fee-paying program for domestic and international students
International students and students undertaking this course as part of a postgraduate fee paying program must refer to the relevant program home page to determine the cost for undertaking this course.

Non-award enrolment
Non-award tuition fees are set by the university. To determine the cost of this course, go to:
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Not all courses are available on all of the above bases, and students must check to ensure that they are permitted to enrol in a particular course.

* Equivalent Full Time Study Load. Please note: all EFTSL values are published and calculated at ten decimal places. Values are displayed to three decimal places for ease of interpretation.

Course Coordinators

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