Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Constitutional Law is a compulsory subject in the Juris Doctor program offered by the La Trobe Law School. This subject introduces students to a number of important topics pertaining to federal and state constitutional law in Australia. This includes an examination of the basic concepts and doctrines relating to Australia#s federal structure as well as the sources and limits of Commonwealth and state legislative power. A number of specific Commonwealth heads of power will be examined and relevant scope and characterisation issues explored. Students will subsequently consider how various restrictions on these heads of power, such as Chapter III judicial power and express and implied constitutional freedoms, operate in a situational context. Students will also canvass concepts relating to federal/state relations, including the rules governing inconsistency of laws. This subject seeks to develop students# constitutional problem-solving skills as well as aiming to impart a theoretical appreciation of the significance of Australian constitutionalism.

SchoolLa Trobe Law School

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPatrick Keyzer

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites LAW5PMI. LAW5CSL can be taken as a co-requisite with LAW5PMI.

Co-requisites LAW5PMI

Incompatible subjects LAW2CSL, LAW2CNL

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Must be admitted to Juris Doctor degree or have permission from Law Director of Programs

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsPrinciples of Australian Constitutional LawPrescribedPatrick Keyzer (4th ed, 2013)Lexis Nexis
ReadingsConstitution of the Commonwealth of AustraliaPrescribedNANA
ReadingsHanks' Australian Constitutional LawRecommendedJennifer Clarke, Patrick Keyzer and James Stellios (9th ed, 2013)Lexis Nexis
ReadingsFederal Constitutional LawRecommendedSarah Joseph and Melissa Castan (4th ed, 2014)Thompson Reuters

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Research problems in Australian constitutional law.

Summary of argument

02. Prepare a professional Outline of Argument in the area of Australian constitutional law.

Summary of argument

03. Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles and doctrines which underpin Australian constitutional law.

Online quiz and end of semester exam

04. Solve constitutional problems using constitutional and interpretative problem-solving skills.

Summary of argument and end of semester exam

05. Appraise the jurisprudence of the High Court of Australian in the area of constitutional law.

Summary of argument and end of semester exam

06. Give an account of how the fundamental principles and doctrines of Australian constitutional law relate to the history, ideas, politics, and institutions of Australian constitutionalism.

End of semester exam

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

City Campus, 2016, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAnn Wardrop

Class requirements

Lecture/Seminar Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture/seminar per week on weekdays at night from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.

WorkShop Week: 10 - 22
Two 4.0 hours workshop per study period on weekends during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
One 4.0 hours lecture per study period on weekdays at night from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Online quiz (Word equivalent 500 words)10 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06
Online/Summary of Argument (2000 words)30 01, 02, 03, 04, 05
End of Semester Examination (three hour examination, word equivalent 3000 words)60 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06