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The Constitution is the fundamental law of our society and the fountainhead of all other powers, duties and responsibilities in our legal system. Given its status and importance, the Constitution is often at the centre of many high profile public debates and issues. Indeed, it is in the constitutional arena where the titans of our society - State and Federal governments, the Executive, politicians and corporations - resolve their disputes; most often before the High Court. The High Court also hears matters that affect the relationship between individuals and the State, defining important features such as rights and freedoms in our society.

Constitutional law is relevant to all areas of law and all career paths. Lawyers must understand the Constitution because, put simply, the Constitution is the trunk from which all other laws branch. For instance, corporate law, tax, media & communications, human rights, environmental law (and even torts like defamation) find their source or limitations in the Constitution. For those of you planning a career in the public or political sectors this course will equip you with an understanding of the scope and limitations on institutional power and the capacity of the Government to operate in specific areas. Even if your planned career lies outside these paths, constitutional law will give you a much broader understanding of contemporary politics and help you make informed democratic decisions.

Through this course we will teach the legal, theoretical and historical basis necessary for an informed analysis of the subject matter. Students also have an important role to play by participating in discussion and debate about the power and the politics arising from this ever relevant and always evolving area of law and practice.

Summary 2021

Unit name Constitutional Law
Unit code LAW250
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law

Anja Hilkemeijer

Teaching staff

Level Intermediate
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and explain the legal, political and social basis of our constitutional system, in particular the role of, and relationship between, the various branches and divisions of government in Australia
  2. Identify constitutional issues in legal disputes and apply knowledge of the rights, duties, and freedoms in the Commonwealth Constitution to matters in dispute
  3. Work individually and collaboratively, making decisions and contributions towards the resolution of constitutional disputes
  4. Present persuasive legal argument on constitutional law topics



50 credit points of Introductory Law core or (LAW121 and LAW122)

It is recommended that you have completed LAW253 Foundations of Public Law


Teaching Pattern

Weekly lecture (2 x 2 hours)

Fortnightly seminar (1 x 2 hours)


Written submissions, 2 x 1000 words (25%), Oral Moots, 2x 5 minutes (25%), Exam (50%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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