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Administrative Law deals with the relationship between the citizen and the state. The subject has both a theoretical and a practical perspective. The subject tackles the questions: what is, and what ought to be, administrative law’s role today in Australia? It introduces students to the background and development of the structure of government administration, the privatisation of administrative services in Australia, sources of and controls over administrative discretions, the systems that have developed for the review of actions of administrative agencies and the availability of administrative law remedies. Merits review and other ‘alternative’ mechanisms for challenging administrative action are closely examined.

The first part of the unit examines non-judicial review mechanisms and provides an insight into the complex and dynamic relationship between law and government administration. The unit then examines judicial review of administrative action at common law and under statute, including different grounds of review, distinctions between legality and merits review, and between errors of law and fact, as well as concepts of statutory and administrative discretion and justiciability. Through this process, students will learn and practise advanced statutory interpretation skills and develop experience in recognising and solving administrative law problems.

The course is designed to critically evaluate judicial decisions and administrative law systems that have developed in Australia in relation to concepts of accountability and public duty. It also examines the objectives of administrative law as a branch of public law, and its ability to provide access to justice.

Summary 2021

Unit name Administrative Law and Advanced Statutory Interpretation
Unit code LAW301
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law

Dr Phillipa McCormack

Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No



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* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse and critically appraise the way administrative law values and principles, underpin the various mechanisms for challenging administrative decisions.
  2. Recognise, solve, and critically reflect on administrative law problems and issues, and their role in regulating interactions between government policy, administration and the law
  3. Write clearly and persuasively to clients and other stakeholders about the application of administrative law principles to factual scenarios
  4. Develop and apply advanced statutory interpretation principles to administrative law problems, including to define the scope of statutory powersNone



50 credit points of Intermediate Law core.

It is recommended that you have completed LAW253 and LAW250.


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

100 minute Lecture, Weekly

100 minute Seminar, Fortnightly


Seminar paper 1, 1000 words (20%), Seminar paper 2, 1000 words (20%), Take home exam, 2000 words (50%), Seminar participation and discussion board contribution (10%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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