LAWS5378 Government Accountability—Law and Practice

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Content
Over recent decades there has been growth in government and an increasing diversification and complexity in government service provision. There has also been, for the most part, a concomitant rise in the number (and reach) of accountability agencies, so much so that some commentators now talk of the emergence of a fourth branch of government, the ‘integrity branch', to sit alongside of the executive, legislature and judiciary. These accountability agencies have responsibility for overseeing, investigating and educating the public sector in relation to matters such as corruption, misconduct, good decision making, and avoiding conflicts of interest. Such agencies play a vital role. Governments make decisions on a daily basis that directly shape many aspects of individual and corporate existence. With such regulation comes the need for transparency, responsibility and accountability. In the words of former Commonwealth Ombudsman Professor John McMillan, "In short, the power of government is pervasive, and accountability is an indispensable check on how that power is exercised."
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) understand the 'integrity' framework of government and the role of relevant agencies—particularly mechanisms relating to government accountability, transparency, integrity and review, and arrangements in place for the prevention of maladministration, inefficient and ineffective policy design and delivery, and corruption; (2) understand the historical, political and social context for the development of the contemporary accountability framework; (3) explain the various models of government accountability and critically assess the effectiveness, costs and benefits of these models; (4) apply the law and theory learned to a range of case scenarios and explore possibilities for further development and reform of government accountability mechanisms; and (5) effectively locate and use key resources in the relevant areas of administrative law, including particularly the 'new' administrative law and the law underpinning government accountability.
Assessment
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) participation; (2) literature review; and (3) assignment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a Juris Doctor student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course
Unit Coordinator(s)
Adjunct Professor Simon Young and Adjunct Professor Chris Field (WA Ombudsman)
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
for Juris Doctor students: LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering, LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS4107 Land Law,
and
LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics
Advisable prior study:
LAWS3385 Administrative Law I
and
LAWS3386 Administrative Law II;
or
equivalent
Contact hours
Students must attend every day of the intensive period—Wednesday 31 January to Friday 2 February and Monday 5 to Wednesday 7 February.
Note
This unit will run every two years. It will next run in 2020.
Texts

Creyke, R. and McMillan, J. Control of Government Action: Text, Cases and Commentary, 3rd edn: LexisNexis Butterworths 2012 (or latest edition) (casebook)

Lane, W. B. and Young, S. Administrative Law in Australia: Thomson Lawbook Co. 2007 (new addition out late 2015)

Douglas, R. and Head, M. Douglas and Jones's Administrative Law, 7th edn: Federation Press 2009 (or latest edition)
 

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