LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Content
This unit examines the fundamental principles and concepts of Australian public law (including the role of international law) in historical and political context. It studies the three major institutions of Australian government, the parliament, the executive and the judiciary, at both state and Commonwealth levels, explaining their respective roles, their interrelationships and the constitutional documents which regulate and limit them. The unit explores the history of executive accountability and the rise of a 'fourth branch' of government responsible for integrity control and non-judicial review—focusing particularly in this regard on the role of freedom of information laws and ombudsman review. It also examines constitutional reform and human rights protection. The ability to communicate legal conclusions and opinions, as well as critical assessments of the state of public law, is assessed through a collaborative and structured advocacy exercise as well as through tutorial and examination performance.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) describe fundamental concepts, principles and sources of public law within their historical, political and social context, and explain interrelationships and limitations of particular principles; (2) describe the role of the state and commonwealth government institutions, constitutional sources of authority and government accountability mechanisms; (3) analyse the position of the Australian legal and constitutional system within the world legal order; (4) critically assess the state of the law, ideas for reform and the broader social, moral and political dynamics that accompany legal practice in this field; (5) apply principles of public law to a variety of factual scenarios; (6) evaluate available courses of action and alternative responses to public law legal issues; and (7) develop a clear and persuasive legal argument orally and in writing responding to a hypothetical public law problem and using legal research skills.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) structured advocacy exercise; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Sarah Murray and Dr Tamara Tulich
Unit rules
Co-requisites:
LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering,
Contact hours
up to 4 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.