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LAWS12055 - Constitutional Law

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this course students will be exposed to the Australian federal constitutional system. Students will explore the details of Commonwealth/State legal arrangements. Students will gain an appreciation of the notion of "unitary" as opposed to "federal" constitutions. In terms of Australian federalism, students will gain an awareness of what is meant by "coordinate"; "cooperative"; and "competitive" federalism. The course will expose students to the view that constitutional law is not merely a conceptual/theoretical subject but also has a practical value that impinges on daily life.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Pre Req: LAWS11057

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2014

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 1 - 2014

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Group Discussion 10%
3. Presentation and Written Assessment 30%
4. Examination 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

No previous feedback available

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student evaluations, emails, and survey.
There may have been too many assessment items in the course, including a highly complex Digital Flashcard assignment that required having to learn a new and possibly complex software.
Attempts will be made to ensure that students are not over-assessed and that, if need be, having to use one specific software is avoided.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Explain and discuss key constitutional law principles such as Australian federalism, the doctrine of separation of powers, constitutionalism, rule of law, parliamentary sovereignty, and responsible and representative government.
  2. Research case law and demonstrate critical thinking in applying case law, and key provisions and legal principles of the Australian Commonwealth Constitution, State constitutions, and statutes, to constitutional law issues and problems.
  3. Compare and contrast key Australian constitutional law principles with those of selected countries.
  4. Critically examine, evaluate, and explain the theoretical and actual operation and relationship of the Australian legislature, executive, and judiciary, at both federal and state levels.
  5. Explain and discuss the impact of key constitutional law principles on society, including on constitutional rights and freedoms.

After completing this course, you should have an understanding of the considerable case law interpreting the Australian Constitution.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Group Discussion
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment
4 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Group Discussion
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment
4 - Examination