Comparative Constitutional Law

Subject 730-440 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008. Search for this in the current handbook Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Summer Term, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

To be taught intensivley over the summer semester

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: To be taught intensivley over the summer semester
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours.
Prerequisites: Legal Method and Reasoning; Principles of Public Law; Torts; Legal Theory; Constitutional Law; or in each case their equivalents.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Ms K Young
Subject Overview: The course will examine a series of normative and institutional challenges that constitutional democracies around the world currently confront. Aside from Australia, the main reference-points will be South Africa and the United States, which represent two leading and well-contrasted constitutional traditions. Drawing on both case law and wider constitutional debates, the course addresses topics such as the sources of constitutional authority; mechanisms of constitutional change and visions of constitutional and democratic politics; the scope and limits of judicial review; the relationship between international and foreign law and constitutional law; the protection of fundamental rights, including social and economic rights; the constitutional protection of equality; and the radiation of constitutional law into private relations where the government is not a party.

Note: The essay in this subject is regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing for honours purposes.

Assessment: One 3000-word take-home exam (85%). One 15-20 minute class presentation, prepared and co-presented with 1-2 other students (15%).
Prescribed Texts: Printed materials will be issued by the Faculty of Law.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills: ·

the ability to converse in and apply normative and institutional analysis in law ·

the tools of case analysis, including national and international cases from jurisdictions which are not immediately familiar ·

the capacity for independent reflective and critical thought ·

the ability to work collaboratively in a team and be sensitive to the new ideas and frameworks that may result from collaboration ·

the ability to engage in problem solving, and techniques of issue-spotting, analysis, option-generation and judgement ·

the capacity to communicate in oral and written form a series of complex ideas in a limited time · confidence in knowing when to focus on details and when to focus on broad principles

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