Public Private Partnerships Law

Subject LAWS70113 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2012.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Subject Overview:

Private sector involvement in the financing, delivery and operation of public infrastructure is nothing new; it is, however, constantly evolving. The public appetite for social and economic infrastructure is insatiable, yet must constantly be tempered by economic constraints. Alongside the increasingly sophisticated and internationalised market for funding and technical capacity, there has been in recent years a renewed focus upon the policy bases for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) by governments and the broader community. Navigating all this in its legal context is one of the great ongoing challenges faced by the construction industry and its legal advisers.This subject, taught by two leaders in the field who bring a wealth of experience to the classroom, is designed to equip students to respond to this challenge.

Principal topics will include:

  • Historical perspectives on private involvement in the delivery of public infrastructure, how it has changed over time and lessons learnt
  • Approaches to the categorising of PPP projects, including the broad distinction between ‘economic’ and ‘social’ infrastructure
  • Features specific to the structuring and procurement of projects within each of these categories, including fundamental aspects such as the need to secure an income stream in relation to economic infrastructure and the relevance of the distinction, in relation to social infrastructure, between delivery of physical infrastructure and delivery of services
  • Features specific to particular sectors within each of these categories (e.g. toll roads, power stations, water, health care, education and corrections)
  • The various policy frameworks in place in Australia for evaluation and engagement of private sector involvement in public infrastructure delivery
  • Drivers that underpin the structuring, negotiation and delivery of PPP projects, including financing, probity and value for money (including public sector comparator mechanisms), competition, tax (including issues derived from Australia‘s federal structure as opposed to unitary systems in other countries) and construction risk.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Have a broad understanding of the social, political and commercial underpinnings of the law and practice of public private partnerships (PPPs) in Australia and overseas
  • Understand the distinctive features of various categories of projects within the broad church of PPPs in Australia
  • Understand the relevance, features and interplay of myriad aspects that come into play in PPP delivery, including public policy, financing, risk transfer, and the international nature of infrastructure capital and delivery capacity
  • Be able to contribute meaningfully to ongoing policy and commercial debates about the role and utility of PPPs.

10,000 word research paper (100%) (21 February 2013) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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