Current Issues in Administrative Law

Subject LAWS70201 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.


A general understanding of administrative law, on which this subject will build

Corequisites: None
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: None
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 and critique 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 to 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:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

This could not be a more interesting and important time to engage with some of the most challenging issues in administrative law. Australian administrative law has undergone rapid change in recent years. In significant respects it has diverged from the rest of the common law world, under the influence of the Australian Constitution. Some of the resulting doctrines are not yet in a settled state. At the same time, however, administrative law continues to play the critical role in mediating relations between people and the institutions of government that in Australia’s case is heightened by the absence of systemic arrangements for the legal protection of individual rights. The two lecturers in the subject bring a combination of practical and scholarly perspectives to bear on the selected topics, all of which are chosen for their contemporary relevance.

Principal topics are likely to include:

  • The scope of judicial review, including the public-private distinction
  • The rise of jurisdictional error; the related notion of invalidity
  • Unreasonableness and irrationality
  • Meaning and operation of the constitutional writs
  • Statutory techniques for restricting judicial review (including privative clauses)
  • Human rights and administrative law
  • Judicial review of non-statutory action
  • Rationalisation of review procedures
  • Constitutionalisation of administrative law
  • Internationalisation of administrative law.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand the role of administrative law in the Australian governmental setting
  • Understand the ways in which different approaches to law and government affect administrative law
  • Be familiar with the latest developments in administrative law in Australia, at both Commonwealth and State levels
  • Understand key areas of doctrinal uncertainty in administrative law and the ways in which they might be resolved
  • Be aware of current controversies in Australian administrative law and be able to engage with them.
  • Understand how and why Australian administrative law has diverged from other common law systems
  • Be able to analyse and resolve problems of administrative law at an advanced level.

  • Take-home examination (100%)
  • 10,000 word research paper (100%) 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. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

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