Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research , LAWS107 Introduction to Australian Public Law

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The Rule of Law, and access to legal advice, are the basis of free, democratic, and just societies which promote personal dignity, thriving communities, and the Common Good. Law graduates working in legal practice, in business, in government, and in the community play an essential role in promoting and upholding the Rule of Law in Australia and across the world. The Bachelor of Laws degree is an accredited degree for admission as a legal practitioner in Australia.

This level four unit contributes to the development of:

  • advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in the field of Administrative Law
  • advanced, cognitive, technical and communication skills and the ability to apply these to complex Administrative law problems
  • advanced research and writing skills.
Administrative Law deals with the legal relationship between the citizen and the state. It regulates the powers of the state and prescribes the procedures the state must follow when exercising those powers and the remedies available to citizens when it does not do so. Knowledge of Administrative Law is essential to understanding the law governing the operation of the executive branch government in Australia and the rights and remedies of citizens when dealing with it.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise knowledge to identify and provide solutions to complex problems in relation to Administrative Law including: (GA3, GA4, GA5) 

  • Australia's system of responsible government, the rule of law and the separation of powers;  
  • Crown immunity and Freedom of Information;  
  • judicial review of administrative decisions including the remedies available to individuals at   common law and under statute.  

LO2 - Apply technical skills to design and conduct research in this field including: (GA6, GA7, GA9) 

  • the ability to apply the law to factual situations and thereby advise clients and others of their rights and obligations in those situations; 
  • using statutory interpretation in the exercise and supervision of governmental power. 

LO3 - Communicate in a clear and coherent manner knowledge and ideas in this field. (GA9, GA10) 

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 


  1. An Introduction to Administrative Law 
  2. Merits Review and the AAT 
  3. The Ombudsman 
  4. Investigatory bodies 
  5. Freedom to/from Information  
  6. Privacy 
  7. Reviewing Delegated Legislation 
  8. Judicial Review - The Commonwealth and State Statutory Frameworks 
  9. Grounds for Judicial Review (Natural Justice, Relevant and Irrelevant Considerations, Improper Purpose, Unauthorised Decision Making, Unreasonableness and Executive Policy or Direction, Bias) 
  10. Reasons for Decisions 
  11. Remedies 

This content reflects the academic areas of knowledge required for accreditation, Schedule 1, Legal Profession Admission Rules 2015.   


(a) Organisation and structure of the administration 

(b) Administrative law theory 

(c) Common law and statutory avenues of judicial review at Commonwealth and State level 

(d) Grounds of judicial review 

(e) Remedies 

(f) Crown immunity 

(g) Administrative Appeals Tribunal 

(h) Statutory review 

(i) Freedom of information, 

or Topics of such breadth and depth as to satisfy the following guidelines: 


The topics should not only embrace traditional common law remedies concerning judicial review of administrative action, but should also cover the range of Commonwealth and State statutory regimes. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode:Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.  


Duration:4 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.  Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit. 


This level four compulsory “Priestley” unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law to meet the requirements of accreditation.  


Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to apply fundamental legal knowledge, skills and understandings to address legal problems.  


The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online mode. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law required for accreditation.  


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Research assignment. Essay or problem question on nominated topics applying principles, knowledge, research and communication skills. 


LO1, 2 

GA3, GA4, GA5 GA6, GA7, GA8 GA9, GA10 


Final Examination. Essay and or problem questions. Examination will be completed online via LEO. 


LO1, 2, 3 

GA3, GA4, GA5 GA6, GA7, GA8 GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references


Michael Head, Administrative Law: Context and Critique (Federation Press, 4th Ed, 2017) (‘MH’) 


Peter Cane and Leighton McDonald; Cases and Materials for Principles of Administrative Law, (Oxford, 2nd edition, 2013) (‘CM’)* 


Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) 


Michele M Asprey, Plain Language for Lawyers (The Federation Press, 4th, 2010) 


David Clark, Introduction to Australian Public Law (LexisNexis, 4th ed, 2013) 


Dennis Pearce and Robert Geddes, Statutory Interpretation in Australia (LexisNexis, 8th ed, 2014) 


Michelle Sanson, Statutory Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2012) 


Alternative Law Journal 

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