• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Laws
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course is designed for students enrolling in the postgraduate program who do not have an LLB. Lawyers are not permitted to take this course. The course will provide an introduction to the main features of the legal system that provide the structure for Australian government. Although the course is taught in three separate modules, the issues and themes in the course will be integrated, with an emphasis on the contemporary public law and commercial law setting for the discharge of governmental functions.

This is the foundation course for non-lawyers enrolling in the postgraduate program in government and commercial law. Students completing this course will have acquired sufficient knowledge and skills to enable to enrol them in the other more specialist courses in government and commercial law.


Module 1: Constitutional Law

  • structure and key features of the Australian Constitutional system
  • Commonwealth legislative power - scope and key areas
  • constitutional limitations upon power
  • nature and scope of executive power and judicial power
  • reform and amendment of the Constitution

Module 2: Commercial Law

  • the forms of business entity - sole traders, partnerships and corporations
  • the advantages and disadvantages of the choice of business entity
  • an introduction to the law of contract
  • formation of contract
  • contractual terms
  • termination and breach of contract
  • interaction between the law of contract and statutory regulation - the Trade Practices Act.

Module 3: Administrative Law

  • the history and development of the Australian administrative law system
  • accountability in an administrative state
  • the administrative law framework for review of government decision-making
  • methods of administrative review - the different role played by courts, tribunals, Ombudsmen and investigatory agencies
  • the criteria for lawful government decision-making - an introduction
  • control of government information practices - freedom of information, privacy and reasoned decision-making.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

At the conclusion of this course students should be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of core legal principles in each of the three modules -- constitutional law, commercial law and administrative law
  • extract legal rules from cases and legislation studied and use these to reason to legal conclusions on a given set of facts
  • engage in critical discussion around key debates and controversies emerging from the material studied
  • identify criteria for evaluating the legal principles studied and comment critically on those principles

Other Information

Click here for fee and census date information

Indicative Assessment

Students must rely on the Approved Assessment which will be posted to the course homepage on the ANU Law website, prior to the commencement of the course.

Each of the three modules will be assessed separately. In past years, this has involved a mixture of problem-style questions (i.e. applying legal principles to a set of facts) and essay questions (requiring critical analysis).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


52 Contact Hours (intensive delivery)

Click here for the 2010 timetable

Requisite and Incompatibility

Coreq LAWS 8153. Students enrolled in programs 6300 7300 or 7312 should not enrol in this course


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $3252
2014 $5616
2013 $5616
2012 $5616
2011 $5556
2010 $5436
2009 $5340
2008 $5340
2007 $5340
2006 $5292
2005 $4596
2004 $3852
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $5832
2014 $7524
2013 $7512
2012 $7512
2011 $7512
2010 $7500
2009 $6852
2008 $6852
2007 $6852
2006 $6852
2005 $6468
2004 $5832
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions