• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Leighton McDonald
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Administrative Law examines the legal framework for controlling decision-making by Commonwealth, State and local government decision-makers in Australia. It focuses on the legal restraints upon government, and the role those restraints play in maintaining government accountability. The role played by courts, tribunals and Ombudsman and the opportunities available to the public to question government activity is examined. The course covers the core administrative law material required for admission purposes and for work in the area of law and government. The following topics will be covered:

  • what accountability means in the context of the administrative state';

  • changing patterns of 'governance' in contemporary Australia;

  • the historical and constitutional context of Australian administrative law;

  • the administrative law framework for review of government decision-making;

  • concepts and principles of merits and judicial review;

  • jurisdiction and remedies available from courts and tribunals, and the principles of standing;

  • other administrative law avenues including information access rights and ombudsmen; and

  • the impact of human rights legislation on Australian administrative law.


Learning Outcomes

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

A candidate who has successfully completed the subject should:
  • understand the principles of judicial review of administrative action at both the State and Federal levels of government in Australia;
  •  understand the limits on the powers of the courts to engage in judicial review of administrative action, and the constitutional protection of such review;
  •  understand some of the ways in which administrative action can be reviewed by non-judicial mechanisms, and how particular administrative law institutions fit into the overall administrative law system;
  •  be aware of some of the current controversies and trends in the area of administrative law;Have the capacity to think critically about administrative law, its underpinning values, and its impact on administrative decision-making;
  •  have further developed their skills in reading, interpreting and analysing cases and legislation; and
  •  have the ability to apply administrative law principles to resolve practical problems.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment in Administrative Law includes a final examination in the end of semester examination period and usually an optional (and redeemable) component. In 2012 this optional component consisted of a series of group work exercises worth 25% of the final mark. Students should check the course outline for further information about the means of assessment, including the relationship between the assessment and the learning outcomes of the course.

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.


Administrative Law is a compulsory course generally involving four hours of contact time per week over the semester, including tutorials. Students are generally expected to devote approximately 10 hours overall per week to this course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a program which includes the Bachelor of Laws and completed or be completing five LAWS courses at 1000 level and have completed LAWS1205 Australian Public Law.

Prescribed Texts

Peter Cane and Leighton McDonald, Principles of Administrative Law: Legal Regulation of Governance (Oxford University Press,2nd Edition, 2013) and Peter Cane and Leighton McDonald, Cases and Materials for Principles of Administrative Law (Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition, 2013) (available as a 'pack' ISBN: 9780195566390). Other materials will be made available on the course Wattle page.

Preliminary Reading

Any preliminary reading will be set out in the course outline for each class.

A comprehensive reading guide will be available either in the course outline or a separate document available from the course web page on the ANU College of Law website.


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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2958
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
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.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2154 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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