MLJ709 - Constitutional Law and Policy

Unit details

Note: You are seeing the 2021 view of this unit information. These details may no longer be current. [Go to the current version]

2021 unit information

Important Update:

Unit delivery will continue to be provided in line with the most current COVIDSafe health guidelines. This may include a mix of on-campus and online activities. To find out how you are impacted, please check your unit sites for announcements and updates. Unit sites open one week prior to the start of each Trimester/Semester.

Thank you for your flexibility and commitment to studying with Deakin in 2021.

Last updated: 4 June 2021

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Cloud (online)
Trimester 2: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Ben Saunders
Trimester 2: Ben Saunders
Cohort rule:

For M729 (Juris Doctor) and M737 (Master of Legal Studies) students only


Must have successfully completed 4 Law units plus MLJ701 – for students enrolled in M729 (Juris Doctor)

Nil - for students enrolled in M737

Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

1 x 2h class (recordings provided) + 2h online seminar (live streamed and recordings provided)


This unit, in the first place, is concerned with providing you with a sound understanding of the fundamental principles of Australian constitutional law, including the rule of law, representative democracy, responsible system of government, the separation of powers and federalism. Subsequently, these principles are relied on for a detailed examination, among other things, of the three branches of Australian government – the court, legislature and the executive. The objective of this evaluation is to provide you with a general conceptual framework for solving issues concerning federal and state constitutional law.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Read and critically analyse complex federal, state and territory constitutional cases.

GLO1 Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4 Critical thinking


Analyse and apply an understanding of the core principles of federal and State Australian constitutional law, and the structure and powers of the core institutions of federal and State governments.


GLO1 Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Apply enhanced skills in legal analysis and reasoning, legal research and writing and the ability to critically analyse and evaluate complex (contemporary) issues in Australian constitutional law.

GLO4 Critical thinking
GLO5 Problem solving


Communicate legal arguments and the solutions to constitutional legal problems effectively to the intended audience.

GLO2 Communication

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week 
Assessment 1 (Individual) - Assignment/Test 3000 words 40% Week 7
Examination 2 hours 60% Exam period

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: MLJ709 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

Click on the fee link below which describes you: