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This subject responds to the increasingly globalised nature of constitutional law by examining significant constitutional questions that recur across various legal systems.
Comparative study of constitutions provides a deeper, more systematic understanding of constitutional law and governance. In particular, it provides opportunities to discover that aspects of one system are not necessarily replicated elsewhere.
The subject will enrich students’ understanding of the constitution with which they are most familiar. It is of practical significance for scholars, advocates and for those involved in the formation and implementation of public law policy and reform.
Principal topics will include:
- Legislative powers over inter-State trade and taxation
- Resolving conflicts within federations
- Proportionality and other methods of judicial reasoning
- The nature of constitutional rights.
Key decisions of the High Court of Australia will be examined. The principal comparator jurisdictions include Canada, the United States, Germany, South Africa and some European jurisdictions.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have a systematic understanding of different structures of governance through constitutions;
- Have an enriched understanding of the Australian Constitution; and
- Have an enriched understanding and critical perspective on competing forms of constitutional governance and methods of constitutional review.
Last updated: 2 December 2019