This module is conducted in the English language and is drawn from the book Cannon, Lessons from the Australian Constitution: An Introduction to the Australian Legal System, Lit Verlag, Berlin and Muenster (2008). A broad outline of the topics to be covered follows. In the time available the coverage will be general and the breadth and depth of the course will be adapted to suit the background understanding of the students and their grasp of the English language.

Australian Political History

Colonisation and naval and military government
Emerging constitutional government
Steps to Federation
Political history since 1901
Women in politics
Aboriginal history

The Influences on Australian Constitutionalism and the Common Law Method
Early constitutional arrangements in Australia
English and American influences on the Australian Constitution
Common law case law method and citations

Key Elements in the Australian Federal Constitution
Protection of the smaller States
Resolution of disputes between the Senate and the House of Representatives
Representative democracy
Key conventions of responsible government
Requests for dissolution of Parliament
Dismissal or forced dissolution
Money Bills
Separation of Powers
Legislative powers may be exercised by the executive
The separation of Judicial Power
Free Trade between the States- Section 92

Restraints on Abuse of Power
Freedom of Religion
Acquisition of property on just terms (s.51(xxxi))
An implied Bill of Rights
An implied freedom of political communication
Restraints on Executive Power

The Balance of Power Between the States and the Commonwealth
Constitutional Amendment
The changing policy of the High Court
The Engineers case
The Financial Agreement
The shift of power in WWII
Territories and the balance protecting the States

Interpretation of the Constitution
Literalism v Realism
Inconsistency between State and Commonwealth Laws
Tests of Inconsistency
Collateral Purposes

Specific Powers
The Corporations Power
External Affairs Power
Defence Power
Stolen Children
Mabo (No. 2)
Immigration and power over aliens
The Industrial Relations power

The Courts
Independence of the Judiciary
The Lionel Murphy Case
Abolition of Courts
The Definition of Judicial Power
Functions incompatible with judicial office
Court administrative arrangements
Comparisons of Court Systems
Cost shifting policies
Whether it is desirable to have cost shifting
The effect of activity based scales
Two types of Adversary System