Course Title: Administrative law

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: LAW5198

Course Title: Administrative law

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6106 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact : Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact Email:doug.gourlay@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Doug Cole 61 3 9925 5424 doug.cole@rmit.edu.au

SAB 445 Swanston St Melbourne Building 80, Level 5

Nominal Hours: 51

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisites:  VU20111 Legal Process

Course Description

To provide students with a knowledge of the major areas of administrative law incluidng the structure of government in Australia, the legal restraints on the use of governmental power, methods of review of government decisions and access to government information as might be relevant for a person working in a legal office, government department or agency or organistaion having dealings with government departments or agencies.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20122 Administrative law


Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Evaluate and assess the development of the organs of government in Australia. Distinguish the executive functions of government from the legislative and judicial functions. Identify the nature of decisions forming the subject matter of administrative law.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Evaluate the development of the constitutional and legal framework in Australia.
1.2 Identify the structure of government in Australia.
1.3 Outline the Victorian and Federal court hierarchies, examine the jurisdiction of their components.
1.4 Examine the nature of quasi-judicial bodies.

Learning Outcome 2 - Define and analyse subordinate legislation and assess the principles governing delegation of legislative power.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Define the term “subordinate legislation”.
2.2 Outline the operation of subordinate legislation.
2.3 Examine the reasons for delegation of legislative power.
2.4 Outline the legal restraints on the delegation of legislative power.
2.5 Describe the nature of parliamentary supervision and control of subordinate legislation.

Learning Outcome 3 - Distinguish judicial review of decisions from review on the merits.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Analyse the features of judicial review with reference to the historical background, the legal basis for intervention and the effect of a successful application for judicial review.
3.2 Assess the distinguishing features of review on the merits.

Learning Outcome 4 - Analyse the common law and statutory principles which govern judicial review of decisions.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Examine the common law grounds for judicial review of administrative decisions including those made by subordinate legislative bodies and quasi-judicial bodies.
4.2 Evaluate the statutory provisions relevant to judicial review of decisions including the Commonwealth Constitution, the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth), the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) and the Administrative Law Act 1978 (Vic).
4.3 Compare the grounds for judicial review at common law with the grounds specified in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act.
4.4 Examine legal considerations regarding statutory exclusion of judicial review.
4.5 Analyse lack of procedural fairness as a ground for judicial review in relation to the historical development, the hearing rule, the rule against bias and applicability to private bodies.
4.6 Evaluate the application of common law and statutory grounds for review using appropriate case study material.

Learning Outcome 5 - Identify and analyse the preconditions for an application for judicial review at common law or under legislation and the possible remedies available.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Analyse the requirement of establishing standing with reference to the nature of standing and the effect of a lack of standing.
5.2 Identify the possible remedies available in the event of an administrative decision maker acting wrongly, or outside their powers.
5.3 Analyse the application of standing requirements and the range of remedies available using case study materials.

Learning Outcome 6 - Analyse and specify the process of review on the merits undertaken by merits review tribunals.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Assess the possible means of obtaining a reconsideration of an administrative decision on the merits with reference to informal review and review by specialist tribunals.
6.2 Examine the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth.), with reference to the role, composition and powers of the Tribunal, reviewable decisions, standing requirements, procedural aspects, the relevance of government policy to decisions by the Tribunal and the enforcement of the Tribunal’s decisions. ’
6.3 Analyse the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act, 1998 (Vic), with reference to the original jurisdiction of the Tribunal and review jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

Learning Outcome 7 - Analyse and evaluate review by the Ombudsman as an alternative to review by an administrative tribunal or judicial review.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Assess the legal basis for review by the Ombudsman at Federal and State levels with reference to the historical development of the office of the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman Act 1974 (Cth) and the Ombudsman Act 1973 (Vic).
7.2 Evaluate the role of the Ombudsman in reviewing administrative decisions with reference to scope of investigative power, procedures adopted and remedies available.
7.3 Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of review by the Ombudsman using appropriate case study material.

Learning Outcome 8 - Evaluate legislative provisions which provide access to reasons for administrative decisions and documents at Commonwealth and State Levels.
Assessment criteria
8.1 Assess Commonwealth legislation providing access to reasons and documents with reference to:
• Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)
• Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth)
• Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth)
8.2 Evaluate the Victorian legislation providing access to reasons and documents with reference to:
• Freedom of Information Act 1983 (Vic)
• Administrative Law Act 1978 (Vic)
• Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic).
8.3 Distinguish parameters of and principles governing access to reasons and documents at Commonwealth and Victorian levels with reference to:
• uses of freedom of information legislation
• entitlement
• exemptions and exclusions
• requirements of the statutory duty to provide reasons
• requirements as to form.


Details of Learning Activities

Students will study Administrative Law skills and theory in class sessions and through prescribed exercises and assessment work. These concepts will also be explored through the investigation of appropriate real world and simulated environments. 
Classes of 3 hours per week for 16 weeks as per the teaching schedule. The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course. This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.
The week by week classes as per the teaching schedule below and assessments, including due dates, are subject to variation. Class teachers will to keep as close as practicable to that set out in this Part B Statement.

Course requirements: students consult timetable and are expected to attend all scheduled classes
Course support documents: see RMIT Blackboard
Student Induction: conducted prior to commencement of classes or during the first class and will cover the following: Blackboard, Overview of assessment requirements including Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers, Grading, Plagiarism, Appeals,Extensions,Feedback,Privacy, Submission requirements, Resubmission policy, Where to get support, Student responsibilities
 


Teaching Schedule

 

 

 Teaching schedule for Semester 2, 2013

 Subject to variation
 

Week BeginningTopic  Learning OutcomesAssessment
Week 1 -  8  JulHistory of government in Australia, Federation  
Week 2 - 15 JulThe Australian Constitution, distribution of legislative powers                                                  
Week 3 -22 Jul The Executive and Judicature, the separation of powers, changing the Constitution, Government in Victoria  
Week 4 - 29 JulCourts, tribunals and subordinate legislation  
Week 5 - 5 AugSome key concepts in Administrative Law, sources and history of Administrative Law  
Week 6 -12 AugJudicial review, ultra vires and lack of jurisdiction Short answer / multiple choice test (30%) closed book
Week 7 -19 AugJudicial review continued, errors in the way power used  
Week 8 -26 AugJudicial review continued, further errors in the way power used  
 Mid Semester Break (Student Vacation) - 2 Sep to 8 Sep  
Week 9 - 9 SepPractical placement  
Week 10-16 SepDefects in procedure, natural justice, the application of administrative law concepts to private bodies   
Week 11 -23 SepCommon law and equitable remedies, standing, the Administrative Law Act   
Week 12 - 30 SepThe Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act, exclusion of judicial review  Pre-seen case test (30%) open book

Week 13 - 3 Oct

Merits review, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal   
Week 14 - 7 OctRight to reasons, freedom of information legislation, the Ombudsman   
Week 15 - 14 OctRevision  
Week 16 - 21 Oct  Final Test (40%) open book


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References


Other Resources

M Allars
Introduction to Australian Administrative Law
Butterworths

A Ardagh
Administrative Law (LBC Nutshell)
Law Book Company

R Douglas and M Jones
Administrative Law Cases and Materials
The Federation Press

Douglas, R
Administrative Law (Butterworths Tutorial Series)
Butterworths

Lane, W.B. and Young, S.
Administrative Law in Australia 
Lawbook Co.

 
Street , S.
Administrative Law (Butterworths Casebook Companions)
Butterworths

Sykes, Lanham, Tracey and Esser
General Principles of Administrative Law
Butterworths

Tomasic and Fleming
Australian Administrative Law
Law Book Company

On-line resources

Australasian Legal Information Institute (www.austlii.edu.au)
CCH Online (www.cch.com.au)
ComLaw (www.comlaw.gov.au)
LexisNexis Butterworths Online (www.butterworthsonline.com)
Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents (www.legislation.vic.gov.au)
High Court of Australia (www.hcourt.gov.au)
Federal Court of Australia (www.fedcourt.gov.au)
Supreme Court of Victoria (www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au)
County Court of Victoria (www.countycourt.vic.gov.au)
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au)
Administrative Appeals Tribunal ((www.aat.gov.au)
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (www.vcat.vic.gov.au)
Commonwealth Ombudsman (www.comb.gov.au)
Victorian Ombudsman (www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au)

Federal Legislation

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975
Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977
Freedom of Information Act 1982
Judiciary Act 1903
Ombudsman Act 1974


Victorian Legislation

Administrative Law Act 1978
Constitution Act 1975
Freedom of Information Act 1983
Ombudsman Act 1973
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998

 


Overview of Assessment

Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of the requirements in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks, for example:

• Tests/final examination
• Class discussions
• Practical exercises
• Case study analysis
• Assignments
• Short answer questions
• Multiple choice questions

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant curriculum standards are being met.  Students will be provided with feedback throughout the course to check their progress.


Assessment Tasks

1.Test 1 30%
2.Test 2 30%
3.Test 3 40%

Description of Assessments


Students must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of competency to be deemed competent.
A range of assessment methods are used to assess practical skills and knowledge, for example:
* tests and examinations in formal settings
* assignments, projects and case study analysis
* direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence
* review of authenticated documents from the workplace or training environment
* demonstration of techniques
* Class presentation

Assessment Grading
HD High Distinction 80-100
DI Distinction 70-79
CR Credit 60-69
PA Pass 50-59
NN Pass 0-49

Critical aspects of assessment
• Knowledge of Administrative Law
• Analysis of the development and structure of the organs of
Government in Australia
• Examination of the legal restraints on the use of government
power
• Investigation of methods of review of government decisions
and access to government information

 

Assessment completion requirements

You are required to complete 3 assessment tasks.
To pass this course students must attempt assessments as required which are graded upon submission by the class assessor.
Grading is weighted so that a mark of 50% is a passing grade.

Assessment submission requirements

Assessment tasks need to be submitted via turnitin on Blackboard unless otherwise advised.

You should:

* Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at http://rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.
* Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy)
* When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on blackboard.
* Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Julie Macpherson, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.


Marking Guide

Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.
 


Assessment Matrix

 

Learning OutcomeWritten Test 1 30%Written Test 30% Written Test 3 40%
1. Evaluate and assess the development of the organs of government in Australia. Distinguish the executive functions of government from the legislative and judicial functions. Identify the nature of decisions forming the subject matter of administrative law.X  
2. Define and analyse subordinate legislation and assess the principles governing delegation of legislative power.X X
3. Distinguish judicial review of decisions from review on the merits.  X
4. Analyse the common law and statutory principles which govern judicial review of decisions. XX
5. Identify and analyse the preconditions for an application for judicial review at common law or under legislation and the possible remedies available. XX
6. Analyse and specify the process of review on the merits undertaken by merits review tribunals.  X
7. Analyse and evaluate review by the Ombudsman as an alternative to review by an administrative tribunal or judicial review.  X
8. Evaluate legislative provisions which provide access to reasons for administrative decisions and documents at Commonwealth and State levels.  X

Course Overview: Access Course Overview