Course Title: Australian Government and Statutory Interpretation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Australian Government and Statutory Interpretation

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


660H Graduate School of Business and Law


Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Lloyd England

Course Coordinator Phone: +613

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 13

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Enforced Pre-requisite:

054012 Becoming a Lawyer in a Globalised World

Course Description

This course will build on the introduction to Australian government and legal systems presented in Becoming a Lawyer in a Globalised World. It will introduce you to the basic principles of public law and the role of government as a law maker. The course will include an in-depth analysis of statutory interpretation in the Australian context, beginning with the fundamental constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty and extending to the rules, principles and assumptions of statutory interpretation. You will gain an appreciation of the historical development of statutory interpretation and become familiar with the extrinsic materials that may be used to aid interpretation, including human rights statutes. You will also be introduced to the process and principles of legislative drafting. You will also have an opportunity to demonstrate an ability to apply the modern approach to statutory interpretation.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Course Learning Outcomes  

Upon successful completion of this course, you will:

CLO1: Analyse the values underpinning the rule of law, constitutional government, representative democracy, and human rights.

CLO2: Examine the framework of Australian government and law making in its broader political and institutional context.

CLO3: Evaluate the constitutional rules that govern the relationship between parliament, the executive and the judiciary.

CLO4: Identify the structure and significance of different types of legislative instruments.

CLO5: Apply the relevant rules and principles of statutory interpretation to a variety of scenarios.  

CLO6: Critically evaluate the rules of statutory interpretation as a body of law.

CLO7: Communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal and non-legal audiences, and collaborate effectively.



Overview of Learning Activities

To achieve the objectives this course requires you to participate in various learning activities. These activities comprise of lectures, tutorials, self-directed learning, participation  through in-class and online activities, legal writing exercises, collaborating with peers on set tasks or projects, statutory interpretation exercises, short answer and multiple choice practice in class, develop knowledge and skills related to public law, government and statutory interpretation and a final examination.

Overview of Learning Resources

Various learning resources are available online through MyRMIT Studies\Canvas. The lecture notes and tutorial notes are posted on Canvas.

Resources are also available online through RMIT Library databases and other facilities. Visit the RMIT library website for further details. Assistance is available online via our chat and email services, face to face at our campus libraries or via the telephone on (03) 9925 2020.

Additions resources and/or sources to assist your learning will be identified by your course coordinator and will be made available to you as required during the teaching period.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Task 1: 25%

Linked CLOs: 1, 2, 4

Assessment Task 2: 25%

Linked CLOs: 4, 5, 6, 7

Assessment Task 3: 50%

Linked CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6