Course Title: Administrative law

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C6106

Course Title: Administrative law

Portfolio: BUS

Nominal Hours: 51.0

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.

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


650T TAFE Business

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face or Internet or Workplace

Term1 2014,
Term2 2012,
Term2 2013,
Term2 2014

Course Contact: Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact Email:

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.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites:  VU20111 Legal Process

National Competency Codes and Titles

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.

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.