Course Title: Research the application of administrative law

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2019

Course Code: LAW5724

Course Title: Research the application of administrative law

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6141 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact: Robert Sheen

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5759

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff


Luis Quintero 


Nominal Hours: 50

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


Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to research the major areas of administrative law including 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 in order to support the work of a legal office, government department or agency, or organization having dealings with government departments or agencies.

This unit supports the work of personnel engaged in the operation of a legal office, government department or agency, or organisation having dealings with government departments and/or agencies, or associated fields within public and/or corporate sectors.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21647 Research the application of administrative law


1.Research the functions of the Australian legal framework

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Research and discuss the development of the constitutional and legal framework of Australia 1.2 Review the structure of government in Australia and the jurisdictions of the Victorian and Federal court hierarchies 1.3 Distinguish between the executive functions of government from the legislative and judicial functions 1.4 Examine and describe the nature of quasi-judicial bodies 1.5 Identify the nature of decisions forming the subject matter of administrative law


2.Research subordinate legislation and the principles governing delegation of legislative power

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Define the term subordinate legislation and outline its operation 2.2 Examine and discuss the reasons for delegation of legislative power and explain the legal restraints on the delegation of legislative power 2.3 Describe the nature of parliamentary supervision and the control of subordinate legislation


3.Analyse judicial review of decisions

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Research the historical background and features of judicial review, and debate 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 3.3 Compare and contrast judicial review of decisions and review on the merits 3.4 Examine and apply the common law grounds for judicial review of administrative decisions including those made by subordinate legislative bodies and quasi-judicial bodies 3.5 Evaluate and apply 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) 3.6 Compare and debate the grounds for judicial review at common law with the grounds specified in the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 3.7 Examine and discuss legal considerations regarding statutory exclusion of judicial review 3.8 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.Determine the preconditions and apply remedies for an application for judicial review at common law or under legislation

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Analyse and apply the requirement of establishing standing with reference to the nature of standing and the effect of a lack of standing 4.2 Identify and apply the possible remedies available in the event of an administrative decision maker acting wrongly, or outside their powers


5.Identify and apply the process of review on the merits undertaken by merits review tribunals

Performance Criteria:

5.1 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 5.2 Examine, for application, the following features of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth): • the role, composition and powers of the Tribunal • reviewable decisions • standing requirements • procedural aspects • the relevance of government policy to decisions by the tribunal • the enforcement of the tribunal's decisions 5.3 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


6.Compare for appropriate application, review by the Ombudsman as an alternative to review by an administrative tribunal or judicial review

Performance Criteria:

6.1 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) 6.2 Evaluate the role of the Ombudsman in reviewing administrative decisions with reference to scope of investigative power, procedures adopted and remedies available 6.3 Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of review by the Ombudsman for application to practice


7.Evaluate and apply Commonwealth and State legislative provisions for obtaining information on administrative decisions

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Review for application the Commonwealth legislation providing access to reasons for and documents on administrative decisions, with reference to: • Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) • Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) • Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) 7.2 Review for application the Victorian legislation providing access to reasons for and documents on administrative decisions, with reference to • Freedom of Information Act 1983 (Vic) • Administrative Law Act 1978 (Vic) • Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) 7.3 Distinguish the parameters of, and principles governing access to, reasons and documents on administrative decisions 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

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities

A range of learning activities are planned for this course including self-paced and collaborative classroom-based activities.

The self-paced activities will be delivered through various technology platforms and may include your contribution to wikis and discussion threads, reflective journals, quizzes and interactive sessions.

The collaborative classroom-based activities will include group discussions, group problem-solving activities and opportunities to practice your skills in a simulated/real workplace environment. We expect you to participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities.

Teaching Schedule

Induction Session

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

  • Program overview and requirements
  • MyRMIT/Canvas
  • Overview of assessment requirements
  • Pre-Training Review including:
    • Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
    • Assessment of current skills and knowledge
  • Competency/Grading Criteria
  • Plagiarism
  • Appeals
  • Extensions
  • Feedback
  • Privacy
  • Submission requirements
  • Resubmission policy
  • Where to get support
  • Student responsibilities 

Teaching program (subject to variation)




Week 1

The history of government in Australia, Federation


Week 2

The Australian Constitution, distribution of legislative powers


Week 3

The Executive and Judicature, the separation of powers, changing the Constitution, Government in Victoria


Week 4

Courts, tribunals and subordinate legislation


Week 5

Some key concepts in Administrative Law, sources and history of Administrative Law

Short answer/multiple choice test  

Week 6

Judicial review, ultra vires and lack of jurisdiction


Week 7

Judicial review continued, errors in the way power used


Week 8

Defects in procedure, natural justice, the application of administrative law concepts to private bodies


Week 9 

Common law and equitable remedies, standing, the Administrative Law Act


Week 10

The Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act, exclusion of judicial review


Week 11

Merits review, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Pre-seen case test  

Week 12

Right to reasons, freedom of information legislation, the Ombudsman


Week 13



Week 14


Final test - hypothetical scenario problems 

Week 15

No class


Week 16





Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Dougla , R. and Hyland, M. Administrative Law. Lexisnexis Butterworths Focus Series

Other Resources

Relevant legislation



Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977

Freedom of Information Act 1982

Judiciary Act 1903

Ombudsman Act 1974



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

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

In order to demonstrate competency in this unit, you must provide evidence of:

• investigating and applying methods of review of administrative decisions across a range of administrative law contexts
• investigating and applying methods of accessing government information on administrative decisions
• knowledge of the Australian governmental system and structure and examination of the legal restraints on the use of government power
• knowledge of historical development of the functions, structure and legislative powers of the Australian government and judicial system
• aspects and functions of Administrative Law, such as the application of common law and statutory grounds for review
• the advantages and disadvantages of review by the Ombudsman

Context for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

• activities are related to a legal practice context
• activities are related to laws, regulations and procedures currently operating across the jurisdictions relevant to this qualification

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions. You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning effectiveness and final performance in the course.

Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment for this course will be conducted as follows:

Assessment for this course will consist of:

  • A short answer and multiple choice test to be held in class in week 5. It will deal with matters covered in weeks 1 to 4
  • A test based on a decided case involving issues relating to Administrative Law. 
  • A hypothetical scenario test to be held in class in week 14.It will deal with matters covered in weeks 5 to 13.


Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix that maps all the assessment is available on CANVAS 


Other Information

Submission Requirements


You should:


  • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. 
  • 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 the Assessment task document that includes a declaration and statement of authorship.
  • 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.

Late Submission Procedures

You are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.

More Information

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for Special Consideration.  Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than five working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination.

More Information:

Resubmissions (VET Programs):

If you are found to be unsuccessful in a particular Course Assessment Task (or you do not submit/attend) you will be allowed one resubmission.  Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission. 

If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.

Grading & re-submissions

Successful re-submissions will contribute a CAG only (Competency Achieved Grading) result to your overall grade for the course.

Adjustments to Assessment

In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:


Marking Guide (Competency):


You must demonstrate that you have all the required skills/knowledge/elements in the unit of competency you are studying.


You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you about your progress and how well you are performing.



Marking Guide (Grading)


After achieving competency we then grade your performance in the unit and you will achieve one of the following grades:


Final Grades table:




Competent with High Distinction




Competent with Distinction




Competent with Credit




Competency Achieved – Graded




Competency Achieved – Not Graded




Not Yet Competent




Did Not Submit for assessment





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


Course Overview: Access Course Overview