Unit description

Studies how the law makes public decision-makers accountable for how they exercise their discretions, powers, and duties. Various control mechanisms - particularly courts, merits appeals tribunals, Ombudsman, Freedom of Information (FoI) and privacy legislation at Commonwealth level - aim at curbing bureaucratic mistakes and excesses, and at ensuring sound, rational, and consistent decision-making by governments.

Unit content

Topic 1: The framework of Australian administrative law

Topic 2: Rule-making and control of subordinate legislation; Executive power and policy

Topic 3: Access to government information

  • Freedom of information
  • Reasons
  • Privacy

Topic 4: The framework for challenging and controlling government action: Judicial review

Topic 5: The framework for challenging and controlling government action: Merits review

Topic 6: Other methods of administrative law review

  • Ombudsman
  • Human rights agencies
  • Alternative dispute resolution

Topic 7: Standing to seek review: Common law and statutory tests for standing

Topic 8: Judicial review and the criteria for lawful decision-making: Unauthorised decision-making

Topic 9: The criteria for lawful decision-making

  • Legislative scope and purpose
  • Law, fact and evidence

Topic 10: The criteria for lawful decision-making

  • Breach of statutory duty
  • Wednesbury unreasonableness

Topic 11: Natural justice/procedural fairness

  • Application
  • The hearing rule
  • The rule against bias

Topic 12: Remedying unlawful government action

  • The consequences of unlawful decision-making
  • Constitutional writs and statutory remedies

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 2

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 1 hour (6 weeks)
Exam: open book50%


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 1 hour (6 weeks)
Exam: open book50%


Teaching method
Lecture online 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial online 1 hour (12 weeks)
Exam: open book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 3

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.