LAW311 Administrative and Government Law (8)

This subject addresses the judicial review of administrative decisions and actions of government. The role of the Ombudsman, freedom of information and anti-corruption legislation is also discussed. In addition, consideration is given to how administrative law meets the challenges of privatisation, outsourcing and the adoption of human rights protection.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: LAW311. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Law and Justice

Enrolment Restrictions

Bachelor of Laws and the Bachelor of Laws/Criminal Justice students only.


LAW112 and LAW116

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to develop a critical perspective upon the accountability of government decision-makers;
  • be able to discuss critically the ways public and private organisations are required to comply with substantive and procedural laws pursuant to conferred powers under Commonwealth and State legislation;
  • be able to analyse critically the separation of powers, the doctrine of ministerial responsibility, merits review tribunals, investigative tribunals and tribunal procedure in order to formulate legal advice or opinion relating to hypothetical scenarios or real-world contextual problems;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the legal framework, including common law and statutory remedies, together with the importance of statutory construction and interpretation in the exercise and supervision of government powers;
  • be able to identify and articulate democratic theories, legal doctrines and remedies that courts utilise in constraining the decision-making power of administrators and apply them to practical scenarios;
  • be able to evaluate critically the role played by the Ombudsman in the resolution of administrative disputes;
  • be able to analyse critically non-judicial mechanisms of accountability, including merits review by tribunals, and freedom of information, and to reflect upon social policies underpinning this area of the law; and
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of how law can affect the behaviour of governmental decision makers and organisations in such a way as to promote important social objectives.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to administrative law, including administrative decision-making powers and discretions, statutory interpretation, and the role of the Ombudsman
  • Administrative system in its legal and constitutional context
  • Delegated legislation and statutory review
  • The Administrative Appeals Tribunal, including legal status, jurisdiction of the tribunal and its role and function
  • Errors of law and fact
  • Merit Review - Commonwealth and New South Wales
  • Commonwealth and New South Wales avenues of judicial review, including common law and statutory administrative decisions
  • Judicial Review Act 1977 (Cth)
  • Supreme Court Act 1970 (NSW)
  • Grounds of review, including procedural fairness, hearing rule and rule against bias, acting beyond scope of power and improper exercise of power
  • Remedies in judicial review and standing, including standing, judicial discretion, prerogative orders, equitable remedies, injunctions, remedies under administrative decisions, ouster clauses, and justiciability
  • Effect of invalid administrative action and other procedural matters
  • Freedom of information legislation and privacy legislation
  • Crown immunity

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of LAW311 in Session 2 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Assessment 1 - online quiz
Assessment 2 - legal memorandum
Invigilated exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 2 day Optional Residential School.

The 2-day residential school for this subject is optional. It will cover the seminar topics relevant to the subject with particular emphasis on relevant case law, precedents and legislation.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: October 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.