Australian Law and the Constitution: The Treatment of Property and Religion (2040)
This course provides students with a brief introduction to the Australian legal system. Specifically, it introduces the Australian Constitution, the nature of Australian federalism, and the role and function of the High Court (Australia's final appellate court and equivalent to the United States Supreme Court).
Following this brief background, the course focuses on the treatment under the Australian Constitution of two matters that lend themselves to comparison with American Constitutional law: property and religion. In the case of the former, the subject examines section 51(xxxi) of the Australian Constitution and its protection against federal takings of property, considering the relevant jurisprudence, focusing on some of the leading cases, including the High Court's decisions in Mabo v Queensland [No 2] (1992); Grace Bros Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth (1946); Minister of State for the Army v Dalziel (1944); Bank of New South Wales v Commonwealth (the Bank Nationalisation Case) (1948); and JT International SA v Commonwealth of Australia  HCA 43 (5 October 2012). Some comparison to takings jurisprudence under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution completes this component of the course.
In relation to religion, the course examines section 116 of the Australian Constitution and its prohibition on the establishment of a state religion. As with property, the course considers the leading jurisprudence, with particular attention to Church of the New Faith v Commissioner for Pay-Roll Tax (Vic) (1983); Attorney-General (Vic) (Ex rel Black) v Commonwealth (DOGS Case) (1981); Krygger v Williams (1912); Adelaide Company of Jehovah's Witnesses Incorporated v Commonwealth (1943); Kruger v Commonwealth (1997); and Williams v Commonwealth of Australia  HCA 23 (20 June 2012), as to whether section 116 protects religious freedom. This component of the course concludes with some comparison to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
This course will appeal to those students who have an interest in constitutional law, property law and takings jurisprudence, and Church-State relations and freedom of religion.
- Credits: 1