Government and Public Sector Law

Government and Public Sector Law

About Government and Public Sector Law

Government and public sector lawyers face significant professional challenges and hold many responsibilities in the interest of public service. 

The subjects in the Government and Public Sector Law major will address the ethical issues lawyers encounter in their practice, and how to identify a constitutional issue or red flag so as to best serve the public interest. 

I would highly recommend The College of Law Masters to anybody because not only is it very practical but it’s taught well and it’s immediately applicable to one’s day-to-day practice.

Nathanael Kitingan

Principal Lawyer - Litigation and Dispute Resolution, VIC, Macpherson Kelley, Melbourne Australia


GOV1 Foundations of Government and Public Sector Law

The subject aims to provide an orientation to and awareness of the role of the government lawyer, and an opportunity to enhance and apply the practical knowledge and skills required by government lawyers.

  • Understanding the role of the government lawyer
  • Understanding professional responsibility
  • Distinguishing between policy development and legal advice
  • Dealing with parliamentary process
  • Drafting for the government lawyer
  • Dealing with freedom of information
  • Managing public sector records
  • Understanding administrative law and accountability
  • Understanding contracts and procurement and financial accountability
GOV2 Privacy and Information Management

The subject aims to provide an understanding of privacy and information management issues that arise in government legal professional practice. It will review current and emergent issues in privacy and information law and practice, including media, social media, big data, open data, and cloud data management.

You will walk away with a practical awareness of the law of privacy, confidentiality, and freedom of information within the context of national (Commonwealth and state/territorial jurisdictions) and international contexts.

  • Introduction to privacy
  • The legislative regime
  • Guidelines & enforcement/sanction issues Confidentiality
  • Freedom of Information/GIPA (NSW)
  • Security of personal information, breaches and stakeholders Interjurisdictional considerations
GOV3 Legislation and its Interpretation

The ability to find relevant legislation and interpret it is an essential skill for every lawyer. This practice-based subject advances on the key knowledge and skill required when interpreting and drafting statutory provisions.

  • Statutes fundamentals
  • Commencement and enforceability
  • Impact of legislation
  • Validity of statute
  • Rules of statutory interpretation
GOV4 Contracting, Procurement and Probity

This practice-based subject advances on your foundational knowledge about government and public sector by focusing on the areas of contracting, procurement and probity. The subject will cover power of contract and the role of the lawyer, procurement, tendering and contracting processes, types of contracts, award and management of contracts, probity and accountability, and relevant complaints and litigation processes.

  • Procurement
  • The tendering and contracting process
  • Types of contracts
  • Award and management of contracts
  • Probity and accountability
  • Procurement and bid challenges
GOV00 Capstone Project (Government & Public Sector Law)

The Capstone Project is taken as your final subject, as a culmination of the knowledge and skills attained throughout your major. It will allow you to demonstrate your skills in a specialist practice area using real-life scenarios and case studies.

Throughout the intake, you will receive individualised feedback from your lecturer and will also have access to a rich array of skills modules that include guides, samples, and practice exercises for honing your legal skills.

The highlight of the Capstone Project is the final task, where you will prepare a Final Portfolio that demonstrates your legal writing, research, and oral skills.

The subject has four components:
  • Four short answer questions
  • Two legal writing samples
  • Oral communication (e.g. client interview) assessment held through online conferencing
  • Reflective analysis of oral communication


Advisory Board 

The Honourable Keith Mason AC QC

Mr Michael Cole, Executive Director/Program Director, The College of Law Western Australia

Ms Lyn Nicholson, General Counsel, Holding Redlich

Mr Gregory Ross, Partner Eakin McCaffery Cox

Mr Phillip Salem, National Managing Partner, Sparke Helmore


Teaching Staff

Scott Alden Partner, Holding Redlich

Karen Jones Barrister, Level 22 Chambers

Lyn Nicholson General Counsel, Holding Redlich

Gregory Ross, Partner Eakin McCaffery Cox