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Government and Public Sector Law

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 to best serve the public interest.



Graduate Diploma of Applied Law (Government and Public Sector Law) - 4 core subjects (GOV1, GOV2, GOV3, GOV4)*
Master of Laws (Applied Law) majoring in Government and Public Sector Law - 3 GOV subjects
- 4 elective subjects or a second major
- Capstone project in Government and Public Sector Law


GOV1 - Foundations of Government and Public Sector Law*

The role of government/public sector lawyers is unique. In order to provide legal services in a government/public sector setting, you will need to be familiar with the application of particular laws in a given context and to be aware of, understand and factor in, a whole overlay of government/public sector issues. Whether you are dealing with a purely “administrative law” issue, or an issue relating to government/public sector service delivery, or a commercial, or quasi-commercial, transaction involving a government/public sector agency, there will almost always be some unique government/public sector-related issues that will require your consideration, advice and action. The purpose of this subject is to ensure that you are able, in any given situation, to identify relevant government/public sector issues and that you are able to deal with them or, where necessary, refer them to the appropriate specialists. The subject focuses on the practical operation of government/public sector law rather than the particular laws which might apply in a particular context.


  • The role and professional responsibilities of government/public sector lawyers
  • Distinguishing between policy development and legal advice
  • Dealing with parliamentary process and statutory interpretation
  • Drafting issues for the government/public sector lawyer
  • Public access to information held by government/public sector agencies
  • Managing public sector records
  • Understanding administrative law and accountability
  • Understanding contracts, procurement and financial accountability


GOV2 - Privacy and Information Management*

This subject focuses on privacy and information management issues that arise in government legal professional practice. The subject takes a holistic approach to the topics of privacy, confidentiality and freedom of information within the context of national (Commonwealth and state/territorial jurisdictions) and international contexts. The subject includes critical exploration of current and emergent issues in privacy and information law and practice, including media, social media, big data, open data and cloud data management.


  • Self-assessment activity
  • Introduction to privacy
  • The legislative regime
  • Guidelines and enforcement/sanction issues
  • Confidentiality
  • Public access to information held by government/public sector agencies
  • Security of personal information, breaches and stakeholders
  • Inter-jurisdictional and data sharing 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.


  • Introduction to statutes
  • Statutes fundamentals
  • Commencement and enforceability
  • Impact of legislation
  • Validity
  • Rules of statutory interpretation
  • Strategic application of statutory interpretation rules


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.


  • Identity of government
  • Procurement
  • The tendering and contract 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.


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





  • The Honourable Keith Mason AC QC
  • Lyn Nicholson, General Counsel, Holding Redlich
  • Gregory Ross, Partner, Eakin McCaffery Cox
  • Phillip Salem, Partner, State and Territory Government Leader, Sparke Helmore



  • Scott Alden, Partner, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers
  • Karen Jones, Barrister, Level 22 Chambers
  • Gregory Ross, Partner, Eakin McCaffery Cox
  • Cathryn Greville, Head of Fairness, Action Sustainability
  • Pauline Harbaugh, Manager, Superannuation Advice and Approvals, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority



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

Alumni Stories