We use cookies to compile information about how our website is used and to improve the experience of our website visitors. You can review and update your cookie setting by clicking "Manage cookies preferences". For more information about the cookies we use, please read our
Cookies and Electronic Marketing Policy.

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 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.

  • Introduction to privacy
  • The legislative regime
  • Guidelines & enforcement/sanction issues Confidentiality
  • 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.

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