• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Amelia Simpson
    • Prof Leighton McDonald
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Summer Session 2014
    Winter Session 2014
    See Future Offerings

This is the foundation course for non-law students enrolling in the LLM Masters Program in government and commercial law.  Students completing this course will have acquired sufficient knowledge and skills to enable them to enrol in the other more specialist courses in government and commercial law.

The course provides an introduction to the main features of the Australian legal system and is taught in three modules: constitutional law, administrative law and commercial law.  

Special emphasis is also placed on developing students' capacity to apply basic legal principles in problem solving settings.  In this context, the course integrates an understanding of legal principles and legal methods and includes an introduction to legal writing (including style, referencing etc), and legal problem solving (drawing on case discussions and research).  It also covers the basic features of the common law system, the nature and role of precedent and legislation and interpretive rules.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

A student who has successfully completed this course should be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad understanding of the Australian legal system
  • understand the central concepts in constitutional, administrative and commercial law including:
    • the federal division of powers, the role of the High Court, the nature and limitations upon Commonwealth legislative powers, grounds for constitutional invalidity, the structure of the executive and the nature of judicial power,
    • a brief history of administrative law system, accountability in an administrative state, the framework for administrative law review of government decision-making, methods of administrative review and the role of subordinate legislation
    • the main forms of business entities and an introduction to contract law including formation of contract, contractual terms and termination and breach of contract
  • demonstrate understanding of the role of law and modes of legal thinking
  • understand the central elements of legal reasoning
  •  be competent to access and use legal material.

Other Information

Students who have an Australian LLB or JD are prohibited from taking this course.

Indicative Assessment

Students must rely on the approved Means of Assessment for this course which will be available on the Wattle course site approximately 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


36 hours of class time (intensive mode over 6 days) plus private study and reading time.

2014 Summer intensive dates: 7-8 & 28 February & 1, 21-22 March
2014 Winter intensive dates: 11-12 July & 1-2 & 22-23 August

Click here for current LLM Masters Program timetable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying in one of the following programs; Master of Legal Studies (7305) Master of Environmental Law (7309) Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313) Master of International Law (7310) Master of Law, Governance and Development (7317) Master of International Security Law (7318) Master of Diplomacy/Master of International Law (7893) Graduate Diploma in Law, Governance and Development (6317) Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (6305) Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law (6309) Graduate Diploma in Government and Commercial Law (6313) Graduate Diploma in International Law (6310) Graduate Diploma in International Security Law (6318) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (6303) Graduate Certificate in Environmental Law (6351)

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts as such but it is highly recommended that students obtain the following:
Constitutional Law Module
: Sarah Joseph and Melissa Castan, Federal Constitutional Law: A Contemporary View, 3rd edition, Thomson Reuters, 2009.
Commercial Law Module: Peter Radan and John Gooley, Principles of Australian Contract Law, 2nd edition, LexisNexis 2010.
Administrative Law Module: Peter Cane and Leighton McDonald, Principles of Administrative Law: Legal regulation of governance, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Preliminary Reading

Cook, Creyke, Geddes and Hamer, Laying Down the Law, 8th edition, LexisNexis, 2012

The Course Outline for this course which will be available on the Wattle course site approximately 4 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1626
2014 $2808
2013 $2808
2012 $2808
2011 $2778
2010 $2718
2009 $2670
2008 $2670
2007 $2670
2006 $2646
2005 $2298
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2916
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3426
2008 $3426
2007 $3426
2006 $3426
2005 $3234
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1591 07 Feb 2014 07 Feb 2014 28 Feb 2014 03 May 2014 In Person N/A

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5556 11 Jul 2014 11 Jul 2014 01 Aug 2014 04 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions