• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Daniel Stewart
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2014
    See Future Offerings
Legislation dominates the contemporary legal landscape.  Almost all fields of legal regulation involve legislation in some form. The ability to interpret and understand the operation of legislation is a skill essential to understanding law and is operation.
This course will provide an advanced study of the rules and principles governing statutory interpretation.
Students who have encountered statue law in a variety of contexts (criminal law, torts law, administrative law etc) and been introduced to the relevant common law principles, will benefit from a more detailed consideration of statutory interpretation as a fundamental skill involved in all areas of practice but particularly those areas involving government.
‘lottery’ of litigation.  A legal practitioner must be aware of the schemes and limitations that exist if they are to properly advise their clients on rights and liabilities in this complex and often confused area of law.  
This course will introduce students to various schemes available in Australia and the criteria for eligibility for compensation as well as the limits that the schemes impose.

Learning Outcomes

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

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1.  have demonstrated mastery of the theoretical knowledge around statutory interpretation
  2.  have reflected critically on the theory of statutory interpretation and its application in professional practice.
  3. have demonstrated a superior knowledge of legal research principles and methods.
  4. demonstrate communication and technical research skills to justify conclusions and professional decisions to a specialist audience.

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. The legislative process, including the distinction between primary and subordinate legislation, regulatory impact process, legislative instrument requirements, drafting, parliamentary scrutiny, and registration of legislative instruments.
  2. Approaches to the interpretation of legislation, including comparisons with interpretation of contracts and treaties.
  3. Interpretation Acts and drafting conventions
  4. Extrinsic and intrinsic aids to assist in interpretation, including role of legal assumption
  5. Remedial, penal and fiscal provisions
  6. Obligatory and discretionary provisions.

Indicative Assessment

Students must rely on the Means of Assessment which will be avaliable on the Wattle course site prior to the commencement of the course.

It is proposed that the assessment for this course will consist of the following:

  1. On-line exercises and discussion (20%)
  2. Essay - up to 1500 words (30%)
  3. Take home exam (50%)

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.


Minimum of the equivalent of 26 contact hours through engagement with materials, exercises and discussion on WATTLE plus private study time of 39 hours per semester (ie total of 65 hours). 

Non-lawyers undertaking the introductory face to face sessions will have an extra 12 contact hours plus up to 24 hours in additional preparation time (additional 36 hours).

2014 Course Intensive Dates (compulsory for non-lawyers): 5-6 September

Online from 8 September 2014

For the current LLM Timetable please click here.

Prescribed Texts

D.C. Pearce and R.S. Geddes, Statutory Interpretation in Australia (8th ed 2014, LexisNexis).

An e-brick of other materials will also be provided to students.

Preliminary Reading

A Course Outline will be availble on the Wattle course site prior to the commencement of the course.

Assumed Knowledge

Non-lawyers must have completed LAWS8015 Fundamentals of Government and Commercial Law or its equivalent prior to commencing this course.

Non lawyers must also attend a two day face to face intensive as part of the course before undertaking the on-line tasks.

Incompatibility: students who have completed an equivalent course, including the Statutory Interpretation and Regulatory Design Course offered as part of the ANU LLB program, within the previous 5 years are not permitted to undertake this 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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5765 05 Sep 2014 05 Sep 2014 26 Sep 2014 12 Dec 2014 In Person N/A

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