• Offered by ANU Legal Workshop
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Legal Practice
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2015
    Spring Session 2015
    See Future Offerings

Government Law Practice is an eight week course, offered online only.  The course is available twice a year, usually between March - May and September - November.

The role of government in current Australian legal practice is a large one and all lawyers need to be familiar with government processes, procedures and outcomes.

The Government Law course provides an introduction to government legal practice through a legal policy development ‘pathway' using a scenario to illustrate what may be involved in aspects of government law practice. 

The pathway also provides the basis for study and discussion of aspects of government law practice, for example, aspects of commercial law; procurement; advice work, statutory interpretation and litigation (often integral to the legal / policy development process). 

This approach is relevant for those of you who may work as in-house government lawyers in a government agency or in the private legal sector acting for either government or private sector clients (for example, clients seeking to contract with government as contracted suppliers of goods and services or as stakeholders in policy development.  .

The course is principally based on Commonwealth requirements.

Learning Outcomes

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

By the end of this course aims to help you to:

  • understand how government works, the participants and the legislative processes and procedures in a practice context
  • understand the context of legal practice in and for government (at the intersection of law, politics, policy and administration) and the breadth and scope of legal matters that may arise
  • be able to assist and advise clients on legal aspects of policy and legislation, on participating in the process and related general legal matters
  • experience aspects of legal practice through providing legal advice and drafting various documents
  • practise the skills required to analyse, research, develop, draft and provide legal advice on various documents such as media materials, briefing materials, cabinet and other submissions, drafting instructions and explanatory memoranda
  • apply principles of accountability, responsibility and confidentiality.

Demonstrate your competencies in the following skills:

  • communications (written and oral) consultation and client management
  • problem solving and analysis
  • drafting and writing
  • knowledge of, and ability to, apply processes and procedures
  • ethical behaviour and professional responsibility.

Other Information

The Government Law Practice course is not another name for Administrative Law.  Administrative law (FOI, merits review, AAT, judicial review etc) is covered in the separate Administrative Law course. 

When Offerred and Delivery Mode:  This online 8 week course is offered twice a year in the 2nd and 4th teaching periods.

Classification in Graduate Studies Select:   Specialist. In addition an elective in the GDLP program, can be used as part of the articulation into the LLM and LLM (in practice) programs.

Indicative Assessment

You generally will have four (4) assessment exercises, worth 10%, 30%, 40% and 20% respectively.

The first assessment exercise has two parts and is usually completed in the 7 - 10 days of the course.

In one assessment exercise, you are required to provide peer review comments on two colleagues' work and to receive peer comments on your work.

One assessment exercise is usually group work:  you are allocated to small teams, usually three students per team.  Your team has its own online team room to exchanges ideas and work.

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.


Hours required will depend on previous experience and/or knowledge.  You self pace your study to meet online course timelines and assessment deadlines within an 8 week intensive course.

Prescribed Texts

Content book and related materials are provided prior to the course commencing.  Most materials are also provided online.

Preliminary Reading

See 'Assumed Knowledge'.

See 'Assumed Knowledge'.  Reading lists are available through the course website in WATTLE.

Assumed Knowledge

If you have not worked in the area, refresh your knowledge by referring to texts on legal system and process, general introductory books on public policy, public administration and law.  Also take some time to look at relevant websites, for example http://www.aph.gov.au/ and federal agency sites.  This will give you a ‘feel' for the scope and breadth of possible legal work and issues.


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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
3 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.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $1092
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $1431
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.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1282 30 Mar 2015 03 Apr 2015 10 Apr 2015 22 May 2015 Online N/A

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1284 14 Sep 2015 18 Sep 2015 25 Sep 2015 06 Nov 2015 Online N/A

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