• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Azmi Wood
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

This course aims to arm students with an understanding of, and a critical approach to, the law as it applies to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Central to the course is an examination of the extent to which Australian law recognises the rights and interests of Indigenous Australians as citizens and as peoples. It presents constitutional, human rights and property law relating to Indigenous peoples in their socio-political, historical and cultural contexts, questioning the adequacy of the current state of the law with a view to possibilities for future law reform. It acknowledges the disproportionately large role of the law in the lives of this arguably overly-regulated but under-protected group of peoples, providing an understanding of some of the central legal issues facing Indigenous Australians, and the impact this has and has had on Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The course covers issues relating to legal definitions of Indigeneity, the relationship between Indigenous Australians and the state, self-determination, racial discrimination, rights to lands and waters, and the place of Indigenous Australians in the world community of Indigenous peoples. As such, it builds on concepts introduced in Australian Public Law, International Law and Property Law.

Learning Outcomes

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

On successful completion of this course, it is expected that students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate familiarity with and advanced knowledge of basic issues surrounding legal constructions of Indigenous identity and their legal and non-legal impact.
  • Assess the importance of and demonstrate familiarity with some culturally appropriate protocols (including in the use of language).
  • Analyse and critically evaluate the limits of constitutional protections afforded to Indigenous peoples, and the role of constitutional law in relation to government policy and legislation relating to Indigenous Australians.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate the effect of international instruments and mechanisms on domestic legal issues affecting Indigenous peoples.
  • Analyse and critically evaluate conceptual and legal problems with property law relating to Indigenous peoples.
  • Identify and assess domestic and international legal avenues for protection of Indigenous rights and interests.
  • Plan, design and conduct legal and general research with some independence in order to develop new understanding in a piece of research.

Indicative Assessment

There will be four compulsory assessment tasks in this course plus two, optional, assessment tasks as detailed below:
  • Assessment 1: Participation (10%)
  • Assessment 2: Online Discussions (5%) 3 x 300 words 
  • Assessment 3: Research Essay (45%) 2500 words    
  • Assessment 4: Research Essay (40%) 2000 words    
  • Assessment 5:  Submission to the Deloitte’s Native Title Review (Optional 2% bonus)      
  • Assessment 6: Reflection up to 500 words  (Optional 3% bonus) 
You must achieve a pass mark on each compulsory assessment task (ie all except Assessment 5 & 6) to pass the Course.  None of the pieces of assessment is redeemable.

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.


Three contact hours per week

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a program which includes the Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor. You must have completed LAWS2202/LAWS6202 Commonwealth Constitutional Law and LAWS2250/LAWS6250 International Law. LAWS2204/LAWS6204 Property is a co requisite.




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:
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
2015 $2958
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2761 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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