• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Thomas Faunce
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2016
    See Future Offerings

The course examines the regulation of health care in Australia, involves analysis and development of moral and bioethical argument about the development of health law in Australia, and addresses the principal human rights issues which arise in the practice of health care law.

The course begins with an overview of the Australian health system and its constitutional and legislative framework. Emphasis is placed on the concepts of medical ethics, patients' rights and efficiency and safety in health care including healthcare whistleblowing. Particular topics which are covered include: confidentiality, consent, negligence, accountability, health records, expert evidence, research and experimentation, organ donation, emergency treatment, intensive care, abortion, safety and cost effectiveness regulation of pharmaceuticals and new medical technologies, nanomedicine and biotechnology regulation, stem cells and medical research, new reproductive technologies, and death and dying. Consideration is also given to the law relating to mental health and public health, as well as the impact of international trade agreements on access to essential medicines and Australia's health care system.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

  1. Describe, discuss and analyse the normative interaction of Australian health law with Australian and international principles of bioethics and international human rights related to contemporary healthcare and health policy;
  2. Define, explain, and apply the law of doctor-patient relations, nurse-patient relations, medical professional regulation and public health law;
  3. Explain and analyse policy areas such as regulation of new health technologies, illness prevention, impacts of trade agreements on health care and health care economics;
  4. Identify, describe and analyse relevant ‘gaps’ in the literature on law and policy matters of health, law, bioethics and human rights and prepare and present work that could be submitted for peer review and possible publication in referred journals - this being a compulsory assessment item;
  5. Take on the role of social conscience activist in relation to healthcare issues in the local and international communities, by identifying and summarising issues related to public policy and health and presenting them publicly. There is an opportunity to practice developing this skill in the compulsory op-ed assessment item.
Those students who participate in the moot should be able to:-
  1. apply their advocacy skills in cross examining “expert” witnesses drawn from ANU Medical School students in the Uqbar Medico-Legal Supreme Court; and, in the process, enhance their ability to identify relevant legal issues as per case law and statute, identify important matters of public policy, and further hone and apply their legal writing skills.

Other Information

Autumn 2016 dates:
Online Reading available from 29 March
Intensive Class Dates:
5, 6, 7, 8 April
12, 13, 14 April
Students are expected to attend ALL classes
Students will need to contact enquiries.law@anu.edu.au to seek a permission code

Indicative Assessment

Academic article (60%, 3000 words)
Op-ed (20%, 1000 words)
Pre-reading multiple choice quiz (20%)

Or if there are sufficient numbers:

A moot (written submissions 3000 words, 60%, and oral presentation 20%) and
Pre-reading multiple choice quiz (20%)

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.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a program which includes the Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor and completed or be completing five LAWS1000 or 6100 level courses.

Preliminary Reading

Readings will be available online through the course WATTLE site from 2nd April 2015.


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
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
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
5559 29 Mar 2016 29 Mar 2016 15 Apr 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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