New technology has brought with it enhanced concern over the collection and use of private information. The government continues to at least express a belief in the benefits of the free access to information as a means of enhancing the effectiveness and legitimacy of government. Whistleblowing is recognised as a valid mechanism of government accountability but only in limited circumstances. Disclosure as a means building, and destroying, reputations is increasingly being used as a regulatory tool. This course seeks to bring these issues together in examining the legal issues arising from the access, collection, use, storage and disclosure of information in its various forms.
This course will look at the various ways in which the legal system either seeks to maintain the secrecy of information, or encourages its dissemination. It will look at the different ways in which information is treated when held by government as opposed to private entities. It will also use information as a vehicle to examine the law reform process through the responses to the changing way in which information is being generated and viewed in our society.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:By the conclusion of this course, students who have successfully completed all of the requirements will have the knowledge and skills to:
• Explain, distinguish and apply the fundamental legal principles relating to the access, collection, use, storage and disclosure of information in its various forms covered in the course
• Identify and use a range of legally specific research principles, methods and tools appropriate to respond to a factually complex problem relating to how information can be accessed or disclosed;
• Select and apply a range of approaches to written and oral communication, and apply the critical thinking required to bring about solutions to a complex current law reform issue in relation to the access, collection, use, storage and disclosure of information; and
• Plan and conduct a legal research project both through collaboration with others and then with intellectual independence.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment would likely consist of a both group and individual exercises, with different groups of students examining current topics related to the material being covered and giving presentations to the class, and individuals completing a series of on-line exercises and completing a research essay on one of a selection of topics linking together different aspects 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.
WorkloadThree contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- 6 units
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