• Class Number 4535
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Wendy Kukulies-Smith
    • Dr Wendy Kukulies-Smith
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

The Honours Thesis makes up Part B of the final Honours Examination for students wishing to graduate with an honours degree. For this course a student must complete an honours thesis on a topic of their choice, under the supervision of a member of the academic staff or a person approved by the Course Convenor.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. By the end of the course the student will have undertaken a limited but systematic study of an issue in the law of the student's own choosing, and presented the results of that study in a written form which is accessible to an interested, but not necessarily informed, legal reader. The student will have developed legal research and writing skills; and will have educated himself or herself further in the law, its methods and limits.

Required Resources

Australian Guide to Legal Citation (Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc, 3rd ed, 2010) available at: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/mulr/aglc

Terry Hutchinson, Researching and Writing in Law (Lawbook Co, 3rd ed, 2010).

Euguene Volokh, Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review (Foundation Press, 5th ed. 2016).

Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb and Joseph Williams, The Craft of Research (The University of Chicago Press, 3rd ed, 2008).

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the current Grading Distribution Policy has been suspended pending the development of a new policy. For further information about the interim policy please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements and updates relating to the course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Approval of thesis outline and agreement to supervise form 0 % 26/02/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4
Confirmation of topic form 0 % 26/04/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4
Submission of thesis draft to the supervisor 0 % 10/05/2019 31/05/2019 1,2,3,4
Submission of the thesis 100 % 03/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Honours students are expected to devote, at the very least, the equivalent of half of a normal working week to the research and writing of their theses. Therefore, it is both necessary and desirable that substantial progress has been made before the commencement of semester. Most students (and academics) find that legal research and writing is much more time-consuming than expected. Therefore, it is highly recommended that Honours students reflect upon their other time commitments and make any changes necessary to accommodate their Honours work.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 26/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Approval of thesis outline and agreement to supervise form

Details of Task: The Research Paper Outline should: 

  • clearly explain the proposed topic and its boundaries; 
  • identify the approach to be taken; 
  • explain how the research will contribute to the legal literature or legal scholarship; 
  • focus on the issues for consideration (including stating the central research question, problem or theory that the proposed research will address); 
  • include a preliminary review of the literature and a bibliography; 
  • describe the research strategy and methods; 
  • if empirical research is to be carried out (for example, any interviews) the outline must indicate that ethics approval has been sought;  
  • propose a timetable for writing the thesis.  

The Research Paper Outline must be such as to convince a supervisor that the topic is sufficiently developed and refined and that the Thesis can successfully be completed within the semester. Importantly, you should focus upon refining your topic parameters so that your writing and research will be manageable within the constraints of time and space. This assessment task, while not formally assessed, is essential preparation for your thesis. This task will assist you to address learning outcomes 1-4.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Students who do not complete this task by the due date or who are unable to demonstrate that their topic is sufficiently developed to satisfy their supervisor of the matters set out above may lose their supervisor and will be unable to continue in the course.

Weighting: 0%

Release: Monday 11 Feburary via the course Wattle site.

Due date: 5 pm Tuesday, 26 February 2019 via Wattle.

Estimated return date: Following submission, the Research Paper outline will be read by the course convenor who will then approve the form. Should there be any problems with the form, the convener will email the student. Any feedback on the outline will be provided by the supervisor. 

Word limit: N/A. There is no word limit for the Thesis Outline, but the expectation is that the Outline will be several pages long.

Other requirements: Before submitting your Research Paper Outline you must have consulted with your Supervisor and have obtained email approval of the proposed research paper outline, and confirmation of their willingness to supervise. You will be asked to submit a copy of the confirmation email when completing the online form.

Assessment Criteria: N/A

Assessment Task 2

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 26/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Confirmation of topic form

Details of task:  Confirmation of Topic form confirms the title and the research area and will be used for the purpose of appointing second examiners. It will assist in your preparation to address learning outcomes 1-4.  

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to submit a full draft to your supervisor by this date may mean that you will not receive supervisor feedback on your draft before the required date for final submission.

Weighting: 0%

Release: The Confirmation of Topic form will be available on the course Wattle site at the start of the semester.

Due date: 1 pm Friday, 26 April 2019 via Wattle.

Word limit: N/A

Estimated return date: N/A

Assessment Rubrics: N/A

Assessment Task 3

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 10/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Submission of thesis draft to the supervisor

Details of task:  Submit the first full draft to allow your supervisor to read and comment on your research. This will provide you feedback on how your research is addressing learning outcomes 1-4. 

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to submit a full draft to your supervisor by this date may mean that you will not receive supervisor feedback on your draft before the required date for final submission.

Weighting: 0

Release: N/A

Due date: 1 pm Friday, 10 May 2019 via a method negotiated with the supervisor

Word limit: Between 11,000 and 13,000 words (including footnotes)

Estimated return date: 31 May or a alternate date as negotiated with your supervisor.

Assessment Criteria: N/A

Assessment Task 4

Value: 100 %
Due Date: 03/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Submission of the thesis

Details of task:  Submission of the full and finalised thesis.  

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to submit this task will result in 0 for this task.

Value or weighting: 100%

Release: N/A

Due date: 1 pm Monday, 3 June 2019 via Turnitin and Wattle. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Word limit: Between 11,000 and 13,000 words (including footnotes)

Estimated return date: Thursday, 4 July 2019 on Wattle. A detailed report will be emailed to students by Undergraduate Student Administration team after this day.

Other requirements: 

  • Dual Submission: We do not require hard copies of the thesis. We accept only electronic copies of the thesis that must be submitted to Turnitin on Wattle. The electronic copy must be in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). Electronic copies in .pdf file format are not acceptable. 
  • Library Copy: Where a thesis receives a High Distinction mark, a fresh copy will be printed from the electronic version and will be permanently book bound at the expense of the ANU College of Law. This copy will be held by the Law Library.  
  • Word Count: The thesis must record the total word count on the cover page of the thesis. It is not necessary to put a word count on each individual page. The electronic copy may be checked for word length compliance.  
  • Presentation: The text of the thesis must be 12 font and double spaced.  
  • Cover Page: The cover page should include the title of the paper and the author's student number only. Do not include your name. You are permitted – but certainly not required – to add artwork or vary the format of the cover page. A sample cover page is available from the course Wattle site.    
  • Bibliography: You must include a bibliography. A bibliography provides a list of sources or references used in the research for the paper (ie. not just sources used in the text of the paper). In addition, it may be appropriate to include in the Introduction of the paper a description of the sources and research methodology eg "British and Canadian as well as Australian case law was surveyed, as were parliamentary debates and newspaper reports for public discussion of the relevant legislation. Annual reports of the Commission for Legal Research and Writing were a valuable source on implementation of the legislative standards". The bibliography is not included in the word count.  

Assessment Criteria: The ANU College of Law Guidelines on Supervision and Examination of Honours Thesis set out in detail the examination process. The assessment criteria are set out below. Two examiners are appointed for each thesis, one of whom is the supervisor. Where possible the supervisor and the second examiner will have special knowledge in the topic area of the thesis they are supervising /or examining. However, there is no rule to this effect and students should be aware that either or both examiners may not be an expert in the legal area of the thesis. With that in mind, the thesis should be written for a legally trained generalist not a specialist audience. Students are entitled to know the names of their examiners but should bear in mind that generally this information will not be available until the end of semester.

Examiners must consider and comment on the following matters, the importance of which will vary depending on the type of Thesis, in addition to any other comments they may wish to make:

1. quality of the arguments and reasoning (how persuasive was the thesis?);

2. depth and breadth of research and range of research methods used;

3. degree of difficulty in the topic and/or research methods used;

4. degree of originality of the thesis and/or whether the thesis makes a useful contribution, and in what ways;

5. structure and organisation of the thesis;

6. consistency and accuracy of referencing and citations;

7. literary style (including accuracy of spelling and grammar).


Where there is agreement, the examiners may submit a joint report, or one examiner may attach additional comments or may prepare a separate report recommending the same or a different mark.

The marks recommended by the examiners for all papers are forwarded to the Honours Thesis Review Committee. The task of that Committee is to ensure vertical and horizontal consistency of marking standards across all the research papers. The Committee confirms or varies the recommended marks after consultation with the examiners. The moderated marks are then reported to the Examiners Meeting of the ANU College of Law. The reports of the examiners generally are available for inspection and collection at the ANU College of Law Office ten days after the publication of examination results by the University.

Assessment Rubrics: Students will be evaluated according to the above mentioned assessment criteria. An optional Assessment Rubric is available for examiners to elect to use in examining the paper. The optional Assessment Rubric will be available on Wattle at the start of the semester. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Wendy Kukulies-Smith
6125 7790

Research Interests

Dr Wendy Kukulies-Smith

Monday 10:00 11:00

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