• Class Number 4394
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Prof Kim Rubenstein
    • Prof Kim Rubenstein
  • 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

Building on Australian Public Law, this course aims to deepen student understanding of key aspects of the Australian administrative justice system. Administrative law concerns the legal rules and institutions which seek to keep the ‘governors’ in society (principally, decision-makers in the executive arm of government) accountable. It encompasses both judicial and non-judicial modes of accountability (eg administrative tribunals, the ombudsman, and legislation providing for access to information and limiting the purposes for which government can use information). Administrative law can be conceptualised as the legal regulation of the exercise of public (as opposed to ‘private’) power. More specifically, this course will consider:

• Different ways to think about the reach of administrative law in the context of the changing nature of contemporary governance;
• The function and scope of judicial review of administrative action, with particular attention to the constitutional, statutory and common law sources of judicial review jurisdiction.
• Many of the important legal principles associated with the availability of judicial review remedies, the grounds on which administrative decisions may be judicially reviewed, and ‘standing’ to bring judicial review actions;
• Statutory attempts by Parliaments to restrict judicial review and the extent to which judicial review is constitutionally entrenched;
• The concept of merit review, with particular attention to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal;
• The role played by non-adjudicative accountability mechanism with particular attention to the operation of public sector Ombudsman and Freedom of Information legislation;
• The role played by administrative law in the context of important constitutional principles such as the separation of powers and the rule of law;
• The historical and social context in which Australian administrative law has developed.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. By the end of the course, students should be able to:
  2. - Explain, apply and appraise the principles of judicial review of administrative action at both the State and Federal levels of government in Australia;
  3. - Explain, apply and appraise the limits on the powers of the courts to engage in judicial review of administrative action, and the constitutional protection of such review;
  4. - Distinguish between the different categories of adjudicative review (legality and merit review) and between adjudicative and non-adjudicative accountability mechanisms;
  5. - Explain and appraise the interaction between the various institutions of administrative law and the role played by each in the administrative justice system;
  6. - Recognise and explain the relevance of the Constitution and constitutional concepts to the development of distinctive Australian administrative law institutions and principles;
  7. - Reflect critically on judicial reasoning in administrative law cases, the values underpinning administrative law, and the impact of the law on administrative decision-making;
  8. - Apply administrative law principles to resolve practical problems, reasoning to a conclusion by analogy to decided cases recognising the way in which statutory context influences the application of these principles.

Research-Led Teaching

Professor Rubenstein has maintained a practising certificate and has continued to practice in administrative law, in particular though her citizenship expertise. She will incorporate that knowledge into her teaching, as well as her scholarship in this area. Her other research and public policy interests are set out at https://law.anu.edu.au/people/kim-rubenstein

Field Trips

One of the forms of assessment involves attendance at a Tribunal hearing anywhere in Australia. If this poses a problem for someone outside Australia please contact me directly.

Required Resources

Students will require a textbook and the associated ‘cases’ book.

Text: Peter Cane, Leighton McDonald, and Kristen Rundle, Principles of Administrative Law (3rd ed, Oxford University Press, 2018)

Cases: Peter Cane, Leighton McDonald, and Kristen Rundle, Cases for Principles of Administrative Law (3rd ed, Oxford University Press, 2018)

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

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 interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. 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 relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Seminar A Tuesday 26th February 2019 Intro to Administrative Law and the Australian Administrative Law System Seminar B Thursday 28th February 2019 Freedom of Information legislation
2 Seminar A Tuesday 5th March 2019 Merits Review and Tribunals Seminar B Thursday 7th March 2019 Merits Review and Tribunals
3 Seminar A Tuesday 12th March 2019 Internal Review and the Ombudsman Seminar B Thursday 14th March 2019 Standing
4 Seminar A Tuesday 19th March 2019 Introduction to Judicial Review Seminar B Thursday 21st March 2019 The scope of Judicial Review under Statutory Sources of Jurisdiction Reflective Essay due in end of Week 4
5 Seminar A Tuesday 26th March 2019 Judicial Review Remedies and the Centrality of Jurisdictional error Seminar B Thursday 28th March 2019 What are jurisdictional errors
6 Last week before the 2 week-break Seminar A Tuesday 2nd April 2019 Remedies: the nuts and bolts – the consequences of invalidity Seminar B Thursday 4th April 2019 Introduction to Grounds of Review: Procedural Fairness Reflective Essay feedback due back end of Week 6
7 Seminar A Tuesday 23rd April 2019 Procedural Fairness continued (Hearing Rule) and Rule against bias Seminar B: No Seminar - Public Holiday
8 Seminar A Tuesday 30th April 2019 Relevant and irrelevant considerations; unauthorised purposes Seminar B Thursday 2nd May 2019 The role of policy in decision-making; dictation; delegation
9 Seminar A Tuesday 7 May 2019 Fact/Law distinction: Jurisdictional facts Seminar B Thursday 9th May 2019 Legal reasonableness and human rights norms
10 Seminar A Tuesday 14th May 2019 Statutory restrictions on judicial review Seminar B Thursday 16th May 2019 Statutory restrictions on judicial review
11 Seminar A Tuesday 21 May 2019 Supervisory jurisdiction of State Supreme Courts Seminar B Thursday 23 May 2019 Review of delegated legislation
12 Seminar A Tuesday 28th May 2019 Return to Constitutional structures and foundations Seminar B Thursday 30 May 2019 Assessment revision

Tutorial Registration

One online tutorial per week on a Monday evening that is compulsory for online students.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Practical/Reflective Essay 25 % 22/03/2019 05/04/2019 3, 4, 7
Reflective Essay 65 % 06/06/2019 24/06/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Class Participation 10 % 26/02/2019 24/06/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

* 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 22/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 7

Practical/Reflective Essay

Details of Task: This assessment involves attending a tribunal hearing of the Commonwealth AAT or a State/ Territory administrative law matter before the due date and answering a set of questions that will be distributed in week one. If there are any difficulties in attending a hearing or part of a hearing in person during that designated time, please contact the Convener as soon as possible.

Nature of Task: Compulsory; non-submission will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Value or weighting: 25%. 

Release Date: Friday 2 March 2019, via WATTLE.

Due date: Friday 22 March 2019, 10am via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are not permitted.

Word limit: 1500 words 

Estimated return date: Friday 5th April 2019 to ensure you get feedback before the mid point of the course.

Assessment Criteria: Practical essays will be graded according to how well students: 

  • make accurate use of relevant legal material; 
  • structure the essay in a clear manner 
  • use concise expression; 
  • reflect on the nature of the reflective question on merits review at the AAT; 
  • draw appropriately upon your attendance at the ACAT or AAT or other Tribunal relevant to the jurisdiction you are residing in; 
  • demonstrate critical thinking and make a persuasive argument; 
  • comply with the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 65 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Reflective Essay

Details of Task: This assessment is provided to ensure that you engage deeply with the seminar material which will ensure that you complete the learning outcomes. Students are encouraged to start drafting their reflective assessment from the beginning of the semester and as part of their learning approach to the seminars. This reflective essay asks students to reflect on the whole of the course materials covered in class and in the readings set during the semester. It does not involve further research - rather deep reflection on one of a set of questions, to guide your writing of the final essay as you complete each class.

Nature of Task: Compulsory; non-submission will result in a 0 for this task. 

Value or weighting: 65%. 

Release Date: Thursday 28th Feb via WATTLE.

Due date: 9am Thursday 6th June 2019 via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Word limit: 3750 words

Estimated return date: Your marked assignments will be returned via Turnitin with the release of results for first semester. 

Assessment Criteria: Reflective essays will be graded according to how well students: 

  • make accurate use of relevant legal material from the seminar materials and discussions; 
  • structure the essay in a clear manner 
  • use concise expression; 
  • adequately address the issue(s) raised in the question; 
  • draw appropriately upon independent thinking; 
  • demonstrate critical thinking and make a persuasive argument; 
  • comply with the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 26/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Class Participation

Details of Task: Part of the participation involves identifying a week in which you are 'on deck' for answering questions and being responsible for actively participating. For online students class participation will involve preparing a filmed 5-10 minute contribution on the readings for their 'on-deck' class that will be played to the on-campus students during the class, and attendance at a compulsory online tutorial on a Monday evening. You are also expected at the other classes and need to notify the Lecturer if you are not going to be present in a particular class.

Nature of Task: Compulsory; non-participation will result in a 0 for this task.

Value or weighting: 10%

Release Date: First week for signing up for 'on deck' class.

Due date: Ongoing. Changing weeks (without documentary evidence to support an extension) is not permitted.

Estimate return date: Students will receive an email given qualitative feedback (no mark) on their on deck week, and a mark at the end of the year for their combined class participation and on deck involvement. 

Assessment Criteria: Class participation will be graded according to how well students (both when on deck and in tutorial participation): 

  • make accurate reference to the material assigned; 
  • share their thoughts in a clear manner 
  • use concise and engaging oral skills; 
  • adequately reflect on the issues discussed in class; 
  • demonstrate critical thinking

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).

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