• Class Number 4371
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Michael Eburn
    • Dr Michael Eburn
  • 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

This course will explore statutory schemes that provide for personal injury compensation across Australia. Traditionally compensation for personal injuries was governed by tort law, and, in particular, the law of negligence. A plaintiff would have to prove that the defendant owed a duty of care, was negligent in the performance of their duty and that their negligence caused the plaintiff's injuries.

Today a multitude of statutory schemes govern personal injuries compensation providing no-fault compensation schemes or restricting a person's right to claim compensation.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the latest development to remove compensation from the 'lottery' of litigation.  A legal practitioner must be aware of the schemes and limitations that exist if they are to properly advise their clients on rights and liabilities in this complex and often confused area of law.

This course will introduce students to various schemes available in Australia and the criteria for eligibility for compensation as well as the limits that the schemes impose.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Be aware of, and understand, recent developments in the area of personal injuries compensation law.
  2. Have reflected on how these developments may impact upon their professional practice.
  3. Have demonstrated cognitive, technical and creative skills to analyse and synthesise complex information in order to identify the relevant legal issues that arise on a given set of facts.
  4. Apply established principles of practice to a given set of facts.
  5. Have demonstrated communication and technical research skills to explain the law and its application to both a specialist (peer) and non-specialist (client) audience.
  6. Research and critically examine a set of facts to explain and advise on the law and to develop an informed opinion on issues of policy.

Research-Led Teaching

My practice at the Bar requires an up to date knowledge of practice and procedure and case law. Although the Course is updated annually students should ensure that the current law applies when undertaking assessment. Any major changes during the course will be announced on Wattle.

Required Resources

There are no prescribed text(s) for this course. 

The Wattle course site contains a number of extracts of relevant materials and links to other resources. 

There is no prescribed preliminary reading.

Staff Feedback

You will be given written and/or oral feedback pointing out things that have been done well and those that could be done better or differently. You will be given written or oral feedback following any submission of an assessment. This is typically available 1-4 weeks after submission of the assessment. You may seek further elaboration on any feedback - either from your marker or by the Convenor. If you feel that your feedback and grade does not reflect your performance, please contact the Convenor in writing and outline your concerns. Your submission will be re-marked by a new examiner.

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

External Resources

Information about the ANU Law Library, including details of E-Legal research online resources (for example, CCH Intelliconnect, Legal Online, LexisNexisAU, etc) is available to ANU students and can be found at http://anulib.anu.edu.au/subjects/law. For access to the online resources please go to: http://virtual.anu.edu.au then type in your student number and password. At various points throughout the course you will be directed to other useful external resources.

ANU Library

All enrolled ANU students can access the ANU databases (including the full-text databases such as Westlaw) through the ANU Library webpage http://anulib.anu.edu.au/lib_home.html

Opening hours for the Law Library can be accessed at http://anulib.anu.edu.au/using-the-library/opening-hours/.

To access restricted ANU web pages from home as though coming from a computer on campus you need the Reverse Proxy Server known as ‘Virtual’. You can access

virtual through http://virtual.anu.edu.au/login. Students living near another law school may need to access print resources from their local school. ANU students can use these collections through the University Library Australia national borrowing scheme. The scheme allows people who are enrolled at a university in one city to access university libraries in another city at a reduced rate. For further information see http://www.caul.edu.au/caul-programs/university-library-australia.

Students who wish to participate in this scheme need to join at the library they wish to access material from. The cost of the scheme is $50 per academic year. The ANU document delivery service is available for remotely located students in non-capital cities. For further information see https://anulib.anu.edu.au/using-the-library/document-supply-services/.

The ANU Library Off-Campus Service is available to students who live more than 60 kilometres from the ANU campus at Acton, ACT. Before using the service for the first time, you will need to complete the online User Agreement Form. You will then be able to request a book, table of contents, chapter or article using the request forms on the Off-Campus Service web pages. For further information see http://anulib.anu.edu.au/offcampus/.

Referencing Requirements

Where required, students must use footnotes for referencing and the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/mulr/aglc) for the citation style. 

Word Limits

The method of calculation of word length for assessment pieces in this course is a global word count. This means that when calculating the number of words of a piece of assessment students must include all headings, text, and footnotes (excluding bibliography). Students should calculate this using Microsoft Word’s word count function or equivalent. The default penalty is as follows: the mark which is awarded initially will be reduced by half the proportion by which the word limit has been exceeded. As an example, if the word limit is 2,000 words, and the essay submitted is 3,000 words long, then the initial mark for the essay would be reduced by 25% of that mark.

Papers which fall short of words will not be penalised on that basis alone. However, short papers risk failing to address the question adequately.

Sub-Dean, GDLP/MLP

The GDLP/MLP Sub-Dean can be contacted via email on subdean.slp@anu.edu.au

Wellbeing Support Services for Lawyers

You will find wellbeing support information for lawyers on the ANU School of Legal Practice website. We also encourage you to read Being Well in the Law – a guide for lawyers which is a toolkit is provided by the NSW Law Society, written by our ANU Academics.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction, learning outcomes, teaching method, assessment. Review the law of negligence. Strategy: Readings on what people want Discussion Forum Post: Introduce self and relevant experience
2 What do people want or expect from tort litigation? Is it just about the money? Strategy: Readings on what people want Short Answer Post: Ex 1 - Students to outline what they think the plaintiff might want to achieve in our story.
3 Carol’s story - negligence Strategy: Students to review law of negligence – no specified readings given. Civil Liability legislation in each jurisdiction. Discussion Forum Post: Post 1 - Who might be liable in negligence? driver; employer.
4 Carol’s story - negligence cont'd Strategy: Students to review law of negligence – no specified readings given. Civil Liability legislation in each jurisdiction. Short Answer Post: Ex 2 - Pick one of the suggested defendants and write a short outline of what might be the legal issues for that defendant.
5 Motor Accident Compensation schemes Strategy: Motor Accidents legislation in the students’ home jurisdiction Discussion Forum Post: Post 2 - How will the Motor Accidents compensation system in your state/territory affect the liability of the driver?
6 Motor Accident Compensation schemes cont'd Strategy: Motor Accidents legislation in the students’ home jurisdiction Short Answer Post: Ex 3 - What steps does the plaintiff need to undertake prior to commencing action? (Notice to be given, offers, conciliation meetings etc)
7 Workers Compensation Act in the student’s jurisdiction. Discussion Forum Post: Post 3 - Is she entitled to workers compensation? What is likely to be the issue
8 Workers Compensation Act in the student’s jurisdiction cont'd Short Answer Post: Ex 4 - Write a short advice on whether or not she will be entitled to claim workers compensation.
9 Alternatives to torts law – Sporting injuries and criminal injuries compensation Strategy: Sporting and criminal injuries legislation in your state Discussion Forum Post: Post 4 - What are the eligibility requirements
10 Reforming Personal injuries law – the NDIS, NIIS etc Assessment Task 3 released Short Answer Post: Ex 5 - What are the eligibility requirements? Will Carol be eligible? Will it be in her best interests?
11 Reforming Personal injuries law – the ACT Citizen’s jury Discussion Forum Post: Post 5 - What impact might the jury’s preferred option have for Carol?
12 Reforming Personal injuries law – the NZ no fault Accident Compensation Commission Some readings from current syllabus Assessment task 3 due Friday 31 May 2019 (AEST)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Short Answer - Weekly Exercise (5 Exercises in total)(50%) 50 % 31/05/2019 31/05/2019 1,2
On-Line Discussion Forum (5 Posts) (10%) 10 % 31/05/2019 31/05/2019 3,4
Drafting an advice and opinion (40%) 40 % 31/05/2019 28/06/2019 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.


You must check Wattle course announcements and forum discussions as well as your ANU email at least every 24-48 hours.

All email correspondence from the ANU will be sent to your ANU email address. You may arrange for your ANU Email to be forwarded to an email address you check daily.

Alternatively, set your personal setting to provide you with all the reminders you need to achieve this. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to ensure you are actively committed and involved in this course.

The course will be conducted in the following time zones (Canberra time). 

Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT): until 7 April 2019.

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): from 7 April 2019 to 6 October 2019. 

Please make appropriate adjustments if you are located in a different time zone.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Short Answer - Weekly Exercise (5 Exercises in total)(50%)

Format: A short exercise every second week for ten weeks from week 2 to 10 on individual topics (50%)

Due Date: Short answers are due by 9am on the Monday of the next week. For example exercise question 1 relates to material set for week 2 (commencing 4 March 2019). The answer is due by 9am on Monday 11 March 2019 and so on for each subsequent exercise.

Length: Students are required to submit an answer to 5 questions. Each short answer is worth 10 marks. Each short answer is to be no more than 500 words in length. The questions require a short answer such as explaining a legal principle. See assessment criteria below.

Estimated Date of Results: Feedback and results will be available within one week of the submission date of each assessment task.

Assessment Criteria: Understanding of the Issues

·        provide evidence that you have considered the issues raised by the question (4%).

·        evidence of independent research to identify relevant material to inform the answer (3%)

·        material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed, not just summarised or quoted (3%)

Assessment Task 2

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

On-Line Discussion Forum (5 Posts) (10%)

Format: Students are required to take part in the on-line discussion forum on WATTLE (10%) A maximum of 10% will be awarded based on participation and content for posts made by students in the discussion forum. Students are required to submit 5 forum posts, each worth 2 marks.

Submission Date: Discussion posts are due by 5pm on the Friday of that week. For example the first post is due by 5pm on the Friday at the end of week one, ie Friday 1 March 2019 and so on for each subsequent required post.

Length: Students are required to submit an answer to 5 questions. Each short answer is worth 2 marks. Each short answer is to be no more than 300 words in length. See assessment criteria below.

Estimated Date of Results: As this is a discussion forum students will receive their mark out of 10 for their discussion posts at the end of the course.

Assessment Criteria:

Preparation and understanding of the material

·        Consulting and reading pre-assigned materials in advance of the lectures/seminars (0.5%)

·        Thinking critically about the material (1%)

·        Engaging with other students in the discussion, responding to what other have said and being respectful for a range of views and opinions (0.5%)

If possible, linking material with your own background and knowledge which involves relating the material to your own personal and professional experience.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Drafting an advice and opinion (40%)

Format: Students are required to prepare a document containing their advice on the application of the law and their opinion on proposed law reform.

In this assessment task you will be asked either:

1)    to provide an advice on a given set of facts and, based on your advice, give an informed opinion on whether or not Australia should introduce a no-fault personal injuries compensation scheme based on the Accident Compensation Act 2001 (NZ);


2)    provide an advice on a given set of facts and, based on your advice, critically evaluate the recommendation of the ACT Citizen’s Jury and give an informed opinion on whether the jury’s preferred scheme will, on balance, be of greater good or harm for the ACT community.

This assessment task will bring together the work you will have done during the semester by drawing on your understanding of the current law and its strengths and weaknesses.

Submission Date: The question and further instructions will be released on Wattle on 15 May 2019. Your response will be due by 5pm on 31 May 2019

Length: 3,000 Words

Estimated Date of Results: 28 June 2019. Individual results will be available on Wattle after the release of final results in the unit.

Assessment Criteria:

Part 1: Giving Advice on the facts: (15%)

·        I - analysis and identification of the legal issues raised from the questions

·        R - legal principles states/explained and debated with accuracy

·        A - relevant facts recognized, analysed and debated with regard to the legal principles with recognition and evaluation of judicial and statutory ambiguities and ‘grey areas’

·        C - clear conclusions

Part 2: Addressing the value of either adopting the New Zealand Scheme or the ACT Citizen’s jury proposal:

Research (10%)

·        research covering primary and secondary materials

·        good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used

·        use of theoretical material where appropriate

·        range of research sources

·        integration of material from research resources into the advice and opinion

Argument (10%)

·        originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material

·        complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas

·        interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate

·        addressing arguments that are contrary to your preferred position

·        well-reasoned conclusions

Overall: Structure, organisation and expression (5%)

·        clear theme or argument

·        arguments logical and well-organised with section headings and paragraphs

·        clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader

·        use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling

·        full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography where appropriate

·        style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation

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 may be required to submit an assessment either through:

1.   Wattle dropbox and Turnitin, or

2.   Wattle dropbox only, or

3.   Turnitin only.

Please read the instruction for each assessment carefully.

Where assessments are to be submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site, you will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assessment.

Where assessments are to be submitted using Wattle dropbox in the course Wattle site, you will be required to electronically sign a declaration, by tick boxes, as part of the submission of your assessment. If you fail to do this, you assessment will be recorded as a draft only. This may affect its acceptance as a submitted assessment.

Please keep a copy of all your assessments for your records.

Assessments must be submitted in the format identified in the assessment instructions, for example, in accordance with relevant court or tribunal requirements; usual contract or will formats or advice format.

Research essays, reflective comments or similar documents must be submitted in 12-point font, double-spaced, formatted for A4-size paper, and with pages numbered. 

Hardcopy Submission

No hard copy submission will be accepted in this class.

Late Submission

Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

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

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.

Returning Assignments

Your written work will receive feedback and grading via the course Wattle site under the corresponding assessment drop box. Assessment results are typically available between 1-4 weeks after the due date via the same dropbox your assessments were submitted to. The Convenor will post announcements about when you can expect your assessment results.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

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 Michael Eburn
02 6125 6424

Research Interests

I graduated in Law from UNSW in 1988. I was admitted as a solicitor in the NSW Supreme Court in 1998 and then as a barrister in 1991. I continue to hold a practising certificate as a Barrister in the ACT.

In 1994 I joined the academic staff at the University of New England, Armidale (NSW). Whilst there I completed a Master of Laws at the University of Newcastle and a PhD at Monash University. I joined the ANU College of Law in 2011. 

My research area is the law of the emergency services and emergency management. This research crosses many areas of law including tort law, criminal law and work health and safety law.  

Dr Michael Eburn

Monday 09:00 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 17:00
Thursday 09:00 17:00
Friday 09:00 17:00
Dr Michael Eburn
02 6125 6424

Research Interests

Dr Michael Eburn

Monday 09:00 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 17:00
Thursday 09:00 17:00
Friday 09:00 17:00

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