• Class Number 9405
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Colin James
    • Dr Colin James
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

The course examines how family law disputes are resolved under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). It also examines the social and political context of family law, critically examining the values that inform it. As it is not possible to cover all of the legal rules under the Family Law Act in one semester, this course will provide an in-depth and integrated understanding of the legal principles and skills that are central to ‘bread and butter’ family law practice. The course is structured such that the student will gain knowledge of, and the ability to apply, the key legal principles in the first 8 weeks of the course. In the latter part of the course, the course will critically examine a selected family law topic in more depth.

The course is of general use to all law students because family law touches the lives of many Australians, both directly and indirectly. This course would also be useful for anyone thinking of practising in the area of family law, or who might be interested in working in family law policy. As there will be opportunities in the second half of the semester to critically reflect on the social and other values underlying family law and its reform, the course may also appeal to the student who is interested in law reform and social justice issues.
“Lecture” style material will be provided in digital form.

During online seminars or asynchronous discussions, students will engage in interactive activities designed to support the intended learning outcomes of the course. This will include activities on group work, reflective practice and practical problem solving. Students will be free to view and listen to the digital lectures at the times that are most convenient to them.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate mastery of key principles of family law including an extended understanding of recent developments, and be able to cite the relevant legislative provisions and case law appropriately.
  2. Apply knowledge of family law creatively and with initiative to construct an accurate written advice that addresses a factually complex hypothetical family law problem, and present that advice to a specialist and non-specialist audience.
  3. Identify and use a range of legally-specific research principles, methods and tools appropriate to respond to a factually complex family law problem.
  4. Synthesise complex information on key aspects of family law including recent developments, and selected secondary academic literature and theoretical writing about family law and its reforms.
  5. Critically evaluate perspectives and values that are relevant to family law and critically examine (in written and oral form) those perspectives and values.
  6. Acquire experience in collaborative learning and demonstrate personal and communication skills to function effectively in small groups.
  7. Plan and execute a substantial research project.
  8. Reflect coherently upon learning in the course, the student’s own values, the values underlying the family law system, and the differences between family law and practice in other legal areas, and comment on those differences at a theoretical level.

Research-Led Teaching

Family law is a dynamic, controversial, emotional and politically charged area of professional knowledge and practice that directly impacts the lives of more people than any other area of law. Therefore, family law practitioners must not only be able to learn from current research on the relevance and application of law in resolving disputes, but also the long-term impacts of disputes over children and property entitlements. This course draws on current research and adopts best-practice teaching that incorporates formative feedback and encourages reflective inquiry and investigative learning. Students are encouraged not only to learn the law, but to develop a professional and reflective approach to the relevance of their knowledge and practice to society and the community in which they live.

Field Trips

Court Visits

This is relevant to Forum 2 in Assessment 4 and important for developing an integrated understanding of how family law theory, legislation and conventions work in practice.

Students are encouraged to visit and observe a Family Court during sitting hours, that is when the court is ‘in session’, for a total of not less than two (2) hours. (You may find you need more hours to satisfy your curiosity about the outcome of a case, or just to learn more about how things work.) In preparation, watch this 8-minute presentation on court etiquette designed for self-representing litigants - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAUf9SKpCAM

Students in Australia living in or near a capital city can locate the Family Court of Australia, the Family Court of Western Australia or a Federal Circuit Court hearing Family Law matters, and find out when cases will be heard in either 'Duty Lists' or trials (contested hearings). A criminal matter or a protection order hearing (eg an AVO in NSW, or an Intervention Order in Victoria) may not satisfy this requirement, because it may not be relevant enough to family law issues. Court lists can be accessed on the court's website, or you can visit a court and enquire in person at the main desk.

Note it is common for cases to be settled, times to be ‘vacated’ or matters to be transferred to another date or even another court, so you may need to visit the court several times to reach the two hours which is a bare minimum to start to make sense of how the court works.

Students living in rural or regional areas should try to attend a regional centre when a court is visiting on circuit. See the court websites for dates and times.

Students visiting courts need

  • to be in court attire (preferably suit or business dress),
  • to introduce yourself to the security (Court Officer) at the court's entrance, including that you are a student with the ANU Law School or ANU School of Legal Practice and
  • to explain that the reason for your presence is to observe a family court hearing as part of your course.

You will need to empty pockets etc and go through security scans, so avoid taking anything suspicious like a penknife or any flammable liquid.

You should be permitted to sit in the public gallery, from where your task is to listen and observe carefully and try to work out what is happening. As a professional, it is crucial to show respect at all times, to all people. Remember these basics:

  • phones off or on silent,
  • bow to the judge (at least pause and nod your head towards the bench) when you enter or leave at the court door, and
  • stand up whenever the judge enters or leaves the court.

Upon completing your observations we suggest you take notes soon to help you reflect on what you saw and heard, including what you did not understand, but you should not write in court without permission while the court is sitting, or use any phone or device.

Alternative to court visits: If you are not in Australia, or cannot observe a court for another reason, you may still respond to the posts of others on Forum 2, based on your prior knowledge or learnings from the course so far. You may also do your own research about Australian family law court hearings, watch YouTube seminars or use other resources to inform yourself and contribute to the forum discussions. Remember most online clips and other internet material is old and/or not Australian, and so does not represent current Australian law and practice. Assessment marks will not be earned for attempting to rely on old or foreign material without acknowledging it.

Required Resources

The prescribed text for this course is:

  • Parkinson, Patrick. Australian Family Law in Context: Commentary and Materials, Lawbook Company 7th ed, 2019. ISBN 9780455241234

 Also prescribed and available online are:

The prescribed text may be available at Harry Hartog Booksellers on campus and online (http://www.harryhartog.com.au/textbooks), the Co-Op bookshop online (http://www.coop-bookshop.com.au) or directly from Thomson Reuters (usually $160) - https://legal.thomsonreuters.com.au/australian-family-law-in-context-commentary-and-materials-7e/productdetail/126594 . The ANU Law Library on campus may also have copies available.

NB: Students may choose to rely on other sources instead of the prescribed text however the course structure is designed to follow the content in Parkinson (7th 2019) and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they use current sources for all assessments for the course.

Some additional course materials are available on the Wattle course site and supplementary reading is listed below in ‘Recommended Resources'.

Some other valuable texts and resources for this course are:

Further supplementary reading can be accessed from the following websites

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.


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.


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/.


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 to Family Law and Practice - History and Theory Reading: Chapters 1,2,3 & 4 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to: DR-1. Complete Short Quiz 1.
2 Constitutional Matters and the Courts Reading: Chapters 5 and 7 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to: DR-2. Complete Short Quiz 2. Where possible, organise your court visit between now and Week 5. (See 'Field-Trips' below). Tip: Read your options for the team Law Reform Submission and contact your team mates now to discuss your preferred topic for Assessments 2 and 4.
3 Marriage and Divorce Reading: Chapters 10 & 11 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to: DR-3. Complete Short Quiz 3. Participate in Forum 1 ‘The readings so far have helped me understand…’ Tip: In your teams decide on your topic for the Law Reform Submission, read ‘How to get top marks in Assessment 2' and draft your plan ready to finalise and submit on Wattle next week.
4 Dispute Resolution Reading: Chapter 8 of Parkinson (2019). Compulsory Family Dispute Resolution Fact Sheet Listen to: DR-4. Complete Short Quiz 4. Assessment 2 due by: Friday, 16 August 2019 11.55pm (AEST) Final week to participate in Forum 1 ‘The readings so far have helped me understand…’ Select a topic from the options provided this week and start work on your Assessment 3: Individual research essay and letter to client due in Week 7.
5 Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) Reading: Chapter 6 of Parkinson (2019) National Domestic and Family Violence Benchbook Family Violence Best Practice Principles (2016) Listen to: DR-5. Complete: Short Quiz 5. Attend court if not completed or follow the alternatives (See ‘NB on Court Visits’ below in Field-Trips). Participate in Forum 2 ‘My impressions from observing in a Family Court, or alternative exercise, are….’
6 Children and Parenthood Reading: Chapters 20 and 21 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to DR-6. Complete Short Quiz 6. Participate in Forum 2 ‘My impressions from observing in a Family Court, or alternative exercise, are….’
7 Children and Relationships Reading: Chapter 22 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to DR-7. Complete Short Quiz 7. Assessment 3 due by: Friday, 20 September 2019 11.55pm (AEST) *Note: place both documents in one file* Participate in Forum 3 ‘The most valuable thing I’ve learnt so far is…..’
8 Parenting Orders Reading: Chapters 23 and 24 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to DR-8. Complete Short Quiz 8. Participate in Forum 3 ‘The most valuable thing I’ve learnt so far is…..’
9 Introduction to Financial Issues and Child Support Reading: Chapters 12,13 & 14 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to DR- 9. Complete Short Quiz 9. Final week to participate in Forum 3 ‘The most valuable thing I’ve learnt so far is…..’
10 Mediation and Litigation of Property Disputes Reading: Chapter 15, 16 & 17 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to DR- 10. Complete Short Quiz 10. Assessment 4 Part A due by: Friday, 11 October 2019 11.55pm (AEST) Participate in Forum 4 ‘Team decisions in Family Law research and practice could be improved if…’
11 Third Parties, De Factos and Domestic Relationships Reading: Chapter 18 & 19 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to DR- 11. Complete Short Quiz 11. Assessment 4 Part B due by: Friday, 18 October 2019 11.55pm (AEST) Final week to participate in Forum 4 ‘Team decisions in Family Law and practice could be improved if…’
12 Professional Ethics in Family Law Reading: Chapter 9 of Parkinson (2019). Listen to DR- 12. Complete Short Quiz 12. Assessment 5 Part B due: Friday, 25 October 2019 by 11.55pm (AEST). Please nominate your best two forum posts and email their dates to convenor.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Weekly Short Quizzes (3% each x 12 quizzes = 36% in total) 36 % 28/07/2019 27/10/2019 1
Team research submission plan and agreement (4%) 4 % 16/08/2019 23/08/2019 5,6
Individual Research Essay and Letter to Client (20%) 20 % 20/09/2019 18/10/2019 1,2,3,4,5,7
Team Research Submission (25%) 25 % 11/10/2019 15/11/2019 5,6
Forum participation (15%) 15 % 25/10/2019 22/11/2019 4,6,8

* 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. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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

Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT): from 7 October 2019 to 5 April 2020.

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

Assessment Task 1

Value: 36 %
Due Date: 28/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 27/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1

Weekly Short Quizzes (3% each x 12 quizzes = 36% in total)

Task Description: Individual completion of the weekly quiz on Wattle before the beginning of the following week. Each quiz involves three questions with multiple choice answers. The purpose is to guide your learning from the readings, to help you keep up with the stepped learning in the course design, to develop incremental understanding of the area of family law and practice, and to assist your thinking to achieve the learning and developmental outcomes for this course. Students will receive constructive feedback on every answer to every quiz. Each Quiz is worth 3% for a total of 36% for the entire assessment.

Submission Date: Each quiz must be completed during the week it is released, i.e. before midnight on the Sunday.

  • Quiz 1 - Sunday, 28 July 2019
  • Quiz 2 - Sunday, 4 August 2019
  • Quiz 3 - Sunday, 11 August 2019
  • Quiz 4 - Sunday, 18 August 2019
  • Quiz 5 - Sunday, 25 August 2019
  • Quiz 6 - Sunday, 1 September 2019
  • Quiz 7 - Sunday, 22 September 2019
  • Quiz 8 - Sunday, 29 September 2019
  • Quiz 9 - Sunday, 6 October 2019
  • Quiz 10 - Sunday, 13 October 2019
  • Quiz 11 - Sunday, 20 October 2019
  • Quiz 12 - Sunday, 27 October 2019

If a quiz is not completed a mark of 0 will be awarded for that quiz. Late attempts will not be accepted.

Please note the due date listed in the Assessment Summary relates to the submission date of Quiz 1. The return of assessment date listed int he Assessment Summary relates to the final date that results will be returned to students for the entire assessment.

Length: Each quiz involves three multiple choice questions.

Estimated Date of Results: Answers to each question are provided immediately. A correct answer earns one mark.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 4 %
Due Date: 16/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5,6

Team research submission plan and agreement (4%)

Task Description: In teams of three as allocated by Wattle, contact each other and decide how to meet up (eg. Skype, Adobe Connect, Conference call, Emails, Text or other app, or in person), then discuss, plan, decide times and responsibilities for researching one of the three law-reform Terms of Reference (A, B, or C below). Then submit your plan on one page using the template below, or another research design if you can agree on it.

One team member only need submit the plan and each member will get the same mark. The purpose is to encourage your early interaction with team members, to communicate respectfully, to listen and negotiate, to make decisions as a small group, to work efficiently with others and to plan allocation of responsibilities and timelines for performance and task completion, enabling lodging on Wattle of the completed 2000 word research submission which is due at the end of Week 10.

Submission Date: Friday, 16 August 2019 by 11.55pm (AEST)

Length: One page.

Template: A draft template for Assessment 2 can be found in Wattle Resource page.

Estimated Date of Results: Feedback and a mark for the plan will be provided within the following week.

Assessment Criteria:

The Team Research Submission Plan and Agreement will be marked on clarity of expression, balance of tasks, logic of times and reasonableness of dispute resolution clause.

  • 4 points: evidence of good thought and decisions leading to significant improvements on the draft template.
  • 3 points: evidence of some thought and decisions leading to good improvements on the model plan.
  • 2 points: evidence of some thought and decisions leading to some improvement on the model plan.
  • 1 point: not much more than a reproduction of the model plan.
  • 0 points: no plan.

Terms of Reference:

Terms of Reference A - Family and Domestic Violence:

Research on family and domestic violence (FDV) has produced different opinions on how family lawyers should respond when they identify serious risk or actual violence in their work with clients. Your task is to critically assess and draft a submission on how to improve the effectiveness of the Family Violence Best Practice Principles 2016 in light of AIFS publications such as ‘Children’s Exposure to domestic and family violence – key issues and responses’ (2015) and ‘Domestic and Family Violence in Regional, Rural and Remote Communities – An overview of key issues’ (2015), and any other publications you consider relevant. Specifically, make recommendations for changing the Principles, by adding, varying or deleting a part of the document, or for arguing against any proposals that have been proposed in the media or elsewhere.

Terms of Reference B - Family Dispute Resolution:

Most family law disputes are settled in negotiation, and many more involving children are resolved during Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). Typically parties attend FDR personally without lawyers present although there are exceptions. Your task is to conduct research on existing publications relating to FDR and draft a submission on the suitability of enabling and encouraging lawyers to become more actively involved in FDR on behalf of their clients. Specifically: critically assess the extant research for and against lawyer-assisted FDR and using that critique draft a submission for increased government funding for lawyer assisted FDR, or for rejecting any proposal for change and keeping the current arrangements.

?Terms of Reference C - Financial Disputes:

Critics of the Australian Family Law system have accused it of aggravating inequality in Australia, specifically by worsening gendered inequality - the growing discrepancy in wealth between men and women. Your task is to research and critique the operation of Part VIII of the Family Law Act 1975, in particular by reviewing publications by Siewart et al (2014) 'Bridging Our Growing Divide' and the (2015) Austen et al report 'Exploring recent increases in the gender wealth gap among Australia's single households', and any other publications you consider relevant. Specifically, make and support recommendations for changing the current system, or for keeping the current system.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 20/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 18/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,7

Individual Research Essay and Letter to Client (20%)

Description: Choose one of the three clients from the ‘Assessment 3’ document on Wattle in Week 4. Follow the instructions, research the law and draft an individual essay in the form of your legal opinion of the merits of your client’s case, referring to the law as it applies to your client’s facts as much as possible, and a letter to client. Please submit both documents as one file, the essay followed by the letter. Both items must comply with the rules of academic integrity which is explained here - http://www.anu.edu.au/students/learning-development/academic-integrity/academic-integrity.

Percentage Value Breakdown:

  • The Individual Research Essay will receive a mark value of 15%.
  • The Letter to the Client will receive a mark value of 5%
  • For a total of 20% of the final grade.


  • In the essay follow AGLC4.
  • In the letter, follow the model brief letter on Wattle. Do not include footnotes or references in the letter to your client.

Submission Date: Friday, 20 September 2019 by 11.55pm (AEST)


  • Research essay – Max 2000 words, (including footnotes but not bibliography; the footnotes are to be drafted using AGLC4).
  • Letter to client – Max 1200 words (no references).

Estimated Date of Results:

The convenor will mark and provide qualitative feedback on all research essays and letters as soon as possible and within 4 weeks after submission.

Assessment Criteria:

The research essay will be marked on:

  • the important factual issues are addressed,
  • the research on the law and procedure is accurate, showing how it is relevant to the facts, with good organisation and integration of material,
  • the clarity, grammar and conciseness of written expression,
  • the structure of the paper is logical and well-organised, and
  • the referencing is full and accurate according to AGLC4.

The letter to the client will be marked on:

  • the accuracy of the law and its relevance to the facts for this client,
  • the appropriateness and practicality of the legal advice,
  • the clarity and accuracy of written expression appropriate for a legal advice letter, and
  • the professional style, grammar and design of the communication is appropriate to the client.

NB - See the model brief lawyer’s letter posted in Wattle as a guide. In this assessment there is no need to include a cost agreement, which you may need to do in legal practice.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 11/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5,6

Team Research Submission (25%)

Task description:

In teams of three as allocated by Wattle for Assessment 2 above, use your research plan to investigate the selected topic, conduct research, draft and finalise a team submission. Submissions are to include considerations of both law and policy, and where appropriate legal procedures.

Assessment Task 4 - Part A (Team Research Submission)

Submission Date: Friday, 11 October 2019 by 11.55pm (AEDT). Please note: Only one student in each team need to submit in Wattle.

Grade Percentage: 20%

Length: Maximum of 2000 words (not counting footnotes or references, fully referenced using AGLC4; a bibliography is recommended but will not be included in the word count).

Estimated Date of Results: The convenor will mark and provide qualitative feedback on all research submissions as soon as possible and within 4 weeks after submission. Please note: the return of assessment date listed int he Assessment Summary relates to the final date that results will be returned to students for the entire assessment.

Assessment Criteria:

The team research submission will be marked on:

  • the appropriateness of recommendations and the integration of material to support them,
  • the range of research sources and relevance to the terms of reference,
  • the persuasiveness of argument and critical use of resources
  • the clarity, grammar and conciseness of written expression, including the presentation and style, structure, section headings, adherence to word limit and referencing using AGLC4.

NB – This assessment must comply with the rules of academic integrity – http://www.anu.edu.au/students/learning-development/academic-integrity/academic-integrity.

Assessment Task 4 - Part B (Peer and Self-Assessment)

Submission Date: Friday, 18 October 2019 by 11.55pm (AEDT)

Please note: the due date listed in the Assessment Summary relates to the submission date of Part A.

Grade Percentage: 5%

Assessment Criteria: Each student completes the peer and self-assessment item on Wattle by giving one overall mark out of 5 on this task for each team member, using broad criteria – e.g. work effort, contribution, positive ideas, critical analysis, respectful communication, cooperation, careful reviewing, editing, etc. (eg - Me 3/5, Fred 4/5, Mary 2/5).

Assessment Task 5

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 22/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4,6,8

Forum participation (15%)

Task description:

Part A

Participate in forum discussions – Thinking critically about the issues related to the given topic:

  • Look at questions from different angles,
  • Question assumptions,
  • Express yourself clearly in correct language, and
  • Be respectfully critical and appreciative.

Here you can have your say, make observations and offer your opinions - by posting your comments and responses to others’ comments on Wattle on the topics for the relevant weeks.

  • maximum of two posts per forum,
  • since forums involve your opinion and discussion, ie not research, references and footnotes are not required and will not be assessed.

Grade Percentage: 10%

Part B

Nominate your two best forum contributions during the semester and email the date of those posts to the convenor Colin.James@anu.edu.au

Grade Percentage: 2.5% per post for a total of 5%

Topics and Submission Dates: Topics for the forum discussions are as follows, with forum post submissions made during these periods:

  • Forum 1: The readings so far have helped me understand
  • Forum posts to be made: Week 3 - 4 (5 August - 18 August)
  • Forum discussion will close: Sunday, 18 August 2019 11.55pm (AEST)

  • Forum 2: My impressions from observing in a Family Court, or alternative exercise, are….
  • Forum posts to be made: Week 5 – until end of Teaching Break (19 August - 15 September)
  • Forum discussion will close: Sunday, 15 September 2019 11.55pm (AEST)

  • Forum 3: The most valuable thing I’ve learnt so far is…..
  • Forum posts to be made: Week 7 – 9 (16 August - 6 October)
  • Forum discussion will close: Sunday, 6 October 2019 11.55pm (AEDT)

  • Forum 4: Team-work in Family Law research and practice could be improved if…
  • Forum posts to be made: Week 10 – 11 (7 October - 20 October)
  • Forum discussion will close: Sunday, 20 October 2019 11.55pm (AEDT)

Length: Maximum 400 words each post - although conciseness is important for clarity many will be shorter comments and observations. Referencing is not required for forum posts and any references will be ignored for assessment purposes.

Estimated Date of Results: Ongoing feedback from the convenor will be provided for most student contributions on a weekly basis. The marks for the forums are expected to be available within 4 weeks after end of the semester.

Assessment Criteria:

The forum contributions will be marked on

  • relevance to the Forum topic, course material and readings,
  • quality of observations and questions,
  • evidence of curiosity, reflective practice and critical thinking,
  • degree of professional respect and responsiveness to others, and
  • clarity and conciseness of written expression.

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

Please read the instruction for each assessment carefully.

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, your assessment may 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.

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:

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 Colin James
0400 882 251

Research Interests

Dr Colin James is a solicitor and a senior lecturer with qualifications in law, history, philosophy, tertiary education and coaching psychology. He has published in a range of peer reviewed journals, edited and contributed chapters to several books, and supervised graduate law students on professional placement in both simulated and live-client legal clinics. Dr James has also supervised DBA and PhD students in law, legal practice, domestic violence, public health and related areas. He serves on Law Society committees and community legal centre management bodies, as well as research ethics and academic integrity committees, and has convened professional legal development seminars for many years. Dr James’ research interests include family law practice, domestic violence, well-being in legal education and practice, applied ethics and emotional intelligence in professional development and practice.

Dr Colin James

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 Colin James
0400 882 251

Research Interests

Dr Colin James

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

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