• Offered by ANU School of Legal Practice
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law, Legal Practice
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Olivia Gesini
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

Family Law (Children) is designed to prepare students (including current practitioners) for running children’s cases at a best-practice level. This course will focus on specified issues in children’s matters at a high level, yet with significant practical application.

The topics covered at this level introduce new material at a significantly more advanced and in-depth level. This will include theoretical, legislative, case-law, procedural (including inter-disciplinary) and practice ready components.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge to reflect critically on the legal and social science principles to determine what is in a child’s best interests.
  2. Synthesise complex information regarding theories of attachment, impact of violence and other issues affecting children in the context of their practical application to a particular family unit.
  3. Apply theoretical knowledge and analytical and forensic skills to identify issues and to gather and analyse evidence, including expert evidence to effectively advise the client or a court how to determine the matter.
  4. Understand principles of engaging an expert witness sufficiently to prepare appropriate briefing material and apply those principles to formulate appropriate questions for the expert to consider.
  5. Reflect critically on the implications of the theoretical knowledge for application in other areas of family law practice such as dealing with welfare authorities.
  6. Plan and execute a substantial research based project — whether by written or oral submission or advice to a client.
  7. Design a comprehensive strategy to critically review by cross examination, an expert report that has raised issues relevant to a child’s best interests.

Indicative Assessment

  1. These assessment options are interchangeable. For each course offering assessment options will be chosen totaling 100%, with at least 50% comprised of research based assessment. (100) [LO null]
  2. Examples of assessment items include: (null) [LO null]
  3. 1. 3500 word essay on issues relating to social science with application within a legal (null) [LO null]
  4. context (50%). (50) [LO null]
  5. 2. Prepare a cross examination as the Independent Children’s Lawyer of a mock expert (null) [LO null]
  6. report in relation to a relocation that raises issues relevant for assessing what living arrangements are in the child’s best interests. Possible topics will include violence, attachment and allegations of sexual abuse. The examination preparation must include questions and sequencing of questions. (30%) Alternatively, prepare a written submission to the court addressing similar issues. (30) [LO null]
  7. 3. Discussion postings (20%). Two 300 postings (5% each) and 3 other postings (10% for contributions). (20) [LO null]
  8. 4. Prepare in group of 2-4 a retainer letter to an expert setting out relevant questions and listing material that would be briefed (10%). (10) [LO null]
  9. 5. Complete a multi-component assignment for either the applicant or respondent parent (including preparing court documents, drafting affidavits and briefing documents for a court hearing) to apply for relocation. Underlying factual material would raise a range of issues drawn from topic 2 above. (up to 65%). Students also complete a 2000 word essay on a relevant topic (25%) and contribute to discussion postings (65) [LO null]
  10. (10%). (10) [LO null]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


10-12 hours per week during the semester online via Wattle.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Master of Laws (7300XLLM, MLLM), Master of Laws specialising in International Law (7300XSINTL), Master of Laws specialising in Law, Governance and Development (7300SLGD), Master of Laws specialising in Environmental Law (7300SEVNL), Master of Laws specialising in Government and Commercial Law (7300SGCL), Master of Laws specialising in International Security Law (7300SISL), Master of Laws in Migration (NLLML), Master of Laws in International Law (NLLIL), Master of Laws in Environmental Law (NLLEN), Master of Laws in Law, Governance & Development (NLLGD), Master of Laws in International Security Law (NLLSL), Master of Laws in Government and Regulation (NLLGR), Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312XLLMLP), Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883SINTL), Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP), Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL); OR Juris Doctor (7330XJD, 7330HJD or MJD) and have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses; OR Juris Doctor - online (MJDOL) and have completed LAWS8712 Australian Public Law & International Law B. Students undertaking any ANU graduate program may apply for this course. Enrolments are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the ANU College of Law for permission number.

Prescribed Texts

Materials will be provided online and will include the materials identified within the topic areas above.

Preliminary Reading

A Course Outline will be available prior to the commencement of the course.

Assumed Knowledge

It is expected that a student will have completed either an undergraduate or JD course in Family Law, or LAWS8581 Foundations of Family Law.  This course is only open to students who have completed a law degree (LLB or JD).


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4370 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 Online View

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