Legislation dominates the contemporary legal landscape. Almost all fields of legal regulation involve legislation in some form. The ability to interpret and understand the operation of legislation is a skill essential to understanding law and its operation.
This course will provide an advanced study of the rules and principles governing statutory interpretation.
Students who have encountered statue law in a variety of contexts (criminal law, torts law, administrative law etc) and been introduced to the relevant common law principles, will benefit from a more detailed consideration of statutory interpretation as a fundamental skill involved in all areas of practice but particularly those areas involving government.
The course will cover the following topics:
• The legislative process and its role in statutory interpretation, including the role of extrinsic materials
• Approaches to the interpretation of legislation, including comparisons with interpretation of contracts and treaties.
• Interpretation Acts and drafting conventions
• Extrinsic and intrinsic aids to assist in interpretation, including role of legal assumption
• Remedial, penal and fiscal provisions
• Obligatory and discretionary provisions.
• Commencement and retrospective effect of legislation
• Consistency and contrariety of legislative provisions and legislation.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain, distinguish and apply the principles and process of statutory interpretation
- Compare, contrast and reflect on the theoretical concepts underlying and impacting on approaches to statutory interpretation and its application in professional practice.
- Plan, differentiate and prioritise approaches and materials used in statutory interpretation while working collaboratively.
- Select and apply a range of legal research principles and methods in interpreting legal instruments.
- On-line exercises and group discussion (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Assignment - up to 2000 words (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Essay — up to 2000 words (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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.
Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours. Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week.
Click here for the LLM Masters Program timetable.
Requisite and Incompatibility
D.C. Pearce and R.S. Geddes, Statutory Interpretation in Australia (8th ed 2014, LexisNexis).
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.
An e-brick will be available on the Wattle course site.
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.
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.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.