• Class Number 4571
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Joshua Neoh
    • Joshua Neoh
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 29/05/2020
  • Census Date 31/03/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces students to the legal systems and legal traditions of South East Asia in the context of their plural societies, and considers the relationship between law, governance and development in the region over the span of modern history. Among the topics covered in the course include:
• pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial law, including customary and religious law;
• the influence of legal transplants, state-building, and development initiatives;
• critical consideration of theoretical frameworks used to make sense of the diversity in the region;
• key issues relating to constitutionalism and nation-building;
• domestic challenges such as ethnic and sectarian conflict;
• the role of law in socio-economic change in the region.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyze and critically evaluate the historical evolution of the legal systems in South East Asia;
  2. Evaluate the role of legal institutions in governance and development in South East Asia, and present the evaluation in verbal form;
  3. Assess contemporary academic and policy debates about law and society in South East Asia, and participate in those debates orally;
  4. Access South East Asian legal materials for research purposes and employ a variety of research methodologies;
  5. Plan and execute complex legal research on issues relating to law and society in South East Asia, and present the research findings in written form.

Required Resources

A Reading Guide will be uploaded on Wattle, with links to the e-brick on the ANU Library website.

Staff Feedback

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

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

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction
2 Colonialism I: The Straits Settlements
3 Colonialism II: The Malay States and the White Rajahs
4 Colonialism III: The Opium Wars
5 Transition I: UMNO
6 Transition II: PAP
7 Transition III: Handover
8 Postcolonialism I: Federation of Malaysia
9 Postcolonialism II: Republic of Singapore
10 Postcolonialism III: Hong Kong SAR
11 Common Law Tradition: Quo vadis?
12 Conclusion

Tutorial Registration

There are no separate tutorials for this course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Research Paper Topic Proposal (Optional) 0 % 20/03/2020 03/04/2020 1,4,5
Participation 10 % 29/05/2020 29/05/2020 2,3
Presentation 10 % 29/05/2020 29/05/2020 2,3
Research Paper 80 % 01/06/2020 02/07/2020 1,4,5

* 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 20/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Research Paper Topic Proposal (Optional)

Brief Description: Students will select their own research topic for the Research Paper. Students can, but are not required to, discuss their topics with the lecturer before submission. The discussion should be initiated by email, which may be followed up with a meeting. 

Students are welcome to email their research topic proposals to the lecturer for comment. This task is optional, and it has no impact on the final mark for the course. If students want feedback at the mid-point through the teaching of the course, then they should email their research topic proposals to the lecturer by March 20 2020. The lecturer will reply with comments by April 03 2020. The lecturer will continue to be available for consultation, by email and in person, up till the submission date for the Research Paper.

Nature of Task: This task is optional, and it has no impact on the final mark for the course.

Weighting: 0%

Word limit: None

Due date: 5pm March 20 2020 by email 

Estimated return date: April 03 2020 by email 

Assessment Criteria: Same as the assessment criteria for the Research Paper (Assessment Task 4) 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 29/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 29/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3


Brief Description: Students will be assessed throughout the duration of the course on their participation in seminars. This assessment task addresses learning outcomes 2 and 3. Students will receive feedback on their performance before 50% of the teaching period has elapsed.

Nature of Task: This item of assessment is compulsory and non-redeemable. Students who fail to complete this item of assessment will receive a mark of 0 for this item.

Weighting: 10% of the final mark

Estimated return date: May 29 2020

Assessment Criteria:

1. Demonstration of willingness to participate

2. Demonstration of having read the required readings

3. Ability to provide insightful responses

4. In participating, demonstrates respect for other students

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 29/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 29/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3


Brief Description: Each student will be allocated as a presenter for a specific class on a specified day. The allocation will be done alphabetically, based on the student’s last name. The presentation schedule will be uploaded on Wattle in Week 1, for the series of presentations to commence in Week 2. Each student will deliver a 3-5 minute presentation in class on that day. The presentation should engage with the issues raised in the required readings for that class. This assessment task addresses Learning Outcomes 2 and 3.

Nature of Task: This item of assessment is compulsory and non-redeemable. Students who fail to complete this item of assessment will receive a mark of 0 for this item. Students will only be permitted to present on an alternative day if they can supply the Course Convener with evidence which would justify the granting of a deferred exam.

Weighting: 10% of the final mark

Estimated return date: May 29 2020

Assessment Criteria:

1. Ability to engage the class and stimulate discussion

2. Ability to analyze the issues that are raised in the readings

3. Ability to answer and pose questions for class discussion

4. Ability to communicate ideas clearly in an oral presentation

Assessment Task 4

Value: 80 %
Due Date: 01/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Research Paper

Brief Description: The research paper has to be an academic essay with a well-defined thesis and argument. Students can select their own research topic, subject to one limitation: the topic has to be drawn from the materials covered in the course. Substantial independent research is required for this task. This assessment task will enable evaluation and feedback on students’ capacity in relation to Learning Outcomes 1, 4 and 5. Students will be required to read critically in order to formulate a topic and an argument, and then structure it into a coherent research paper.

Nature of Task: This item of assessment is compulsory and non-redeemable. Students who fail to complete this item of assessment will receive a mark of 0 for this item.

Weighting: 80% of the final mark

Word Limit: 3200 words

Release: Students are to choose their own essay topic. Students can, but are not required to, discuss their topics with the lecturer before submission.

Due date: 5pm Monday June 01 2020. Late submissions are accepted but penalties as set out in this guide will apply.

 Estimated return date: July 02 2020

Assessment Criteria:


Selection of a relevant and appropriate paper topic.

Clear explanation of what the paper is attempting to accomplish.

Ability to evaluate materials critically.

Quality and precision of supporting arguments.

Ability to anticipate and respond to possible objections.

Where necessary, use of appropriately chosen examples.


Clarity and coherence of structure and argument.

Construction of a sustained argument, including the avoidance of irrelevant discussion and repetition.


Clarity and precision of use of language.

Conventional spelling, grammar and syntax.

Avoidance of waffle.

Prose easy to read, argument easy to follow.

Compliance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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. Extensions may be granted 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).

Joshua Neoh
+61 2 6125 3707

Research Interests

Legal Theory

Joshua Neoh

By Appointment
Joshua Neoh
+61 2 6125 3707

Research Interests

Joshua Neoh

By Appointment

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