• Class Number 1404
  • Term Code 3020
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Anne Macduff
    • Dr Anne Macduff
    • Prof William Andreen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 06/01/2020
  • Class End Date 30/03/2020
  • Census Date 24/01/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 06/01/2020
SELT Survey Results

The course will consist of a series of introductory lectures by various University of Alabama Law School staff members on various aspects of American Law, supplemented by field trips to, eg, the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham, the Alabama Supreme Court in Montgomery, (forming an integral part of the course's class work and included in the contact hours). It will concentrate on non-common law subjects (eg, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Labor Law, Limited Liability Corporations, Bankruptcy, Consumer Protection, Environmental Law, Federalism, etc.).


Learning Outcomes

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

On the successful completion of this course students should be able to:
1. Identify, define and explain key features of the US legal system
2. Explain, analyse and critically evaluate selected topics of US law
3. Discuss and critically debate knowledge and ideas with peers and lecturers in a cross cultural context.

Research-Led Teaching

This course is convened by Professor William Andreen from the University of Alabama. Professor Andreen is the Edgar L. Clarkson Professor of Law. He joined the Alabama faculty in 1983. He also serves as the Director of the school’s Summer Exchange Program with the ANU. Bill has taught at a number of law schools including Washington & Lee University, Lewis & Clark, and Mekelle University (Ethiopia). He served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Law at the ANU’s National Europe Center in 2005 and taught in a joint graduate law program at Addis Ababa University from 2009 through 2012. Bill teaches Environmental Law, Administrative Law, and International Environmental Law. His writing largely concentrates on the Clean Water Act and Environmental Federalism, but he has also written on many other environmental and regulatory topics including NEPA, Water Law, and the ACT/ACF Dispute. He graduated from the College of Wooster and received his law degree from Columbia. After practicing with an Atlanta law firm, he joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, in 1979 as Assistant Regional Counsel. He remained with EPA for four years and primarily worked on defensive litigation. 

The classes will be delivered by various professors at the University of Alabama School of Law who teach in the specific areas that will be covered in the Survey of U.S. Law. These professors do change from year to year depending on availability, but have included Martha Morgan, Bryan Fair, Richard Delgado, Shahar Dillbary, Grace Lee, Susan Hamill, Paul Horwitz, Carol Andrews, Mirit Eyal-Cohen, Ben McMichael, Daiquiri Steele, Shalini Ray, Bill Brewbaker, Heather Elliott, Joyce Vance, Steven Hobbs, Yonathan Arbel, Alan Durham, Paul Pruitt, Julie Hill, and Fred Vars.

Field Trips

There are a number of field trips and social activities that will be part of the exchange. There will be no additional cost for transport, although you will need to pay for your own food/ beverage/ entrance to museum (if applicable). You are expected to attend the field trips unless you are ill and if so, you should advise the in-country course convener (Professor Bill Andreen) as early as possible.

There will also be opportunities to meet law students from the US, and these informal opportunities may provide you will experiences to enhance your learning. We encourage you to attend as many social activities as possible, in order to be exposed to the cultural context of the US south.

We ask that if you undertake personal travel outside of Tuscaloosa at any time during the course, you advise Professor Andreen of your travel plans before you travel.

Additional Course Costs

You will be advised of the minimal entrance cost to any museums to be visited during field trips before the excursion. It is not anticipated that these costs will exceed $12USD in total for the entire course. If you have any concerns, please raise them with the in-country convener before the excursion.

Required Resources

There are no textbooks or set readings for this course. You will be notified if there is any reading that you will be required to complete for a particular seminar by country convener, Professor Bill Andreen. Any required readings during the couse will be distributed to you as handouts or provided online.

You might like to read G. Edward White’s small volume entitled American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press 2013) and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee lived in Monroeville, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama Law School in the late 1940s. 

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 to US Law, Selected topics in US law
2 Selected topics in US law
3 Selected topics in US law
4 Selected topics in US law
5 Selected topics in US law In class Exam

Tutorial Registration

There are no lectures for this course. There will be a series of small classes, run seminar style. Many of them will be interactive, and it is expected that you will ask questions and engage with the material in each class. For this reason, attendance is a requirement of the course. If you are ill or unable to attend, you should advise the in country course convenor (Professor Bill Andreen) as early as possible. Most of the seminars will occur Tuesdays, Wednesdays Thursdays in the morning at the University of Alabama Law School. There may also be excursions on Mondays, Fridays or other days. A detailed schedule will be provided closer to the course. Registration in seminars and excursions is not necessary. For more information see below.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Attendance and Participation 0 % 06/02/2020 06/02/2020 3
Exam 60 % 10/02/2020 30/03/2020 1,2
Research Assignment 40 % 30/03/2020 06/04/2020 1,2

* 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 are expected to attend all classes. You are representing the ANU law school, so please be on time and prepared. A (draft) detailed class schedule will be provided to you 2 weeks before the class begins. A finalised version will be available on the first day of class. Please note that there may be some updates to the program, if the Alabama lecturers are unwell or unable to attend for some other reason. You will be advised of any changes by Professor Andreen, as early as possible.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 06/02/2020
Return of Assessment: 06/02/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3

Attendance and Participation

Details of task: As this is a semi- intensive course held in another country, it is essential that you attend and participate in all classes.

Nature of task: If you do not attend a class and you do not have a reasonable excuse, you receive a NCN for the course.

Weighting: 0%

Due Date: Ongoing. If you are not able to attend a class, please notify the in country course convenor Professor Bill Andreen as soon as possible, preferably before the class. 

Assessment Criteria:

  • Regular attendance
  • Preparedness
  • Participation in class - for eg asking questions

Assessment Task 2

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 10/02/2020
Return of Assessment: 30/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2


Details of task: This will be an open-book examination. There will be a question from each class held during the survey course. Students are permitted to choose any 3 questions to answer. The questions are mostly short essay style, and will draw on material covered in that class and any required and/ or recommended reading. This is an individual task, and you must not collaborate with any other person or discuss the examination material (or your answer) with another student during the task. You may complete your answer on a laptop, however your wifi must be turned off until you submit your answer.

Nature of task: Compulsory and nonredeemable. Non submission of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Weighting: 60%

Timing: 2.5 hours (this includes reading and writing time)

Word limit: 2,400 words in total (800 words per question)

Start: 9am Monday 10th February 2020, Hugh F. Culverhouse, Jr. School of Law, University of Alabama.

Due: 11.30 am 10th February 2020 via emailing Professor Adreen's assistant. An email address will be provided to you with the question. , No late submissions are accepted for exams.

Estimated return date: 30th March 2020. Please note that this is an approximate date, and there may be delays due to co-ordinating so many different US law professors to mark your papers. Also, due to the exam books being submitted in the US, the books will not be automatically available to you. If you would like further feedback, please contact the course convener, Anne Macduff.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Legal content
  • Written expression
  • Critical thinking
  • Persuasiveness

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 30/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 06/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Research Assignment

Details of task: You will be asked to write a short assignment on the foundations of the US legal systems and key institutions. Students may select from questions that will be given to you at the beginning of the course. You will be expected to go beyond the reading in the course to complete this question. You may begin this assignment at any time. This assessment task addresses learning outcomes 1 and 2.

Nature of task: This task is compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit an assignment will result in a 0 mark for this assessment.

Weighting: 40%

Release: Students will be given a list of questions to choose from at the beginning of the course. These questions will be available also on the course WATTLE site.

Due date: Monday 30th March, 4.00pm via Turnitin in the course WATTLE site. Late submissions (without an exception) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Word limit: 1,500 words

Estimated return date: 6 April via Turnitin in the course WATTLE site.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Legal content (accuracy, relevance)
  • Written expression
  • Critical thinking
  • Research (depth, breadth, quality of sources)
  • Referencing
  • Creativity

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).

Dr Anne Macduff
+61 2 6125 0845

Research Interests

Critical legal theory, Gender and the Law, Family Law, Citizenship Law, Mediation, Comparative Law

Dr Anne Macduff

Monday 10:00 12:00
Dr Anne Macduff
+61 2 6125 0845

Research Interests

Dr Anne Macduff

Monday 10:00 12:00
Prof William Andreen
1-205-348-7091; 1-205-23

Research Interests

Prof William Andreen

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