• Class Number 9167
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza
    • Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

National Security Law is a burgeoning field of concern for Government, security agencies, civil rights monitors, and the Australian public. As both the nature of threats (represented by, for example, the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, or the rise of cyber security as a major national security concern) and the concept of ‘security’ (such as biosecurity) have evolved, legal responses have similarly evolved. This course offers a broad brush across a number of issues concerning national security law. The course will commence with a series of building blocks (heads of power, conceptions of security, historical background). This will then allow more detailed exploration of a series of institutional issues (such as the legislative arrangements for important national security institutions, and the ‘security law’ making and monitoring process), practical issues (such as use of force, and use of classified information in prosecutions), and thematic issues (such as the national security – civil rights balancing debate).

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate the concept of ‘national security’ and what it means in an Australian context;
  2. Explain and critique the main features of the way in which Australian national security institutions are organised, and in particular the legal basis on which they operate;
  3. Analyse the main features of framework of Australian national security law, how this legal framework developed and how it currently operates; and
  4. Examine, and critically analyse, practical and thematic issues arising from the way in which national security institutions and laws have developed and currently operate in Australia.

Required Resources

There is no textbook for this course. A course reading guide will be made available through the Course WATTLE site

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.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction and Basic Conceptions of National Security Taught by DDP and a Visiting Speaker (TBC) 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 27 July) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom) Assessment Task 2 - Research Essay Topics Released at the end of Week 1
2 Legal Structures for the Australian Intelligence Community Taught by DDP 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 3 August) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom)
3 Constitutional Bases and Associated Issues in Australian National Security Law Taught by DDP 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 10 August) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom)
4 Overview of Australian Domestic Counter-Terrorism Law Framework Taught by DDP 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 17 August) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom) Assessment Task 1 (Short Answer Quiz to be completed on Monday 17 August)
5 Overview of Special Powers for ASIO and the AFP (including preventative detention regimes) Taught by DDP 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 24 August) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom)
6 Use of Force and Defence Act 1903 Part IIIAAA Taught by DDP and/or Visiting Speaker (TBC) 2 hour lecture + 1 hour Seminar Activity 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 31 August) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom) Assessment Task 2 - Research Essay Due Monday 7 September 2020
7 Legislation relating to Accessing Telecommunications Taught by DDP 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 21 September) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom)
8 National Security Information Taught by DDP or Visiting Speaker (TBC) 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 28 September) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom)
9 Pre-Trial Issues in Counter-Terrorism Trials Taught by Visiting Speaker (TBC) 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am TUESDAY 6 October) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom)
10 Prosecuting Terrorism Offences Taught by DDP 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 12 October 2020) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom)
11 Oversight Taught by DDP 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 19 October) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom) This seminar activity will be devoted to discussion of the Verbal Advice Video Task Scenario's for Assessment Task 3: "Verbal Advice Assessment" released on Monday 19 October 2020
12 Future Challenges/Directions/ Wrap Up Taught by DDP 4 x 25 minute podcasts (available on WATTLE by 11 am Monday 25 October) + 1 hour Seminar Activity (via zoom). This seminar will be devoted to answering questions about the verbal advice video Verbal Advice Assessment Videos Due for Submission on 29 October 2020

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Multiple Choice Quiz 10 % 17/08/2020 24/08/2020 1,2,3
Research Essay 50 % 07/09/2020 05/10/2020 2,3,4
'Verbal Advice' Video 40 % 05/11/2020 03/12/2020 2,3

* 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 Academic Integrity . 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.


Effective participation in this course requires around 6 hours of reading each week.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 17/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 24/08/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Multiple Choice Quiz

Brief Details: Students will be required to answer 10 multiple choice questions. These 10 questions will be selected at random from a bank of questions designed by the convenor. The questions will cover the content of the lectures and Seminars from Weeks 1-3 (inclusive). This activity will be used to provide feedback to students before 50% of the course is completed. The Quiz MUST be completed in 30 minutes online on WATTLE on Monday 17 August 2020 between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm on that day. Once the quiz session is commenced it will be timed out 30 minutes later; only one session attempt is permitted. Students will be able to navigate freely through the questions for the duration of the 30 minutes of the quiz until they have submitted their final answers.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to complete the quiz will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 10%

Release: 12.30 pm Monday 17 August 2020 via WATTLE.

Due date: 2.00 pm Monday 17 August 2020 via WATTLE. Online on WATTLE on Monday 17 August 2020 between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm on that day. If you are unable to complete the Quiz at this time you must inform the Student Administration Team (enquiries@anu.edu.au) as soon as possible. Assuming that there is a legitimate (documented) reason for being unable to complete the quiz, you will be given one more opportunity to do it at the same time the following week. If you don't sit the quiz on this second occasion, you will not be able to sit it and will forfeit the marks.

Duration: 30 minutes. Quiz must be submitted before 2.00 pm Monday 17 August 2020

Estimated return date: Marks Released/Answers to the questions will be posted on WATTLE by Monday 24 August 2020.

Assessment Criteria: Students will be assessed on their ability to answer the short answer question accurately. Where appropriate, students will also need to ensure cases and/or legislation are cited correctly in accordance with the AGLC (4th ed).

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 07/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 05/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Research Essay

Brief Details: Students will write a 2000 word research essay from a set list of topics. This assessment item is focused upon students; ability to research, synthesise, analyse, and present a succinct, coherent response to a discrete national security law issue . Depending upon the topic selected, the research essay will need to traverse a range of relevant institutional, framework, legislative, and thematic features of Australian national security law.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to submit the essay will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 50%

Word limit: 2000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography)

Release: The set list of questions for the research essay will be released on WATTLE by the end of Week 1.

Due date: 5:00 pm Monday 7 September 2020 (first week of the teaching break) via Turnitin.

Estimated return date: Monday 5 October 2020 via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria: The criteria used to assess this assessment task will be:

  • understanding and appropriately discussing the relevant law and critically evaluating the source material;
  • making a persuasive argument in response to the question;
  • research into and employment of primary and secondary materials (including, but not limited to legal materials);
  • the ability to respond to the question creatively and effectively within the word limit;
  • the expression and written communication, including compliance with AGLC (4th ed); and
  • the structure and effective use of headings.

The assessment rubric will be available on the Course WATTLE site by the end of Week 1

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 05/11/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

'Verbal Advice' Video

Brief Details: Students will need to respond to a pre-set short problem scenario. In these scenarios, students will imagine themselves to be a lawyer. The students will need to create and submit a 8 minute video containing ‘verbal legal advice’ in response to the questions posed in the pre-set scenario they choose. There will be three problem scenarios given to students to consider, but students will only need to respond to one problem scenario. The problem scenario will be developed from material discussed in the podcasts and seminars from Weeks 2-11.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to submit the video will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 40%

Time Limit: Students will need to produce a 8 minute video (this is the equivalent of 1500- 2000 words). However, please note the task is being assessed on the basis of the time the video takes (that is, any video over 8 minutes will be deemed to be over the word limit, and so time length penalties may be applied). The questions in the scenario are intended to be able to be answered in 8 minutes, not in a set number of words.

Release: The pre-set problem scenarios will be released on WATTLE on Monday 19 October 2020.

Due date: 5:00 pm, Thursday 5 November 2020. Electronic Submission only (via WATTLE)

Estimated return date: When final results for the semester are released. Students will receive feedback in the form of a rubric and additional written feedback which will be made available to them via the WATTLE system.

Assessment Criteria: The criteria used to assess this assessment task will be:

  • Accurate and succinct reference to the relevant legislative, parliamentary and case materials and (if appropriate evidence of engagement with secondary sources;
  • Critical and effective engagement with the relevant scenario;
  • Logical and clear structure of advice/response, including correct use of legal terminology/language;
  • Effective verbal communication and delivery (tone, clarity of expression); and
  • Effective use of time allowed. 

Please note that the 'production quality' of the video is not an assessment criteria. However, the audio in the video needs to be clear enough for the advice given to be heard and assessed. The assessment rubric will be available on the Course WATTLE site by the end of Week 6.

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 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 Dominique Dalla-Pozza

Research Interests

This course is closely informed by past and current research carried out by Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza. She is a Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law. Dom conducts research on Australian Public Law and the process by which Australian counter-terrorism legislation has been enacted. From 2006 to 2010 she was a PhD candidate with the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales where she developed her interest in National Security Law. In 2010 she completed her PhD titled 'The Australian Approach to Enacting Counter-Terrorism Laws'. A recent example of her work on this topic was published in the Public Law Review  in 2016.

Additionally, the guest speakers who have agreed to give lectures or presentations in this course have been selected because they have significant experience practicing and/or researching in national security law, or related national security issues

Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

Thursday 13:00 14:00
Thursday 13:00 14:00
Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza
+61 2 61250811

Research Interests

Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

Thursday 13:00 14:00
Thursday 13:00 14:00

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