• Class Number 2910
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Jolyon Ford
    • Dr Jelena Gligorijevic
    • Dr Jolyon Ford
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

The aim of this course is to study at an introductory level one of the basic disciplines of the common law. When a person has been harmed by the conduct of another - whether he or she incurs injury to their person, property or reputation; or financial loss; or interference with their use of land or goods - and decides to seek a legal remedy for that harm, the law of torts may provide them with a means of receiving compensation for their loss. This course will focus on personal injuries and examine the torts of trespass to the person and negligence. The course will also consider ways in which interests in property can be protected, namely through the tort of trespass to land. Historically the law of torts was largely based on common law (developed through judicial decisions), but legislative reforms in the last decade have made significant changes to the common law.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate and apply the fundamental legal principles of tort law
  2. Identify, frame, and analyse torts issues within hypothetical scenarios
  3. Appraise the context within which tort law has developed, including the common law’s unique form, goals, and history
  4. Evaluate and apply a range of legally specific research principles, methods, primary legal resources, and tools to respond to a factually complex tort problem
  5. Articulate legal reasoning, especially in the form of accurate and persuasive written analysis
  6. Propose solutions to legal problems by approaching problem-solving, reasoning, research, and presentation of work with substantial degrees of autonomy

Research-Led Teaching

Dr Gligorijevic's current research projects include the following areas: the moral right to freedom of expression; judicial power, democratic accountability, and the royal prerogative; a tort of interference with privacy for Australia; and the function of parliamentary privilege. Until recently she was a researcher at the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at Cambridge, where she conducted research into the free speech implications of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’).

Dr. Ford's research focuses on ‘Business and Human Rights’. He is interested (among other things) in the nature and extent of liability of companies for human rights violations in their supply chains abroad, and the barriers that exist to transnational tort actions against corporations where plaintiffs in developing world contexts seek to sue corporations abroad for allegedly negligent practices occasioning harm.

Required Resources

This is the prescribed work for this course:

H Luntz, D Hambly, K Burns, J Dietrich, N Foster, G Grant, S Harder Torts: Cases and Commentary (8th ed, LexisNexis, 2017)

To engage effectively in this course you will need to have regular access to this case-book. By prescribing this book the course lecturers will be proceeding on the assumption that you have access to the book, and we strongly recommend students ensure that they have a copy. You may use this book during the end-of-semester exam and other assessment tasks. New copies are available for purchase at the bookshop on campus (Kambri), and new and used copies are typically available for purchase online and by other means.

You will also be required to use the resources provided through the course Wattle page, including where topic sections indicate the page numbers or sections of 'required reading' from Luntz et al. You may also be required to access some electronic databases through the Wattle page.

We highly recommend one or more of the following as additional or supplementary textbook resources for general use:

M Davies and I Malkin Torts (8th ed, Chatswood, LexisNexis, 2018)

A Stickley Australian Torts Law (4th ed, Chatswood, LexisNexis, 2016)

J Kyriakakis et al Contemporary Australian Tort Law (Cambridge, 2019)

Some copies of these books, especially the prescribed Luntz & Hambly, are placed on Reserve in the Law Library.

Note that the Kyriakakis text includes some interactive online learning resources that students may be interested in. We are not able to obtain course-wide access to these as they are only available for sale on an individual basis.

Staff Feedback

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

·        written comments on assignments, or in quiz auto-feedback

·        feedback to the whole class, to tutorial groups, and to individuals upon seeking an appointment

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 current Grading Distribution Policy has been suspended pending the development of a new policy. For further information about this interim policy 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 Lectures (Trespass)
2 Lectures (Trespass) Optional 0% online quiz
3 Lectures (Trespass) + Tutorial 10% online quiz Grouping and commence group-work (due Week 6)
4 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial
5 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial
6 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial Group-work due
7 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial Individual reflection on group-work due Mid-Semester problem question released
8 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial
9 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial Mid-Semester problem answer due
10 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial
11 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial
12 Lectures (Negligence; Revision) + Revision Tutorial

Tutorial Registration

Tutorials are smaller-group interactive sessions that give you an opportunity to learn how to apply your knowledge to identify and solve legal problems.

Tutorial attendance is an important component of your completion of this course. Tutorials are 1 hour in duration, and held every week commencing in week 3 of the semester. You do need to sign up to a tutorial group. Places in each tutorial are limited: students must secure a place by enrolling in a tutorial group, as fits the rest of their ANU timetable. This course has tutorials reserved for JD students, held after 5pm in an attempt to be flexible for JDs with day-time working commitments.

Tutorial enrolment will open on the course WATTLE site at 1:00pm on Monday 10 February 2020 (two weeks before the course commences).* Students will be required to enrol via WATTLE in a tutorial group by NO LATER than 5:30pm on Friday 28 February 2020. There is a special forum where students can swop tutorials with each other and notify the convenor, but once the tutorial program begins (Week 3) students are requested to stick with their selected groups due, among other things, to limited space in small seminar rooms. Tutorial attendance is recorded but is not compulsory for JD students. Students are strongly encouraged to prepare for and participate in tutorials, since the mid-semester and end-semester assessments are based on the same sort of problem questions as are covered in the tutorials.

*Note: A new University policy stipulates that at least 50% of tutorial groups must be open for enrolment two weeks before the course commences. In this course, all tutorial groups (save for one or two to adjust for actual enrolment numbers) will be open for enrolment two weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

As noted, dedicated groups will be available exclusively for JD students. Contact the convenor if you have non-resolvable timetabling problems.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online quiz (Trespass) 10 % 12/03/2020 13/03/2020 1,2,3
Mid-Semester Assignment 10 % 14/04/2020 11/05/2020 2
Analysis 30 % 28/04/2020 11/05/2020 1,2,4,5
Final Take-Home Examination 50 % * 09/07/2020 1,2,3,4,5,6

* 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.


This course will include a take-home examination. Please note that the date of the take-home exam in the assessment summary is indicative. Students should confirm the date and time when the Examinations timetable is released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 12/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 13/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Online quiz (Trespass)

Details of Task: This comprises an online quiz, a mix of 'true / false' and multiple choice questions on the law of trespass.

The quiz has a time-limit, and may be attempted only once. Where a student enters an incorrect answer, the student will be able to view feedback on why the answer selected is not correct. The student's result and the feedback for any incorrect answers will be viewable after the quiz time-limit has passed and the quiz is closed to all students.

The assessment is intended to give students an opportunity, early the course, to check their level of understanding of the subject and to obtain some feedback. Students will have an opportunity in Week 2 to do an optional, 0% (not assessed) online quiz to get a 'feel' for the format before doing this Task 1 10% quiz in Week 3.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 10%

Release: The quiz will be released in Week 3 (Thursday 12 March at 12:00pm noon) on Wattle.

Due date: The quiz will be closed in Week 3 (Friday 13 March at 1159pm midnight) on Wattle. Late submission is not accepted for this task.

Estimated return date: The student automatically receives feedback if a question is answered incorrectly, but may only view that outcome and feedback after the quiz has closed.

Assessment Criteria: In a quiz format, answers are either correct or incorrect (see above).

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 14/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 11/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2

Mid-Semester Assignment

Task 2, the mid-semester 40% assessment, requires students to engage with legal problem-solving, pursuant to the course ‘learning outcomes’.

The mid-semester assignment partly exists (i) so that students' overall assessment is spread across tasks and time and so does not turn only on a 100% final exam, (ii) partly to afford opportunities for both group-based and self-reflective learning, and (iii) partly to enable feedback on an assessed piece (or pieces) of student performance before the final exam.

The mid-semester comprises TWO (2) tasks, here indicated as '2a' and '2b' and explained in the course introduction video.

This comprises 1 x group-work assessment ('2a'), and 1 x individual assessment ('2b'). Task 2b is related to the group-work task but an individual piece of work.

A. Task 2a

Details of Task: Group exercise to discuss, via a special group online discussion forum, a controversial case allocated by the Convenor. The group's task is to attempt to reach consensus on a joint outcome about how the group believes the case should have been decided, and to submit a brief joint report accordingly. The report states the outcome of that discussion, the group's brief rationale for the outcome, and the group's brief response to up to five specific issues raised by the Convenor. Full explanation and guidance on Task 2a, and a rubric of how performance of the task will be assessed, will be available on the course Wattle page.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. This task has a hurdle dimension for each group member individually. Failure by any individual student in the group to participate in a way that meets a threshold minimum level of meaningful and substantial engagement in the discussion forum for this task will result in 0 for this task for the individual group member. The individual group member will not be eligible for the mark out of 10 received by the group (without affecting the group marks available to other group members whose engagement in the forum is sufficient to meet the minimum requirement).

Weighting: 10%

Release: by 13 March 2020 at 12pm noon. Students will be randomly placed into groups by the Convenor from Week 3 and will be able to begin communicating and working with each other online via the dedicated discussion forum on Wattle.

Due date: 14 April 2020 at 17h00 (5pm) via Turnitin on the course Wattle site of the single document comprising the group's submission. (See below for online submission details). Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties apply. 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.

Word limit: 800 words (minimum 400 words).

Estimated return date: 11 May 2020 via Wattle.

Assessment Criteria:

The mid-semester assignment overall (Tasks 2a and 2b) is designed to enhance student competence in the following skills: case-law analysis and research, critical and analytical thinking, creative thinking, legal argument, working independently, working collaboratively, and written communication. Accordingly, in doing this group task (2a) you will have demonstrated the following assessment criteria:

  • Student work identifies, frames and discusses relevant Torts issues arising from a decided case;
  • Students’ work communicates clearly, accurately and persuasively in the context of complex legal issues.

An assessment rubric for this assignment will be available on the Wattle page from Week 3.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 28/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 11/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5


B. Task 2b

Details of Task: Individual written task, related to the group task (2a) in which the individual student explains his/her own understanding of the rationale for their group's decision -- and his/her own analysis of the decision and rationale in the judgment of the case itself -- by reference to and engaging fully with the judgment, along with any relevant Torts law principles and case authorities. This individual analysis piece enhances the learning experience in Task 2a and affords the individual student the opportunity to demonstrate their own analytical and argumentation abilities. Fuller guidance on Task 2b and a rubric of how the task will be assessed will be available on the Wattle page.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in 0 for this task.

Weighting: 30%

Release: n/a.

Due date: 28 April 2020 at 17h00 (5pm) via Turnitin on the course Wattle site. (See below for online submission details). Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties apply. 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.

Word limit: 2000 words

Estimated return date: 11 May 2020 via Wattle

Assessment Criteria: See 2a above. In doing this individual task you will have demonstrated the following assessment criteria:

Student work articulates legal reasoning in the form of written analysis

Student work identifies and explains the context for some appropriate legal principles of Torts law

Student work synthesises and applies a range of legally specific methods to respond to a Torts case or problem

Student work references, where appropriate, in accordance with AGLC conventions

An assessment rubric for this assignment will be available on the Wattle page from Week 3.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Return of Assessment: 09/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Final Take-Home Examination

Details of Task: The final take-home examination will consist of two parts: (i) For 70%, an answer of no more than 2,200 words on one hypothetical legal problem question relating to content taught in the negligence component of the course. There will be no choice of problem question. (ii) For 30%, an essay of no more than 800 words comprising an informal, blog-style opinion essay that analyses and engages with a question relating to a 'starred' case in this course; the case will be indicated to students by the end of Week 12 (by 5pm on 5 June 2020), but the exact question that the essay should respond to will be revealed in the exam paper itself.

The exact respective word limits of each part will be indicated well ahead of the exam via Wattle (by 5pm on 5 June 2020), and on the exam question paper itself. The trespass component of the course is not examinable in the final exam. Since the JD Torts course comprises a take-home (written and submitted online) exam, JD students should be aware that LLB students in Torts have a 'sat' (common, on-campus) exam so that JD students are not confused by hearing any reference to an on-campus exam for Torts.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 50% of overall course mark

Duration: 5 hours

Release: please consult the university examinations timetable. You will be notified when it is released.

Due: Please consult the university exams timetable. Late submission is not accepted for this task.

Word limit: 3000 words

Estimated return date: After release of final results via Wattle

Assessment Criteria: In doing this individual assessment piece you will have demonstrated the following assessment criteria:

  • Student work articulates legal reasoning in the form of written analysis
  • Student work identifies, selects and applies (and analyses or discusses, where relevant) appropriate legal principles of Torts law
  • Student work synthesises and applies a range of legally specific methods to respond to a factually complex Torts problem
  • Student work adequately references case authority or statutory provisions wherever appropriate

An assessment rubric for this exam will be available on the Wattle page before the exam period commences.

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

No hardcopy (paper) submissions of assessment pieces are required or accepted in this course. All submission of assessment pieces is done online via the Wattle (Turnitin) platform.

Late Submission

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 at all 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 or online quiz.

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.

Returning Assignments

Assessment Task 1 has automatically generated feedback. Return of Task 2 will be via the Wattle platform. Task 3 is an exam and returned via Wattle.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Assignments must be submitted in the manner prescribed in this course summary.

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 Jolyon Ford

Thursday 12:30 14:00
By Appointment
Dr Jelena Gligorijevic
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Dr Jelena Gligorijevic

By Appointment
Dr Jolyon Ford

Research Interests

Dr Jolyon Ford

Thursday 12:30 14:00
By Appointment

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