• Class Number 1612
  • Term Code 3020
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Rebecca Monson
    • AsPr Rebecca Monson
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2020
  • Class End Date 14/04/2020
  • Census Date 06/03/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 20/02/2020
SELT Survey Results

Studies in law, governance and development consider the role of law in a development context. The field has national and international legal perspectives.

At a national level, law, governance and development considers inter alia relationships among law, social order and institutional change in development contexts. Examples include:

  • law and justice in fragile or post-conflict states;
  • the role of land and natural resources law in state-building contexts;
  • legal pluralism and the relationship between the state and private systems of governance.

International issues include:

  • the 'right to development' in international law;
  • the role of multilateral development organisations- including UN agencies, the WTO and the World Bank - in the international legal order; and
  • the transplantation and harmonisation of law in developing countries through investment treaties and international or regional legal frameworks.

The course will provide an introduction to key theories and sources of literature, and will draw on expert guest lecturers, on these disparate topics. Common threads will include:

  • exploration of potential correlations and causative effects involving law and social change in a development context
  • exploration of analytical frameworks to enable adaptation of legal models to a development context.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse and explain the theoretical relationship between law, governance and development, particularly in terms of institutional theories of law and development and their critical analyses;
  2. Contextualise the debates on law and development in the histories, governance, politics and social landscapes of developing countries;
  3. Explain, analyse and assess practical issues of scoping, project design, peer review, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of law, governance and development projects; and
  4. Examine, investigate and critically evaluate the successes, failures and lessons learned of specific donor-funded programs in Asia and the Pacific, particularly in relation to land titling, legal assistance programming after armed conflicts and natural disasters, state-building and law and order.

Research-Led Teaching

This course is research-led, with course content drawing on the specialist research interests of teaching staff, including both the convenor and guest lecturers. The course convenor, Associate Professor Rebecca Monson, has extensive experience in both research and practice in the law, governance and development field, particularly in relation to gender relations and legal pluralism in the Pacific. The guest lecturers are all acknowledged experts in their fields, with significant experience not only in scholarly research but in various aspects of development practice. The course is highly interactive, with a range of activities that emphasis inquiry-based learning in which students investigate current issues and debates regarding law and development. Course content also emphasises the need to uncover and understand the processes by which knowledge about people and places in the so-called “developing world” is produced. Assessment tasks have been designed to provide students with multiple opportunities to develop and demonstrate these skills

Additional Course Costs

This course is an intensive course taught at the ANU Acton Campus in Canberra. Students will need to cover costs associated with travel, accommodation, meals etc, if attending from out of state.

Required Resources

In view of the intensive nature of the course, it is essential for students to complete the prescribed reading prior to commencement of the course.

An E-brick will be available on the Wattle site. Since many of the students enrolled in the Law, Governance and Development stream are based interstate or overseas, we have found this to be the most effective means of ensuring that all students can access the materials prior to the commencement of the course.

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

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

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

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 any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 'Rethinking Law and Development' - 'Law and Development': what do we mean by 'law' and 'development', and how do they relate to each other?; The rise, fall and return of the law and development movement(s); China and International Development; Reflecting on our own approaches to law and development.
2 Rule of law and building the state - Rule of Law in South East Asia; Constitutionalism in South Asia; Statebuilding in Bougainville and Solomon Islands; 'Natural' disasters, vulnerability and resilience in Solomon Islands and Australia.
3 Engaging with pluralism, understanding transitions - Legal pluralism and access to justice; Human rights and environmental law in Myanmar; Business, human rights and post-conflict transitions in South Africa; Land and property rights in Melanesia.
4 The role of the justice reform professional - The UN Security Council, peacebuilding and the rule of law; Gender equality and advancing the politcial participation of women in the Pacific; Reflective Development Practice and professionalisation of law and development; Course wrap-up and discussion of assessment.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 10 % 25/02/2020 01/03/2020 1,2,3,4
Class Assignment and Critical Review of Reading 30 % 02/03/2020 20/03/2020 1,2,3,4
Research Paper 60 % 14/04/2020 04/05/2020 1,2,3,4

* 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.


For all courses taught face-to-face in intensive mode, the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program and students are required to attend ALL classes (and all of each class).

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be granted permission by the Course Convenor, in consultation with the Stream Convenor or Director, LLM Program, to miss some classes, provided:

a.      it does not exceed a maximum of 25% of the classes;

b.      permission is requested in advance; and

c.       the request is supported, where appropriate, by adequate documentation.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in a student receiving the grade of NCN (non-complete fail). The normal pressures of work or planned personal trips do not constitute exceptional circumstances to justify an exemption from full compliance of this policy.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/02/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Class Participation

Nature of task: Class participation will be marked for contributions during the course. This task provides students with an opportunity to employ the knowledge they have developed through course pre-reading and test their ideas during the course. It will enable students to explore and develop their understanding of the conceptual relationship between law, governance and development; consider the links between the cases discussed and particular theoretical approaches; and tease out practical lessons for law and development practice.

 Assessment Criteria:

(a) Preparation and understanding of the material

  • evidence that pre-assigned materials have been read and consulted in advance of the seminars;

(b) Thinking critically about the material

  • evidence that material between various aspects of the class and different lectures has been linked;
  • evidence that the student has engaged critically with the course material, by looking at questions from different angles and questioning their assumptions;
  • the use of relevant practical examples (including their own personal and professional experience) to tease out the theoretical relationship between law, governance and development; and

(c) Expressing ideas clearly

(d) Engaging with other students

  • engagement and interaction with others, by encouraging others to speak, responding to what other have said, and being respectful for a range of views and opinions.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 02/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 20/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Class Assignment and Critical Review of Reading

Nature of task: Students are strongly encouraged to undertake at least some of the prescribed reading prior to the commencement of the course. Students should prepare for the classes by keeping notes on the readings, in particular on their own personal responses and reflections. During the course, students will be encouraged to critically reflect on their own knowledge and experiences, and the ways in which the prescribed readings accord with, substantiate, and/or challenge their own views of the relationship between law and development.


This assessment task requires students to build on this work and develop their reflective practice skills. Students are required to critically reflect on the prescribed readings, in particular how the readings accord with, substantiate, and/or challenge their own views of what the relationship between law and development should/might be, and is. This task provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their own personal reactions to the subjects addressed by the course, with reference to the prescribed readings. In completing this task, students should explicitly reflect on their own experiences (for example as a law student, or development professional) and the ways in which their understandings of “law” and “development”, and the relationship between the two, may have shifted or being reinforced over time.


Relationship between the Assessment Task and the Course Objectives: This assessment task is relevant to all learning outcomes. This course requires students to practice a reflexive approach to the study of “law” and “development”, and this assessment task provides students with an opportunity to reflect on the role they play in law, governance and development. The Reflective Review requires students not only to examine the theoretical relationship between law, governance and development and the implications for programming, but to go one step further and explicitly link it to their own experience and position as a student and/or professional.


Students who do not have any experience in the law and development field should not be concerned – they will be able to draw on their experiences as a student. This assessment task will be discussed in depth on the final day.


Please note that this assessment task requires you to reflect on class discussions. It is designed to be undertaken during the course, and completed immediately after completion of classes. As a result, the policy on extensions and penalties for late submission will be very strictly enforced.

Submission Date: 5pm, Monday 2 March 2020. This task is compulsory and failure to submit it will result in a mark of 0.

Length: 2,000 words

Assessment Criteria:

Your review should seek to critically examine the key points, arguments and themes across each session; identify where they differ or converge; and reflect on the implications for your own practices in relation to law and development.

 Your critical review will be assessed against the following criteria:

 (a) Understanding of the issues

  • Concise summary of key points that the articles make regarding the theoretical relationship between law, governance and development;
  • Consideration of how these ideas might apply to the student’s current or future role as a law and development practitioner.

(b) Communication and development of argument

  • Clear, logical and well-ordered argument that is drawn from, and builds upon, the prescribed reading and the your reflections

(c) Argument and analysis

  • Demonstration of critical analytical skills in evaluation of the arguments
  • Situation of your review within the broader literature
  • Engaging with the larger themes addressed in the course

(d) Presentation, style and referencing

  • Appropriate referencing and clarity of expression

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 14/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 04/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Paper

Nature of task: The research paper addresses a research topic related to the course and approved by the Course Instructor. Students may choose to pursue a topic of their choice, after consultation with the course instructors. This assessment will allow students to employ the skills they have developed during the course and demonstrate their understanding of a variety of research and writing methods, ability to communicate an argument, and undertake research using appropriate methodology.

Note: topics must be discussed with the Course Convenor, and approved by 1 March 2020.

Submission Date: 5pm Tuesday 14 April 2020. Late submission is permitted, but penalties will apply. The policy is included in the class summary.

Length: 4,000 words

Assessment criteria:

(a) Understanding of the issues

  • the choice of the research topic or question, having regard to difficulty, originality and relevance to the course.

(b) Communication and development of argument

  • the quality and coherence of the arguments made;
  • the degree of complexity and insight demonstrated in dealing with the issues related to the research topic;
  • extent to which competing arguments are considered and addressed
  • use of case studies or examples to explore the key issues.

(c) Research

  • evidence of literature review to identify key points of debate or contention among authors in the field, particularly in relation to the conceptual relationship between law, governance and development;
  • the breadth and/or depth of research, and the choice of materials and sources;
  • critical analysis of material, rather than simply summarising or extensively quoting material.

(d) Presentation, style and referencing

  • the clarity of the structure and the organisation of the paper;
  • appropriate referencing.

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).

AsPr Rebecca Monson
6125 8271

Research Interests

Dr Rebecca Monson is a Associate Professor in the ANU College of Law. She has extensive experience researching, teaching and consulting in the field of law and development. Rebecca’s work draws on critical and feminist approaches in law, geography and anthropology to explore themes of regulatory pluralism, social inequality and the postcolonial state. Prior to joining the ANU, Rebecca worked as a legal practitioner specialising in emergency and disaster law, and for a human rights NGO focused on housing, land and property rights. She regularly undertakes consultancies relating to justice systems, natural resource management, gender and development, particularly in the Pacific region.

AsPr Rebecca Monson

By Appointment
AsPr Rebecca Monson
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

AsPr Rebecca Monson

By Appointment

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