• Class Number 2280
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Prof Jolyon Ford
    • Dr Jelena Gligorijevic
    • Prof Jolyon Ford
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

When a person has been harmed by the conduct of another it is the law of torts which determines who has to bear the loss.   This is an important aspect of the civil law (in contrast to criminal law).  Historically, it derived largely from judicial decisions, and hence was largely what we call common law but in more recent times legislation has become increasingly important.  The law of torts protects people against, and compensates them for, unreasonable interferences with a wide range of interests, including their bodily integrity, property, reputation, and financial interests.  It does this through a range of different torts, including trespass, negligence, nuisance and defamation.  In this basic and introductory course we will focus on the use of the torts of trespass and negligence in contexts where people suffer personal injuries.  We will also look at the tort of trespass to land.    

As this is generally the first substantive law course that students encounter in their law program, we will also begin to teach students some of the basic skills which you will need - in particular, to read, understand and apply case law and legislation.  We will also explore in a basic way the interaction between case law and legislation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Select and apply the fundamental legal principles of tort law
  2. Identify and frame torts issues within hypothetical scenarios
  3. Explore and analyse the context within which tort law has developed, including the common law’s unique form, goals, and history
  4. Synthesise 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 written analysis

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’).

Professor 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 hard (paper) copies are available for purchase at the campus bookshop (Harry Hartog at Kambri and their website for online purchase) and individual electronic copies can also be purchased from the publisher. Second-hand copies may be available for sale through student and other networks. The ANU Law Library has access to some reserved hard copies of this case-book (may not be removed from the ANU Law Library, and may be in use by other students on reserve).

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 recommend 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 are placed on Reserve in the Law Library. Contact the Law Library for help with electronic access to e-copies of textbooks on Torts.

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) + Tutorial
2 Lectures (Trespass) + Tutorial Optional 0% online quiz
3 Lectures (Trespass) + Tutorial Optional 0% online quiz
4 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial 10% online quiz with feedback Mid-Semester problem question released
5 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial
6 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial Grouping and commence group work (due Week 10)
7 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial Mid-Semester problem answer due
8 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial
9 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial Mid-Semester problem answer due
10 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial Group work due
11 Lectures (Negligence) + Tutorial
12 Lectures (Negligence; Revision) + Revision Tutorial

Tutorial Registration

The course Wattle page has full information on tutorial registration. You must register for an on-campus or online tutorial group that suits your timetable, and stay in that group for the 12 week semester.

Tutorials are smaller-group interactive sessions that give you the best opportunity to learn how to apply your knowledge to identify and solve scenario-based legal problems, which are a key legal skill and lie at the heart of assessment in this course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online quiz (Trespass) 10 % 22/03/2021 * 1,2,3
Group-work assignment 10 % 10/05/2021 24/05/2020 1,3-6
Mid-semester problem question 20 % 19/04/2021 17/05/2021 1,2,4,5
Final End-Semester Take Home Examination 60 % * * 1,2,4,5
Tutorial Attendance 0 % * * 1-6

* 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.


See Task 5 (Tutorial Attendance).


This course will include a take-home examination. Students should confirm the date and time when the Examinations timetable is released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 22/03/2021
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 (only Trespass, i.e. Weeks 1-3). The task is intended to give you a sense, fairly early in the semester, of how your understanding of the subject is developing.

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 in the course, to check their level of understanding of the subject and to obtain some feedback.

Students will have an opportunity in Week 2 and again in Week 3 to do an optional, 0% (not assessed) online quiz to get a 'feel' for the format before doing this Task 1 10% quiz.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to participate will result in 0 marks for this task. If you experience unavoidable and extenuating circumstances and cannot sit the quiz at the due date and time, you should apply for an extension to the College of Law student admin team here:


The College will give you one opportunity to sit the quiz, at the same time one week later. This will be your final opportunity to sit the quiz. 

Weighting: 10%

Release: The quiz will be released in Week 4 (Monday 15 March 2021 at 17:00 (5pm) on Wattle. All times refer to Canberra time.

Due date: The quiz will be closed at the start of Week 5 (Monday 22 March 2021 at 17:00 (5pm) 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. Results will be made available once all students have completed the quiz.

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

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 10/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 24/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,3-6

Group-work assignment

Task 2 comprises 10% of course assessment and runs across the middle weeks of the course.

The 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, and (ii) partly to afford opportunities for more interactive and group-based learning, for the reasons explained on the course Wattle page.

Details of Task: LLB students are randomly assigned to sub-groups of their Tutorial group. This is a group or team exercise to discuss, via a special sub-group online typed discussion forum, a controversial case allocated by the Convenor. The discussion forum is not 'live' (you are not required to engage and contribute at fixed times) but you are required to engaged and contribute regularly over the weeks during which the exercise runs.

The sub-group's task is to attempt to reach consensus on a joint outcome about how the sub-group believes the case should have been decided, and to submit a brief joint written report accordingly. The report states the 'decision outcome' of that discussion, the sub-group's brief rationale for the decision outcome, and the sub-group's brief response to up to five specific issues raised by the Convenor. Full explanation and guidance on Task 2, 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 29 March 2021 at 17h00 (5pm). Students will be randomly placed into groups by the Convenor from Week 6 and will be able to begin communicating and working with each other online via each group's dedicated discussion forum on Wattle.

Due date: 10 May 2021 at 17h00 (5pm) via Turnitin on the course Wattle site, a single document comprising the group's submission. (See below for online submission details). Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although strict late penalties apply- see below.

Word limit: minimum 500 words, maximum 750 words.

Estimated return date: 28 May 2021 via Wattle.

Assessment Criteria:

Task 2 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 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 6.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 19/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 17/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Mid-semester problem question

Details of Task: In response to a hypothetical problem scenario produced by the Convenor, students are to submit an individual written piece that engages with the problem, identifying the Torts law issues arising on the facts, identifying and explaining the applicable legal principles and the source of their authority, and applying these principles to the facts in order to offer an opinion of the likely outcome should the dispute come before a court.

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

Weighting: 20%

Release: 15 March 2021 at 5pm on Wattle.

Due date: 19 April 2021 at 17:00 (5:00pm) via Turnitin on the course Wattle site. (See below for online submission details). Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties apply (see below).

Word limit: 1200 words

Estimated return date: Week 11 (17 May 2021) 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 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 references, where appropriate, in accordance with AGLC conventions

An assessment rubric for this assignment will be available on the Wattle page by or from Week 6.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 60 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Final End-Semester Take Home Examination

Details of Task: The final take-home (online) examination will consist of an answer of no more than 2,200 words on one hypothetical scenario legal problem question relating to content taught only in the Negligence component of the course (Weeks 4 to 12). The Law of Trespass (Weeks 1-3) is not examinable in the end-semester final exam. There will be no choice of problem question. The problem question is in the style of tutorial questions, and the tutorials each week prepare one to answer such questions in exam conditions.

Students will have 2.5 hours to complete and submit their answers.

Again, the Trespass component of the course (Weeks 1-3) is not examinable in the final exam, which only covers the material in Weeks 4-12 of the course.

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

Weighting: 60% of overall course mark

Duration: 2.5 hours

Release: please consult the university examination timetable - you will be notified when it is released.

Due: Please consult the university examinations timetable when it is released. Late submission is not accepted for this task.

Word limit: 2,200 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 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 references, where appropriate, in accordance with AGLC conventions

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

Assessment Task 5

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-6

Tutorial Attendance

This is a penalty on the overall course mark, rather than an assessment item per se.

Students attending less than 75% of tutorials will face a 5% attendance penalty on their overall semester mark.

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 submission of assignments in this course

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.

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 the other written tasks will be via the Wattle platform.

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).

Prof Jolyon Ford

Thursday 11:00 12:00
By Appointment
Dr Jelena Gligorijevic
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Dr Jelena Gligorijevic

By Appointment
Prof Jolyon Ford

Research Interests

Prof Jolyon Ford

Thursday 11:00 12:00
By Appointment

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