• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Anthony Hopkins
    • Sarouche Razi
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    Second Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

The Prison Legal Literacy Clinic offers students a unique opportunity to work with detainees in a prison setting at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC). The AMC is the Australian Capital Territory's only adult prison, accommodating all persons who have been sentenced to full-time imprisonment or remanded in custody by ACT Courts.

The Prison Legal Literacy Clinic was developed from the highly successful ANU College of Law, Law Reform and Social Justice Prison Legal Literacy Program which commenced in 2010. 

Students in the Prison Legal Literacy Clinic will attend the AMC to deliver six legal literacy sessions for a cohort of detainees chosen by AMC management. These sessions provide legal information only, rather than legal advice. The first session focuses on establishing mutually agreed rules and boundaries, developing respectful relationships and identifying areas of legal interest to detainees that will become the topics for the remaining five sessions. These topics are as diverse as detainees interests but may involve laws and legal process relating to criminal law, evidence, sentencing, appeals, parole, administrative law, human rights law and tort law. Many topics require students to convey an understanding of the democratic process of law making, the federal system of law as well as the hierarchy and jurisdiction of courts and tribunals. The emphasis is on students working as a team to develop informative, engaging and interactive sessions. Student are required to undertake significant research in each week of the session delivery phase of the course, often in areas of law that are unfamiliar to them. Detainees who complete the program are presented with a certificate in the final session acknowledge their efforts.

Students will be provided with Security Awareness Training by the AMC and supported before and during the delivery stage of the program by the course convenor who will be present at, and guide the delivery of, each of the Legal Literacy Sessions at the AMC.

Following the delivery of six sessions (in the first 6 weeks of the semester) students are required to submit a reflective assessment. Students will then use the remaining six weeks of the semester to write a research paper on a legal topic they have identified from their experience with detainees within the AMC. Students will be supported to develop and hone their research papers in workshops that will be held in the second half of the semester.

Students must apply to undertake this course. Please go to Law Professional Experience for application information.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically analyse how legal knowledge can be used to empower detainees, improve detainee experiences and promote social justice
  2. Reflect on their personal motivation for studying law, their goals and career aspirations
  3. Synthesise and apply a coherent body of substantive legal knowledge in the preparation delivery and evaluation of legal education workshops delivered to detainees
  4. Critically analyse a variety of social issues of justice, power and disadvantage, and to critically analyse entrenched issues of injustice in the legal system
  5. Critically analyse a range of legal practice approaches having regard to the legal needs of detainees
  6. Investigate and analyse the predicament of detainees having regard to the operation of the law and the legal system
  7. Identify concrete and achievable ways in which they can promote access to justice and equality before the law.
  8. Identify, plan, manage and execute a written research project addressing a problem relating to detainee experiences and/or the prison setting, and present findings using a variety of media

Other Information

Students must apply to undertake this course. Please go to Law Professional Experience for application information.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Participation in and delivery of legal literacy sessions at the AMC ((NCN) (10) [LO 3]
  2. Reflective Journal or Report of Experience (1200 w) (20) [LO 2]
  3. Work in Progress Research Project Presentation (10-15mins ) (10) [LO 8]
  4. Research Project (3600 words - from a 6000 word max) (60) [LO 1,4,5,6,7,8]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Students are required to attend a half day prison security awareness course, as well as a two hour pre-course training workshop run by the convenor. Student will then attend the prison to deliver legal literacy sessions on six consecutive weeks on a day to be determined with the total time for travel, delivery and planning being approximately four hours. In the second half of the semester student will be required to attend three two hour research workshops. The total contact time expectation is 36 hours. Preparation for each legal literacy session and time required for research and preparation of the research project is additional. 

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying the Bachelor of Laws (ALLB, BLLBA), have completed or be completing five 1000 level LAWS courses and have completed LAWS1206 Criminal Law and Procedure. An application process exists for this course.

You will need to contact the ANU Law School to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4170
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4223 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7235 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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