• Class Number 2709
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Prof Leighton McDonald
    • Will Bateman
  • 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

Building on Australian Public Law, this course aims to deepen student understanding of key aspects of the Australian administrative justice system. Administrative law concerns the legal rules and institutions which seek to keep the ‘governors’ in society (principally, decision-makers in the executive arm of government) accountable. It encompasses both judicial and non-judicial modes of accountability (eg administrative tribunals, the ombudsman, and legislation providing for access to information and limiting the purposes for which government can use information). Administrative law can be conceptualised as the legal regulation of the exercise of public (as opposed to ‘private’) power. More specifically, this course will consider:

• Different ways to think about the reach of administrative law in the context of the changing nature of contemporary governance;
• The function and scope of judicial review of administrative action, with particular attention to the constitutional, statutory and common law sources of judicial review jurisdiction.
• Many of the important legal principles associated with the availability of judicial review remedies, the grounds on which administrative decisions may be judicially reviewed, and ‘standing’ to bring judicial review actions;
• Statutory attempts by Parliaments to restrict judicial review and the extent to which judicial review is constitutionally entrenched;
• The concept of merit review, with particular attention to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal;
• The role played by non-adjudicative accountability mechanism with particular attention to the operation of public sector Ombudsman and Freedom of Information legislation;
• The role played by administrative law in the context of important constitutional principles such as the separation of powers and the rule of law;
• The historical and social context in which Australian administrative law has developed.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain, apply and appraise the principles of judicial review of administrative action at both the State and Federal levels of government in Australia;
  2. Explain, apply and appraise the limits on the powers of the courts to engage in judicial review of administrative action, and the constitutional protection of such review;
  3. Distinguish between the different categories of adjudicative review (legality and merit review) and between adjudicative and non-adjudicative accountability mechanisms;
  4. Explain and appraise the interaction between the various institutions of administrative law and the role played by each in the administrative justice system;
  5. Recognise and explain the relevance of the Constitution and constitutional concepts to the development of distinctive Australian administrative law institutions and principles;
  6. Reflect critically on judicial reasoning in administrative law cases, the values underpinning administrative law, and the impact of the law on administrative decision-making;
  7. Apply administrative law principles to resolve practical problems, reasoning to a conclusion by analogy to decided cases recognising the way in which statutory context influences the application of these principles.

Research-Led Teaching

Associate Professor Will Bateman is a leading researcher in the administrative law (and public law more generally). He has also spent time in legal practice and was Associate to Justice Gageler in the High Court of Australia. For more information, see https://law.anu.edu.au/people/will-bateman.

The course will include consideration of current research and contemporary issues.

Required Resources

Students will require a textbook and the associated ‘cases’ book. The books can be purchased as a 'pack'.

Text: Peter Cane, Leighton McDonald, and Kristen Rundle, Principles of Administrative Law (3rd ed, Oxford University Press, 2018)

Cases: Peter Cane, Leighton McDonald, and Kristen Rundle, Cases for Principles of Administrative Law (3rd ed , Oxford University Press, 2018)

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

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 the 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 and updates relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to the Australian Administrative Law System Introduction to Judicial Review
2 The Scope of Judicial Review under Statutory Sources of Jurisdiction Supervisory jurisdiction of State Supreme Courts Review of delegated legislation
3 Judicial Review Remedies and the centrality of jurisdictional error What are jurisdictional errors?
4 Remedies: the nuts and bolts The consequences of invalidity Introduction to Grounds of review Procedural Fairness hearing rule
5 Procedural Fairness Hearing Rule (continued) Rule against bias; statutory procedures
6 Relevant and irrelevant considerations Unauthorised purposes
7 The role of policy in decision-making; dictation; delegation Fact/Law distinction; Jurisdictional facts
8 Legal reasonableness and Standing
9 Statutory restrictions on judicial review
10 Merits review and tribunals
11 Internal review and Ombudsmen Freedom of Information legislation
12 Exam revision

Tutorial Registration

There will be a weekly 3 hour seminar class on Zoom: Thursday 4pm-7pm.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
In class Quiz 10 % 01/04/2021 01/04/2021 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Mid-Semester Take-home assignment 30 % 07/04/2021 14/05/2021 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Final Online Exam 70 % * 01/07/2021 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

* 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.


Please note, that the dates used in the Assessment Summary in relation to take home exams and final exams indicate approximate timeframes. Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 01/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

In class Quiz

Details of Task: There will be an online multiple choice Quiz covering all course material up to the date of the quiz.

Nature of Task: This task is optional and redeemable. (Students who do not choose to complete the In class Quiz will have their Final Online Exam count for 70% of their grade).

Duration: 30 minutes

Value or weighting: 10%

Date: Thursday 1 April 2021 during scheduled class time.

Estimated return date: Feedback will be released later on the same day.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 07/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 14/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Mid-Semester Take-home assignment

Details of Task: The Mid-Semester Take-Home assignment is designed to develop your capacity to engage carefully and critically with the cases and issues covered in the first half of the course. You will need to answer two or three questions. This will assist you in fulfilling the learning outcomes, with an emphasis on expected learning outcomes 1, 2, 4 and 5. The assessment task will also prepare students for ‘reflective/argumentative questions’ which will be included in the final examination (see below for further information). Well prepared students should expect to be able to complete the exam in 4-5 hours.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Non-submission will result in ‘0’ marks being awarded for this assessment item.

Value or weighting: 30%.

Release:  9 am on Tuesday, 6 April 2021 (on WATTLE).

Due date: 5 pm on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 via Turnitin.

Late submissions will not be accepted. For this reason it would be extremely risky to leave uploading your assignment until the last minute.

Word limit: 1500 words.

Estimated return date: Friday 14 May 2021 via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria:

make appropriate and accurate use of the reading materials covered in the class plan;

structuring responses well and ensuring they are clearly and concisely expressed; 

addressing the relevant issues raised in the questions and making persuasive arguments; and 

demonstrating understanding of, and critical thinking on, material covered in the Class Plan and the discussion in class during weeks 1-6 of the course. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 70 %
Return of Assessment: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Final Online Exam

Details of task: The Final Online Exam is designed not only to test knowledge of administrative law’s rules and principles but also to enable students to demonstrate how these rules and principles may be applied to legal problems. The problem question (worth 60% of the total marks available for the exam) will require students to demonstrate sound skills of legal interpretation and reasoning. The exam will also contain two ‘reflective/argumentative questions’ (worth 40% of the total marks available). These questions will be designed to test for deep understanding, for example, by asking: how particular concepts or ideas studied in the course relate one to another, for an explanation or evaluation of conclusions reached in particular cases, or for an explanation or illustration of the importance of a particular concept/principle/case. The focus will not be on the reproduction of information.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Non-attendance will result in a ‘0’ for this assessment task. 

Timing: Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date and time of the exam.

Duration: 2.5 hours

Value or weighting: 70% (Or 60% where a student has opted to complete the 10% Optional In class Quiz, and it is to their benefit to count their grade for the Optional In class Quiz.)

Estimated Return Date: After final grades are released

Assessment Criteria: 

make relevant and persuasive arguments; 

make accurate use of relevant legal material; 

are well structured and clearly and concisely expressed; 

address the issues raised in the problem questions and reason persuasively by reference to relevant legal rules and principles; and 

demonstrate understanding of, and critical thinking on, material covered in the course. 

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).

Prof Leighton McDonald

Research Interests

Administrative law, public law, legal theory

Prof Leighton McDonald

By Appointment
Will Bateman

Research Interests

Will Bateman

By Appointment

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