• Class Number 5561
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
  • COURSE CONVENER
    • Prof James Stellios
  • LECTURER
    • Daniel Stewart
    • Will Bateman
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

Building on previous public law studies, particularly Australian Public Law, this course aims to deepen student understanding of key aspects of the Commonwealth Constitution and the way it has been interpreted by the High Court of Australia. Specifically, we consider:

  • The scope of Commonwealth legislative power, by reference to key federal heads of legislative power including the corporations power (s 51(xx)), the external affairs power (s 51(xxix)), the races power (s 51(xxvi), the taxation power (s 51(ii)) and the grants power (s 96);
  • The principles of interpretation and ‘characterisation’ applied by the High Court when interpreting the scope of federal legislative power;
  • The principles that operate to resolve a clash or conflict between Commonwealth and State laws (s 109);
  • Many of the important constitutional limitations placed on the exercise of Commonwealth and State legislative power, including both the express limitations set out in the text (eg, ss 90 and 92) and those that have been implied by the High Court from the text and structure of the Constitution (egs, federal/State immunities, and implications from representative government);
  • The important role that the High Court has played in shaping the federal system and protecting federal government institutions created by the Constitution; and
  • The historical and social context in which federal constitutional law has developed.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain and apply the constitutional law principles developed by the High Court to a hypothetical factual problem presenting questions about the validity and applicability of federal and State legislation
  2. Identify the appropriate constitutional provisions and legal authorities to support the explanation and application of constitutional principles in the course of problem solving
  3. Analyse a factual problem, reasoning to a conclusion by analogy to the decided cases
  4. Recognise and explain the role played by the High Court of Australia in shaping the federal system and protecting federal institutions of government
  5. Recognise and explain the historical and social context within which the constitutional principles have been developed
  6. Analyse and assess the impact that the High Court has had on the development of constitutional principles, the character of the federal system in Australia and the health of federal institutions of government

Research-Led Teaching

Each of the seminar leaders is an active researcher in public law areas concerning government power and accountability.

Required Resources

A weekly plan will be released detailing the required and recommended reading, providing questions to test your understanding of the material and problems and questions for discussion. The reading will generally be based on the text: Will Bateman, Dan Meagher, Amelia Simpson and James Stellios, Hanks’ Australian Constitutional Law: Materials and Commentary (LexisNexis, 11th ed, 2021). However, students who don't have access to this text will be provided with alternative ways to access the relevant cases and materials.

Prescribed text:

Will Bateman, Dan Meagher, Amelia Simpson and James Stellios, Hanks’ Australian Constitutional Law: Materials and Commentary (LexisNexis, 11th ed, 2021).

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class

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 interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. 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 Week 1: Introduction to Commonwealth Constitutional Law
2 Week 2: Corporations
3 Week 3: External Affairs Quiz at the end of week 3.
4 Week 4: Aliens and Race
5 Week 5: Taxation
6 Week 6: Spending Quiz at the end of week 6. Mid-semester exam: date to be scheduled on exam timetable.
7 Week 7: Inconsistency
8 Week 8: Intergovernmental immunities (I)
9 Week 9: Intergovernmental immunities (II) Quiz at the end of week 9.
10 Week 10: Freedom of Interstate Trade and Rights of Residents
11 Week 11: Implied freedom of political communication (I)
12 Week 12: Implied freedom of political communication (II) Final exam: date to be scheduled on exam timetable.

Tutorial Registration

There are no separate tutorials. However, all students must register into one of the three seminar groups.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online Quizzes 20 % * 4,5,6
Mid-semester Examination 30 % * 1,2,3
Final Examination 50 % 02/12/2021 1,2,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details

Policies

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.

Examination(s)

The course includes mid-semester and final examinations. Please note that the dates in the assessment summary are indicative only. Students should consult the examinations timetable once it has been finalised for the dates and times of the exams.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6

Online Quizzes

Brief Description: There are three quizzes during the semester. The first is on 13 August; the second is on 3 September; and the third is on 8 October 2021. The first is designed to test your knowledge of the legal principles covered in weeks 1-3 of semester; the second is designed to test your knowledge of the legal principles covered in weeks 4-6 of semester; the third is designed to test your knowledge of the legal principles covered in weeks 7-9 of semester.

Nature of Task: You must complete at least two quizzes to access the maximum marks for this task:

  • If you complete all three quizzes, then the aggregate of the highest two marks will constitute the mark for this task.
  • If you only complete two quizzes, then the aggregate of those two marks will constitute the mark for this task.
  • If you only complete one quiz, then that mark will constitute the mark for this task (ie, you will lose 10% of the final course mark).
  • If you do not complete any quiz, then you will receive a 0 for this task (ie, you will lose 20% of the final course mark).

The quiz questions will be a mix of multiple choice and true/false responses. There will be 20 questions in each quiz. Each question will be worth half a mark. The maximum total for each quiz is 10 marks.

Weighting: 20%

Release:

  • Quiz 1: 9.00am, Friday, 13 August 2021 via Wattle;
  • Quiz 2: 9.00am, Friday, 3 September 2021 via Wattle; and
  • Quiz 3: 9.00am, Friday, 8 October 2021 via Wattle.

Due date: You can commence the quiz at any time from 9.00am to 9.30pm on the relevant quiz day. Once you commence the quiz, you will have 30 minutes to complete the quiz. Do not commence the quiz until you are ready to complete the quiz within 30 minutes. Access to the quiz questions will automatically close at 10.00pm, but you should commence the quiz no later than 9.30pm to ensure that you have 30 minutes to complete the quiz. Given the nature of the task, no late submissions will be permitted and no extensions or deferred quizzes are available.

Estimated return date: Marks are available at 10.00pm on the relevant quiz day.

Assessment Criteria: marks will be awarded according to whether your response is correct or incorrect.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-semester Examination

Brief Description: Compulsory On-line examination designed to test your understanding of the legal rules and principles covered in the first half of the course. Collaboration with other students is not permitted.

Nature of Task: The mid-semester examination is compulsory. If you fail to attempt the examination you will receive a 0 for this task.

The exam will seek to test the practical application of the legal rules and principles covered during the first half of the course. Students will be required to demonstrate an understanding of the relevant legal rules and principles and apply them to a factual scenario presented in the exam.

Weighting: 30%

Word Limit: 1,500 words (everything excluding footnotes). Any substantive content in footnotes will not be marked. The word length must be set out clearly at the end of the final page of your response.

Timing: During mid-semester examination period. Students should consult the examinations timetable once it has been finalised for the date and time of the exam.

Duration: 2 hours total time.

Due date: to be confirmed, see university exam timetable. The exam paper will be released on Wattle and is to be submitted via Turnitin. Because this is an exam, late submissions will not be accepted. It would be sensible to leave yourself some time before the submission deadline in case something goes wrong with the submission process.

Estimated return date: Week 10 via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria: Answers will be marked according to the following criteria:

  • You should identify the relevant issues from the factual scenario presented in the question.
  • You should identify and accurately explain the applicable legal principles, providing relevant authority in support.
  • You should accurately and concisely apply the legal principles to the factual situation, drawing by analogy from the cases considered in the course where relevant and appropriate.
  • You should avoid irrelevant issues. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Final Examination

Brief Description: Compulsory On-line examination designed to test your understanding of the legal rules and principles covered in the second half of the course. Collaboration with other students is not permitted.

Nature of Task: The final examination is compulsory. If you fail to attempt the examination you will receive a 0 for this task.

The exam will seek to test the practical application of the legal rules and principles covered during the second half of the course. Students will be required to demonstrate an understanding of the relevant legal rules and principles and apply them to a factual scenario presented in the exam.

Weighting: 50%.

Timing: During final examination period. Students should consult the examinations timetable once it has been finalised for the date and time of the exam.

Duration: 3 hours total time.

Due date: to be confirmed, see university exam timetable. The exam paper will be released on Wattle and is to be submitted via Turnitin. Because this is an exam, late submissions will not be accepted. It would be sensible to leave yourself some time before the submission deadline in case something goes wrong with the submission process.

Word limit: 2500 words (everything excluding footnotes). Any substantive content in footnotes will not be marked. The word length must be set out clearly at the end of the final page of your response.

Return date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria: Answers will be marked according to the following criteria:

  • You should identify the relevant issues from the factual scenario presented in the question.
  • You should identify and accurately explain the applicable legal principles, providing relevant authority in support.
  • You should accurately and concisely apply the legal principles to the factual situation, drawing by analogy from the cases considered in the course where relevant and appropriate.
  • You should avoid irrelevant issues.

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 on-line assignment and final exam. Please keep a copy of your responses for your records.

Hardcopy Submission

Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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.
  • Late submission with an extension. To ensure equity for all students, the 5% penalty per working day for late submission of work does not apply if you have been given an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time is provided in writing. Please note that the revised due date is calculated by including weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date are penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the assessment task per day or part thereof.

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

Feedback on your assignment responses will be available through turnitin, access ed from the course wattle page.

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

Resubmission will not be available.

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 James Stellios
u4032823@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


James's primary research interest is constitutional law, with a particular interest in Chapter III of the Constitution.

Prof James Stellios

By Appointment
Daniel Stewart
daniel.stewart@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


Daniel Stewart

By Appointment
Will Bateman
+61 2 6125 3483
will.bateman@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


Will Bateman

By Appointment

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