Legislation dominates the contemporary legal landscape. Almost all fields of legal regulation involve legislation in some form. The ability to interpret and understand the operation of legislation is a skill essential to understanding law and its operation.
This course will provide an advanced study of the rules and principles governing statutory interpretation.
Students who have encountered statue law in a variety of contexts (criminal law, torts law, administrative law etc) and been introduced to the relevant common law principles, will benefit from a more detailed consideration of statutory interpretation as a fundamental skill involved in all areas of practice but particularly those areas involving government.
The course will cover the following topics:
• The legislative process and its role in statutory interpretation, including the role of extrinsic materials
• Approaches to the interpretation of legislation, including comparisons with interpretation of contracts and treaties.
• Interpretation Acts and drafting conventions
• Extrinsic and intrinsic aids to assist in interpretation, including role of legal assumption
• Remedial, penal and fiscal provisions
• Obligatory and discretionary provisions.
• Commencement and retrospective effect of legislation
• Consistency and contrariety of legislative provisions and legislation.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain, distinguish and apply the principles and process of statutory interpretation
- Compare, contrast and reflect on the theoretical concepts underlying and impacting on approaches to statutory interpretation and its application in professional practice.
- Plan, differentiate and prioritise approaches and materials used in statutory interpretation while working collaboratively.
- Select and apply a range of legal research principles and methods in interpreting legal instruments.
- On-line exercises and group discussion (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Assignment or Essay - up to 5000 words (70) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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.
This course is primarily taught on-line. Students new to statutory interpretation will attend an introductory two-day intensive prior to the commencement of the on-line component. All students will then participate in 6 weeks of on-line exercises and discussion. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
Click here for the LLM Masters Program timetable.
Requisite and Incompatibility
D.C. Pearce and R.S. Geddes, Statutory Interpretation in Australia (9th ed 2019, LexisNexis).
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.
Any additional materials will be available on the Wattle course site.
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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.