• Class Number 6568
  • Term Code 3170
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Contagious diseases and International law
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Dr Ntina TZOUVALA
    • Dr Ntina TZOUVALA
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/11/2021
  • Class End Date 21/01/2022
  • Census Date 03/12/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 23/11/2021
SELT Survey Results

The content of this course may vary from year to year.  Please see Other Information below for details of any special courses currently on offer.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Synthesise and apply knowledge and ideas within the chosen special topic
  2. Review case law, legislation and scholarly writing as it pertains to the chosen special topic
  3. Incorporate social, comparative or interdisciplinary approaches into legal analysis of the special topic
  4. Research and synthesise legal materials and other relevant sources to present a cohesive argument that addresses a legal question arising from the special topic
  5. Make original and reflective contributions to debates on theoretical, policy and practical issues relating to the special topic

Research-Led Teaching

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the urgency and contemporary difficulties of an internationally-coordinated, rules-based governance of infectious diseases. The authority of the World Health Organization (WHO) has never looked more frail. Both experts and the public are debating the role of patents in relation to the invention and-crucially- timely and equitable distribution of a vaccine. The UN Security Council appears to have assumed a decidedly secondary role, despite its earlier pivot toward ‘human security’. This course explores these contemporary questions while enabling the students to appreciate their historical and theoretical depth. Our working assumption will be that a wide range of international legal fields (for example, international health law, international human rights law, the laws of occupation, international trade and investment law) are relevant to the governing of contagious diseases.

This course will explore topics such as:

• The international institutional infrastructure pertaining to infectious diseases from the League of Nations to the WHO;

• The structure, authority and law of the WHO;

• The interplay between international trade and investment law and questions of public health;

• Limitations posed to sovereign decisions on border closures, quarantines and other restricting measures by international law (including, but not limited to, international human rights law);

• International legal responses to other infectious diseases, for example HIV-AIDS and Ebola.

Required Resources

A reading list and electronic resources will be provided through the Wattle site.

There are a number of standard texts on international law that students may wish to consult for further reading or in the completion of your assessment tasks. They will be placed on reserve in the Law Library, and a list posted on the course wattle site.

The following are good starting-points for electronic research in international law, including: ANU Law Library, International Law and Foreign Law (part of the Weblaw project): http://libguides.anu.edu.au/international_law

- Australian Treaties Library: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/

- American Society of International Law, Electronic Information System for International Law: http://www.eisil.org/

- Oxford Reports in International Law http://opil.ouplaw.com/home/oril [also available via ANU Law Library]

- United Nations Documentation: Research Guide http://research.un.org/en/docs/

Staff Feedback

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

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

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

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

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

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 any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 This is a semi-intensive course that will be delivered on 22, 24, 26, 29 November and 1 December from 10am - 3pm AEDT and 9,10 December from 9:30am - 12:30pm AEDT. This session will introduce the students to the basic rules and institutions of global health governance.
2 This session will focus on the relevance of international human rights law to management of contagious diseases.
3 This class will explore the interplay between the GATT and TRIPS and the COVID-19 pandemic.
4 This session will bring together themes of global health, collective security and the United Nations.
5 This class will be dedicated to theorising the intersections between international law and contagious diseases.
6 This session will be dedicated to the students' collective class presentations.
7 This session will be dedicated to the students' collective class presentations.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 10 % * 17/12/2021 1,2,4,5
Collective Class Presentation 10 % 10/12/2021 17/12/2021 1,3,4,5
Reflective Note 30 % 13/12/2021 21/12/2021 1,2,3,4,5
Research Essay 50 % 13/01/2022 04/02/2022 1,2,3,4,5,6

* 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 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.


For all courses taught in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program. Students are expected to attend all classes.

If circumstances arise which are beyond a student’s control and they are unable to attend a class, the student should contact the Course Convenor in advance (where possible), so that the convenor can adjust their expectations in relation to numbers for that class. If it is not possible to give advance notice, students should send the convenor an email as soon as possible with evidence to support the reason for failure to attend. 

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 17/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Class Participation

Brief description: Students will be evaluated based on the quality and, secondarily, the regularity of their class participation.

Weighting: 10%

Due Date: Students will be evaluated throughout the teaching weeks.

Return of Assessment: 17 December 2021

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 10/12/2021
Return of Assessment: 17/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5

Collective Class Presentation

Brief Description: In teams of 3-4 you will present on one specified question/topic on either last two days of intensive session. Further details will be provided in class.

Nature: Compulsory. Non-completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Weighting: 10%

Return of Assessment: 17 December 2021.

Assessment Criteria:

1) Ability to work smoothly with others;

2) Comprehension of the relevant legal questions and historical/political context;

3) Ability to articulate a clear, coherent argument both within each presentation and across the team.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 13/12/2021
Return of Assessment: 21/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Reflective Note

Brief description: The note will involve a critical write-up of your class presentation that will expand upon its main points.

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

Weighting: 30%

Word Count: 1,800

Due Date: 5pm, Monday 13 December 2021. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Return of Assessment: 21 December 2021

Assessment Criteria:

Your reflective note will be evaluated taking into consideration the following criteria:

1) Knowledge and understanding of the jurisprudence and literature surrounding the main topic/question;

2) Knowledge and understanding of the political/moral/historical issues surrounding the doctrinal debate;

3) Ability to respond to and incorporate feedback and criticism;

4) Ability to write concisely, clearly and effectively.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 13/01/2022
Return of Assessment: 04/02/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Research Essay

Brief description: Independently select a topic related to the issues discussed in task and write a research essay on its key issues.

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

Weighting: 50%

Word Count: 3,000

Due Date: 5pm, Thursday 13 January 2022. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Return of Assessment: 4 February 2022. 

Assessment Criteria: Your research essay will be evaluated taking into account the following criteria:

1) Ability to select and appropriate delineate your topic;

2) Understanding of the legal and contextual questions central to your topic;

3) Ability to develop a clear, coherent, persuasive argument;

4) Clarity of writing, appropriateness of style, comprehensive citations.

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 test or 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.

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).


Research Interests

Public international law, international dispute settlement, international investment arbitration


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