- Class Number 3554
- Term Code 3140
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery Online
- Dr Nicholas Seddon
- Dr Nicholas Seddon
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 29/03/2021
- Class End Date 17/05/2021
- Census Date 09/04/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 29/03/2021
This course is designed to meet the needs of practising lawyers and of senior public and private sector managers who have had experience in the field of government contracting.
The course will examine the use of contract for various public purposes and will analyse the legal issues that are peculiar to government contracting.
The course covers
- policy issues relevant to the use of contract by government
- the applicability of the ordinary law of contract
- the power to make government contracts
- the procedures and other issues relevant to contract formation
- Crown immunity
- the application of the competition consumer legislation to government commercial activity, tenders (including the impact of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement)
- use of public law remedies.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain, distinguish and evaluate an advanced understanding of the legal and practical issues that are peculiar to government contracting and other government commercial activities;
- Identify, critically analyse and apply legal principles of ordinary contract law to contracting in a government context;
- Identify, critically examine and analyse complex government purchasing and commercial arrangements to identify and apply principles and provide solutions to manage complex matters, including risk; and
- Independently plan and execute a research project to demonstrate complex legal research principles and methodologies in critical analysis and application of legal principles and practice, relevant to government contacting.
Additional Course Costs
This course is an intensive course taught at the ANU Acton Campus in Canberra. Students will need to cover costs associated with travel, accommodation, meals etc, if attending from out of state.
The prescribed text for this course is Seddon, N, Government Contracts: Federal, State and Local, (6th ed 2018, The Federation Press). This book is available from Federation Press at a 20 per cent discount. For Canberra residents, please contact Nick Seddon by email well before the first session to purchase a copy. Or contact The Federation Press (02 9552 2200), saying that you are a student of Nick Seddon. This book is available in the Law Library.
An electronic reading brick will also be provided on the Wattle site.
The Lecture Outline with recommended reading is available on Wattle.
Nick Seddon’s lecture notes are available on Wattle.
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
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.
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
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Uses, power, procedures, authority|
|2||The Crown, immunities, privileges|
|3||Executive necessity, Competition and Consumer Act, tendering|
|4||Tenders (cont'd), administrative law|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Short answer quiz||10 %||12/04/2021||19/04/2021||1,2|
|Research Essay||90 %||17/05/2021||03/06/2021||1,2,3,4|
* 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:
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 ANU Online website. 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
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
Short answer quiz
Format: Questions to be made available on Wattle at the end of the 4th Session on 1 April.
Nature of task: compulsory and non-redeemable. Students who do not submit the task will receive a mark of 0.
Length: Students should provide short answers to each question – a few sentences or one or two paragraphs at most. Please do not provide lengthy ‘essay’ type answers.
Relationship between the Assessment Task and the Course Objectives: tests understanding of material covered in lectures.
Submission Date: 12 April 2021 via the Wattle drop box with assessment cover sheet. Late submission is permitted, but a mark penalty will be imposed.
Assessment Criteria: demonstrating an understanding of particular issues peculiar to government contracting that have been covered in lectures.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Format: Essay. Essays must be in 12-point font, double-spaced, formatted for A4-size paper, and with pages numbered. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records
Relationship between the Assessment Task and the Course Objectives: the essay will be a platform to demonstrate ability to research and analyse legal issues and policies relevant to government contracting.
Approval of Topic: students are encouraged to submit an essay on a topic of their own choice after the chosen area has been cleared with the lecturer by 23 April 2021. In addition, a list of suggested topic areas will be distributed by the lecturer through Wattle.
Submission Date: Monday 17 May 2021. Late submissions without an extension will incur a penalty in accordance with the ANU College of Law rules.
Length: The total word length for the essay is 6500 words. Students are expected to analyse the essay topic in the word length stipulated. The marker will take into account the fact that an essay is either significantly shorter or longer than the stipulated word length, guided by the College of Law policy referred to below.
a) Understanding of the Issues
- addresses the question and covers all the important points
- evidence of close consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on
- issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified
- material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively
b) Communication & Development of Argument
- clear theme or argument
- arguments logical and well-organised
- ideas/paragraphs linked coherently
- originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
- complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
- suggestions for change where appropriate
- interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate
- addressing opposing arguments
- well-reasoned conclusions
- research covering primary and secondary materials
- good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used
- use of theoretical material where appropriate
- range of research sources
- integration of material from research resources into the essay
e) Presentation, style and referencing
- good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
- clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
- use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
- full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography
- style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation (http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/mulr/aglc)
- adherence to word limit
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Assignments will be returned on or before 3 June 2021.
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.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Dr Nick Seddon is recognised as a leading authority in contract law, specialising in government contracts. He advises Australian government agencies and the private sector in common law and commercial law matters, including major contracts, procurements, and application of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). Nick also advises on the operation of legislation affecting government and private sector entities. Nick is the author of the leading text, Government Contracts: Federal, State and Local, (6th ed 2018), co-author of Cheshire & Fifoot Law of Contract (11th Aus ed 2017) and author of Seddon on Deeds (2015). Nick was an academic for thirty years in Melbourne, Papua New Guinea and at the Australian National University. He taught contracts, torts, property, industrial law and IT law. He joined Blake Dawson (now Ashurst) as a part-time consultant in 1995 and then as a full-time special counsel in 2001. He is currently counsel at Ashurst and an honorary professor at the ANU College of Law.
Dr Nicholas Seddon