• Class Number 4638
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza
    • Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 16/07/2021
  • Class End Date 10/09/2021
  • Census Date 30/07/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 17/07/2021
SELT Survey Results

National Security Law is a rapidly evolving field of concern for Government, security agencies, civil rights monitors, and the Australian public. As both the nature of threats (represented by, for example, the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, or the rise of cyber security as a major national security concern) and the concept of ‘security’ (such as biosecurity) have evolved, legal responses have similarly evolved. 

As new incidents occur or challenges arise, it is often the case that legislative change is one of, if not the, preferred initial response. These changes have been broadly cast - ranging from expanded or refined operating powers and processes for national security agencies, through to the creation of new offences within the widening penumbra of criminalised conduct that surrounds demonstrably terrorist activity.

This course offers a broad brush across a number of issues concerning national security law. The course will commence with a series of building blocks (heads of power, conceptions of security, historical background). This will then allow more detailed exploration of a series of institutional issues (such as the legislative arrangements for important national security institutions, and the ‘security law’ making and monitoring process), practical issues (such as use of force, and use of classified information in prosecutions), and thematic issues (such as the national security – civil rights balancing debate).

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Reflect upon and synthesise various understandings of what the concept of 'national security' means in order to formulate an understanding of this idea in an Australian context;
  2. Explain and reflect on the main features of the way Australian national security institutions are organised, and in particular the legal basis on which they operate;
  3. Critically analyse the main features of Australian national security institutions, and their legal basis
  4. Interpret and reflect on the main features of framework of Australian national security law, how this legal framework developed and how it currently operates;
  5. Respond to, or develop a research essay question that requires students to examine, and critically analyse, practical and thematic issues arising from the way in which national security institutions and laws have developed and currently operate in Australia.

Research-Led Teaching

This course is closely informed by past and current research carried out by Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza. She is a Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law. Dom conducts research on Australian Public Law and the process by which Australian national security law has been enacted. She has a particular interest in legislative responses to counter-terrorism .From 2006 to 2010 she was a PhD candidate with the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales where she developed her interest in National Security Law. In 2010 she completed her PhD titled 'The Australian Approach to Enacting Counter-Terrorism Laws'. A recent example of her work on this topic was published in the Public Law Review  in 2016. Additionally, the guest speakers who have agreed to give presentations in this course have been selected because they have significant experience practicing and/or researching in national security law, or related national security issues.

Required Resources

A reading list will be available on the course Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

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

(a) Answers to questions during course discussions during Zoom sessions

(b) Feedback on Task 1 before 50% of the course is completed

(c) Written comments on both written assessment items (Assessment items 2 and 3).

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 an intensive course. In 2021 it will be taught completely online. There will be a combination of: pre-recorded lectures (divided into a number of podcasts, each of which will go for between 20 and 30 minutes each); and Seminar style activities which will take place on zoom over four days (23, 24 July 2021 and 30, 31 July 2021). Please see the detailed topic list/activities timetable which will be made available on the WATTLE website.
2 Some of the topics which will be covered in this course include: Constitutional Bases for National Security Legislation Legal Structures for the Australian Intelligence Community Laws responding to Espionage, Foreign Interference, Foreign Influence, Terrorism Legal Frameworks for Electronic Interception and Intelligence Gathering; and The Australian National Security Oversight System Further topics will be confirmed based on the availability of guest speakers

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Multiple Choice Quiz 10 % 26/07/2021 * 1,2,4
Assignment 30 % 09/08/2021 26/08/2021 1,2,3,4
Research Essay 60 % 06/09/2021 24/09/2021 1,2,3,4,5

* 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 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

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 26/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Multiple Choice Quiz

Brief details: Students will be required to answer 10 multiple choice questions. These 10 questions will be selected at random from a bank of questions designed by the convenor. The questions will cover the content of the topics to be discussed on 23 and 24 July 2021 (including the materials in podcasts released before these dates) . This activity will be used to provide feedback to students before 50% of the course is completed. The Quiz can be accessed any time during the 24 hours following its release. The quiz MUST be completed in 30 minutes online on WATTLE once it is released. Once the quiz session is commenced it will be timed out after 30 minutes; only one session attempt is permitted. Students will be able to navigate freely through the questions for the duration of the 30 minutes of the quiz until they have submitted their final answers.

If you experience unavoidable and extenuating circumstances and cannot complete the quiz at the due date and time, you should apply for an extension to the College of Law student admin team here: https://law.anu.edu.au/forms/assessment-extension-request. The College will give you one further opportunity to complete the quiz, at the same time one week later. This will be your final opportunity to complete the quiz.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to complete the quiz will result in a 0 for this task.

Release: 5:00 pm Monday 26 July 2021 via WATTLE.

Duration:  30 minutes. The quiz must be submitted before 5:00 pm on 27 July 2021.

Due: 5:00 pm Tuesday 27 July 2021 via WATTLE. Please note in order to have the full 30 minutes for the quiz you must have commenced the quiz by 4:30 pm Tuesday 27 July 2021.

Estimated return date: Once all eligible students have completed the quiz.

Assessment Criteria: Students will be assessed on their ability to answer the questions accurately.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 09/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 26/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4


Format: Take-home set question Statutory Explanation/Law Reform assessment or case note.

Relationship between the Assessment Task and the Course Objectives: This assessment task will focus upon applying relevant law and legal principles to a hypothetical law reform style task, assessing the impact of the relevant statutory provisions and justifying suggested changes to them/ OR discussing the significance of a recent case. The exact scope of this task will be confirmed on Wattle.

Approval of Topic: The topic is set and will be released by 5 pm on Friday 23 July 2021.

Due: 5 pm Monday 9 August 2021 . Late submission without an extension is permitted, but a mark penalty will be imposed.

Length: 2000 words (max, including footnotes in Australian Guide to Legal Citation compliant format). A Bibliography is NOT required.

Estimated Date of Results: Thursday 26 August 2021.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Content

  • answering the question(s) asked
  • identification of the legal issues raised from the questions
  • legal principles stated/explained accurately
  • legal principles stated/explained in appropriate detail
  • recognition and evaluation of judicial and/or statutory ambiguities and ‘grey areas’
  • originality/innovation in approach to issues
  • clear conclusions/recommendations made

b) Structure/organisation

  • emphasis on the significant issues
  • answer is coherent and structure logical

c) Expression

  • 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, style in accordance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th edition) but NO bibliography is required
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 06/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 24/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay

Format: Research Essay

Approval of Topic: Students will select from a selection of essay topics provided by the course convenor. These topics will be released by 5pm on Friday 30 July 2021.

Due: 5 pm Monday 6 September 2021 . Late submission is permitted, but a mark penalty will be imposed.

Length: The total word length for the essay is 4000 words (max, including footnotes in Australian Guide to Legal Citation compliant format, but excluding bibliography).

Estimated Date of Results: Friday 24 September 2021.

Assessment Criteria:

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

c)   Argument/Analysis

  • 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

d)   Research

  • 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
  • adherence to word limit

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

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).

Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

Research Interests

Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza is a Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law. Dom conducts research on Australian Public Law and the process by which Australian counter-terrorism legislation has been enacted. From 2006 to 2010 she was a PhD candidate with the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales where she developed her interest in National Security Law. In 2010 she completed her PhD titled 'The Australian Approach to Enacting Counter-Terrorism Laws'.  Her work on the national security law-making process has been published in journals such as the Public Law Review and in many edited collections.

Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

By Appointment
Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

Research Interests

Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

By Appointment

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