• Class Number 4618
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Sarah Steele
    • Cameron Roles
    • Dilan Thampapillai
    • Sarah Steele
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 08/10/2021
  • Census Date 13/08/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/07/2021
SELT Survey Results

While originally coined in 2006 by Tarana Burke, a social activist and community organiser, the #MeToo movement moved into the spotlight in 2017 when several female celebrities accused film mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. Since then, women (and some men) around the world have shared their experiences with sexual violence and harassment across social media and the press using both #metoo and #timesup. These hashtags aimed not just to bring the issues to the collective attention, but to end sexual violence and discrimination in all their forms by breaking the silence around gender-based violence and promoting social change.

Beyond giving survivors a platform to discuss their experiences, these movements also raised important legal issues. For example, #metoo raised issues around spoliation, statutes of limitation, due process, wrongful termination, libel, non-disclosure agreements, backlogs of evidence, and sexual harassment and abuse in legal workplaces, amongst other issues. Changes occurred as a result of the movement, but at the same time back-steps happened in some jurisdictions as a backlash was felt.

In this module, we discuss the issues #metoo raised for the criminal justice system and civil courts, while considering the broader socio-legal interface to explore potential further points for improving equality and addressing inequity for those experiencing sexual violence and harassment, including in the legal profession itself. The module brings experts from their respective issues to ask: What did #metoo highlight? What legal changes did it initiate? What work is there still to be done?

Students will begin by considering the theoretical underpinnings of the movement, exploring violence, intersectionality, marginalisation and access to justice. Next, we consider the role of social media and the digital age in the momentum #metoo gained, and what legal issues this raises. Then, we move to explore what the movement has highlighted about the problems and pitfalls of the criminal law, evidence and procedure for those with claims, both old and new. In the civil realm, we explore issues around contracts, arbitration provisions, and non-disclosure agreements, asking what these mean for breaking the silence. Finally, we consider how the legal profession itself has come into focus as a site of sexual harassment and abuse, raising issues for courts, law firms and the profession more broadly. In short, students explore how #metoo has made significant and lasting difference, but also explore how its impacts have been felt unequally, looking to what can be done moving forward.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Investigate and critically evaluate how responses to sexual misconduct, rape and sexual assault have been augmented by online advocacy, both in theory and in practice;
  2. Reflect critically on the how law both shaped, and is shaped by, #metoo and related campaigns on gender-based violence and discrimination;
  3. Explore and review the legal principles and rules applicable to sexual misconduct and violence inside and outside of the workplace, and evaluate how these principles sit within the broader legal framework;
  4. Critically analyse and assess what the #MeToo and allied contemporary movements mean for the legal profession and legal workplaces; and
  5. Plan and execute complex legal research in order to critically evaluate how #metoo has impacted on the law and on our understandings of gender-based violence and feminism.

Research-Led Teaching

The course draws in experts from around the University to discuss topics they are researching and practicing around. Further online resources will draw on research case studies and reflexive content. At the same time, students are asked to engage in their own research projects and engage in peer-to-peer learning around research and legal issues encountered. The aim is for students to be partners in the research process around this issue of significant international importance.

Required Resources

There will be electronic resources provided on Wattle for all students.

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 #Metoo: the phenomenon and its theoretical underpinnings Reflective Online Journal Forum Participation
2 Diversity and social movements around violence Reflective Online Journal Forum Participation
3 #Metoo, human rights discrimination and the law Reflective Online Journal Forum Participation
4 The Regulatory Context of #Metoo in Australian Higher Education and Beyond Reflective Online Journal Forum Participation
5 #Metoo, Contracts, Power, and Process Reflective Online Journal Forum Participation
6 Sexual Violence and the Adversarial System: Truth, Trauma and Attrition Reflective Online Journal Forum Participation
7 #Metoo and Employment Law Reflective Online Journal Forum Participation
8 #Metoo and the Legal Profession Reflective Online Journal
9 The future of #Metoo: technology, inclusivity and being active bystanders Forum Participation

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Reflective Online Journal 30 % * * 1-4
Forum Participation 10 % * * 1-4
Research Essay 60 % 08/10/2021 29/10/2021 1-5

* 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 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: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-4

Reflective Online Journal

Students are asked to complete reflective journal pieces after each session. These pieces should seek to explore critically both the student’s learning and the content of the session itself. There is no required length to this reflective exercise, although each reflection should comprise of no less than 200 words. Students are advised that in their entries they should reflect critically on their understandings: 1) of the strengths and weaknesses of the content, 2) of the law, and3) of different perspectives presented.

Students are advised that we can see different experiences of learning from other people's eyes and make new connections, often between topics and disciplines, and that it is therefore important to take time to:

1.   self-assess what they know or thought they knew;

2.   think about how they might improve their understanding;

3.   think about how to improve the law itself.

The reflective journal is time to undertake these important reflections and to emerge skills that are simultaneously reflexive as they are critical. It is noted this content is used not only for peer-to-peer learning, but I also look to how a session benefited or not students, and that I use the reflections to inform my teaching and learning.

Students are reminded that it is important that they to approach reflexive practice sensitively to others, and it is note that engagement should be respectful. Students are reminded that many participants of the class are likely to be survivors of harassment and other forms of violence, and therefore it is critical to build respect, trust, communication amongst the diversity of experiences and views in the class. Students are made aware that should reflective practice bring up issues you need support with, they can head to this site which can help them with disclosure options, a range of internal ANU and external services and other options like joining the ambassador programme.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. As an intensive module, students are expected to participate in all sessions. Students who fail to complete the task before the next session will receive a mark of 0 for that particular session. Students who miss more than three entries over the course of the module (e.g. receive three marks of 0 across the course) will receive a 0 mark for this element of the course.

Assessment Criteria:

a)   Appropriate description of context/critical incident/experience/conflict

  • Sets the stage and allow understanding of the experience that is the foundation for the reflection.
  • Not too much is spent on describing but on analysis of how this informs the reflector’s self-understanding, practice and others or course concepts.

b)   Clarity

  • The language is clear and readable.
  • Concepts are explained accurately, where applicable.

c)   Evidence of thinking around changed practice now and in the future

  • It should be clear what new knowledge has been gained or thinking changed.
  • Reflections should refer to action and how this might relate to what they do in the future.
  • There should be sensitivity to diversity, alongside self-awareness.

d)   Expression and style

  • Reflection is highly personal and therefore the first person should be used.
  • While free writing is permissible, the reflection should have an internal structure and should dedicate most of the time to analyzing and synthesizing learning, rather than describing.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1-4

Forum Participation

Students are asked to engage with forum posts made by others and to comment respectfully and thoughtfully, engaging with the content presented in class, the readings and more widely. Students should contribute a total of 800 words of posts on other students’ reflections over the course, although greater participation is encouraged.

Students are advised that they should reflect on understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the content, of the law, and of different perspectives presented. They are advised that we can see different experiences of learning from other people's eyes and make new connections, often between topics and disciplines. It is therefore important to take time to self-assess what they know or thought they knew, and how they might improve their understanding, and improve the law itself. It is noted this content is used not only for peer-to-peer learning, but I also look to how a session benefited or not students, and that I use the reflections to inform my teaching and learning.

It is critical to approach commenting and engagement sensitively to others, and it is note that engagement should be respectful. Students are reminded that many participants of the class are likely to be survivors of harassment and other forms of violence, and therefore it is critical to build respect, trust, communication amongst the diversity of experiences and views in the class. Students are made aware that should reflective practice bring up issues you need support with, they can head to this site which can help them with disclosure options, services and other options like joining the ambassador programme.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Students are expected to make at least one comment or reflection in response to another student’s uploaded journal entry. Due to the nature of this task, extensions are not possible.

Assessment Criteria:

A)  Engagement with entries, and reflections on what is said.

B)  Clarity and quality of engagement.

C) Ability to communicate knowledge and understanding of the core concepts or experiences in response to an entry.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 08/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 29/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1-5

Research Essay

Students may choose a law research topic around #metoo that particularly interests them and write a research paper. The gold standard aimed for is that the piece should be capable of becoming a draft article. Students could consider, for example, writing a critical analysis article of a recent case or piece of legislation or reform, or consider an area requiring reform. This assessment task will assist students to satisfactorily complete ELOs 1-5 with a particular focus on detailed knowledge of new developments in an area of national and international controversy and activism.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to submit this task will result in a mark of 0 for the task.

Length: 4000 words

Deadline: 8 October 2021, 5pm.

Referencing Requirements: Students should reference their draft research articles in the style of the AGLC 4th edition.

Assessment criteria:

a)      Understanding of the Issues

  • addresses the question and covers the salient, relevant and 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 and Development of Argument

  • shows a clear theme or argument;
  • argument(s) 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 where appropriate;
  • 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

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.

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).

Sarah Steele

Research Interests

Sarah Steele is a global health law and governance expert who works on issues of gender-based violence, amongst other critical public health scholarship. She facilitates the Bystander Initiative, a part of the University of Cambridge’s Breaking the Silence campaign addressing sexual violence on campus, while also providing teaching and supervision to various projects exploring public health and violence. She continues to be based in the UK at Jesus College, Cambridge, the Department of Politics and International Studies, the Cambridge Institute of Public Health and is a Member of the Global Human Movement.


While trained as a lawyer, Sarah works across issues of law and governance, as well as gender studies and public policy, and consults on varied projects across the EU and internationally. She has appeared on television in the UK, Canada and Australia, as well as radio and vlogs, working to explore issues that improve health and wellbeing in ways that interact with the public and policy makers.

Sarah Steele

By Appointment
Cameron Roles
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Cameron Roles

Dilan Thampapillai
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Dilan Thampapillai

Sarah Steele
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Sarah Steele

By Appointment

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