- Class Number 1570
- Term Code 3120
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery Online
- Dr Philippa Ryan
- Dr Philippa Ryan
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/02/2021
- Class End Date 23/04/2021
- Census Date 05/03/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 22/02/2021
This course explores how law and policy is shaping and being shaped by digital economies. Big technology companies dominate the stock exchange and Fortune 500. Mobile apps support mega marketplaces, supported by seamless online payments systems. Gig economy networks are disrupting traditional service and employment models. This ecosystem is fueled by data. Our every movement, search, post, sentiment, purchase, and deletion is saved, scraped, stored, analysed, and sold. Our personal information is being harvested and fed back to us. Topics include:
- Defamation on social media
- Industrial relations in gig economies
- The supreme court of Facebook
- Accountability of algorithms
- Smart contracts in financial markets
- Crypto-bubbles and Ponzi schemes
The legal and policy challenges to be examined include deciding jurisdiction, identifying participants, antitrust regulation, monitoring taxable events and financial surveillance.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Investigate and critically evaluate how the law and policy is shaping and being shaped by digital economies.
- Reflect critically on the legal ramifications of automating legal relationships and decision-making.
- Explore and review the legal principles and rules applicable to cryptocurrencies, digital assets and smart contracts.
- Critically analyse and assess the dispute resolution mechanisms developed by online marketplace providers and social media platforms.
- Undertake legal research and present findings which evaluate how e-business models have disrupted employment and business arrangements and relationships.
PA Ryan, Trust and Distrust in Digital Economies (Routledge, 2019) - ebook available at https://www.routledge.com/Trust-and-Distrust-in-Digital-Economies/Ryan/p/book/9781138477483
An additional reading list will be available on the course Wattle site.
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
Word length and excess word penalties: 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||Introduction to digital economies|
|2||Defamation on social media|
|3||Industrial relations in gig economies|
|4||The supreme court of Facebook|
|5||Accountability of algorithms|
|6||Smart contracts in financial markets|
|7||Crypto-bubbles and Ponzi schemes|
|8||Regulation of digital economies|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Three blog posts||30 %||15/03/2021||22/03/2021||1,2,3,4|
|Research essay||50 %||19/04/2021||10/05/2020||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:
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 intensive mode, the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program and students are required to attend ALL classes (and all of each class).
In exceptional circumstances, a student may be granted permission by the Course Convenor, in consultation with the Stream Convenor or Director, LLM Program, to miss some classes, provided:
a. it does not exceed a maximum of 25% of the classes;
b. permission is requested in advance; and
c. the request is supported, where appropriate, by adequate documentation.
Failure to comply with this policy may result in a student receiving the grade of NCN (non-complete fail). The normal pressures of work or planned personal trips do not constitute exceptional circumstances to justify an exemption from full compliance of this policy.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Three blog posts
Name of Assessment Task
Three blog posts (10% for each blog post)
Details of Task: The blog posts provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their learning in the first three weeks of the course.
Nature of Task: The blog posts are compulsory. Non-completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.
Word Limit: 1,800 words total; 600 words per blog
Blog post 1: Monday 1 March 2021 (600 words max) to the relevant Discussion Forum in Wattle.
Blog post 2: Monday 8 March 2021 (600 words max) to the relevant Discussion Forum in Wattle.
Blog post 3: Monday 15 March 2021 (600 words max) to the relevant Discussion Forum in Wattle.
Estimated Return Date: Within approximately one week of the submission dates.
- Understanding of the material taught in the course;
- Ability to make connections across the materials;
- Clarity and conciseness; and
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Details of Task: Students must answer 30 multiple choice questions to be completed within 90 minutes. The questions will focus on knowledge of the terminology, process and rules arising from Topics 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the course.
Nature of the task: Compulsory. Failure to participate will result in 0 marks for this task. If you experience unavoidable and extenuating circumstances and cannot sit the quiz at the due date and time, you should apply for an extension to the College of Law student admin team here:
The College will give you one opportunity to sit the quiz, at the same time one week later. This will be your final opportunity to sit the quiz.
Release: Monday 29 March 2021, 2pm via WATTLE. Students will have four hours to sit this test, which should take just 90 minutes to complete.
Due: Monday 29 March 2021, 6pm via WATTLE. Submissions after the due date will not be accepted.
Estimated return date: Tuesday 6 April 2021, 6pm via Wattle.
Assessment Criteria: N/A
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Details of Task: The research essay will require students to conduct independent research that investigates a theme, issue or policy related to digital economies and the law. Original research will be required. Essays must include a bibliography, which is excluded from the word count.
Nature of Task: The research essay is compulsory. Non-completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.
Word Limit: 3,600 words
Release: Students may choose a topic from a list that will be made available by 4 pm Monday 22 February 2021 on Wattle.
Due Date: Monday 19 April 2021, at 5pm via Turnitin. Students must submit the essay electronically via the Wattle and Turnitin dropboxes on the course Wattle site. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.
Estimated Return Date: Within approximately three weeks of the submission date.
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
- 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.
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
The lecturers in this course are experts in this field and their teaching is led by their scholarship and research into AI and the impact of new technologies on society and the law.
Dr Philippa Ryan