• Class Number 3549
  • Term Code 3140
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Philippa Ryan
    • Dr Philippa Ryan
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 05/04/2021
  • Class End Date 04/06/2021
  • Census Date 16/04/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 05/04/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course is in two parts. Part A is a self-paced online module that provides students with the theoretical content and practical skills to design and develop a legal app that can be used in most common law jurisdictions.  The particular legal process that this app will streamline is the generation of a defence. The app will also automate the production of two additional key documents for the preparation of a defendant's case. The defence generator will be a precedent, a checklist, and a risk management tool, all combined into one bespoke easy-to-use product. This module takes approximately 12 hours to complete and culminates in an online quiz to assess your design decisions. Upon completion, students will receive a certificate of competency from Neota Logic. During the process of developing the app, students will submit researched and referenced blog posts about their understanding of the rules of pleading and best practice in relation to legal app design. In Part B of this course, students will research and submit an essay that explores the risks and benefits of using artificial intelligence and new technologies in legal contexts.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Synthesise legal knowledge and apply it to a complex legal problem
  2. Incorporate professional rules and legislation into legal risk analysis
  3. Engage in original and critical reflection on the use of AI in legal processes
  4. Communicate legal ideas effectively both verbally and in writing
  5. Research, structure and sustain a complex legal argument in relation to the use of AI in the law

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:

  • 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

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to legal processes and rules
2 Introduction to Legal App Development
3 Neota Logic training
4 Applicable civil procedure and client care rules
5 Ten things to fix in the Defence Generator template
6 Legal apps as risk management tools
7 Managing trust in the automation of legal processes
8 Discussion and Q&A

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Three blog posts 30 % 03/05/2021 14/05/2021 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
App development quiz 20 % 04/05/2021 * 1, 2, 3
Research essay 50 % 17/05/2021 07/06/2021 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 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 %
Due Date: 03/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 14/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Three blog posts

Details of Task: The blog posts provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their learning, the use of apps in legal processes and to share their reflections with each other. Each of the three posts will have a distinct theme:

  1. The universal quality of legal professional obligations and court rules in common law jurisdictions
  2. The process of applying legal professional obligations and court rules to the development of a legal app
  3. The benefits and risks of automating legal processes

Nature of Task: The blog posts are compulsory. Non-completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task. 

Word Limit: 2,400 words total; 800 words per blog 

Release: Students post their blogs to Wattle in weeks 1, 2 and 3. 

Due Date: Monday 3 May, 2021 at 5pm via the relevant Discussion Forum. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply. 

Estimated Return Date: Within approximately three weeks of the submission date. 

Assessment Criteria:

a) Understanding of the Issues

  • addresses the question and covers all the important points
  • evidence of close consideration of the question and reflection on issues raised by the topic

b) Communication of Reflection

  • clear development of the theme for the reflection
  • logical and well-organised reflection
  • ideas/paragraphs linked coherently

c) Analysis

  • originality of ideas
  • complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
  • suggestions for change where appropriate
  • interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate

d) Presentation and style

  • 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
  • adherence to word limit

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 04/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

App development quiz

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 3rd May 2021, 9am via WATTLE. This is a timed test which students will have 90 minutes to complete. Students can start the start anytime within the 24 hours that it will be open. However, students are advised not to commence it after 8am on Tuesday 4th May, as you may need the full hour until the quiz closes at 9am on Tuesday 4th May.

Due: Tuesday 4th May 2021, 9am via WATTLE. Submissions after the due date will not be accepted.

Estimated return date: Once all students have sat the quiz.

Assessment Criteria: N/A

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 17/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 07/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Research essay

Details of Task: The research essay will require students to conduct independent research to develop an extended, reasoned and scholarly response to the debate about the risks and benefits of using artificial intelligence and new technologies to automate certain processes in legal practice. 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 12 April 2021 on Wattle. 

Due Date: Monday 17 May 2021, at 5pm via the course Wattle site. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply. 

Estimated Return Date: 7 June 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

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).

Dr Philippa Ryan

Research Interests

The lecturers in this course are experts in this field and their teaching is led by their scholarship and research into the use of new technologies to automate legal processes.

Dr Philippa Ryan

By Appointment
Dr Philippa Ryan
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Dr Philippa Ryan

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions