• Class Number 7295
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Darryn Jensen
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

With our ageing population succession law is a growing area of practice for legal practitioners. The course examines the law governing succession to property after the death of the owner. Succession law touches every family, and, eventually, all of us.

Major topics include:

    the nature of wills and their relationship to contracts;
    capacity to make a will, fraud on the testator, undue influence, formalities for making a will and how a will is revoked;
    what wills mean and how they are applied;
    the principles and practice of drafting wills;
    loss of capacity to benefit under a will; for instance, for killing the testator;
    how an estate is divided when there is no will; and
    how the law protects family members against being disinherited by will.

The law on the various topics is considered in a social and political context, and the principles and rules are related to theory and to practice.  While the course concentrates on the law of the ACT, students will also frequently make comparisons and consider the law in other jurisdictions.  It follows that considerable attention is given to pressures and directions for reform.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Examine, assess and apply the basic principles of the Law of Succession;
  2. Synthesise, evaluate and apply the detailed ruled of Succession law in relation to relevant legal principles in selected areas;
  3. Investigate and critically evaluate the socio-political imperatives that drive the development of the Law of Succession;
  4. Explore and compare the relationship and interaction between the Law of Succession and other areas of law, such as Taxation, Estate Planning, Contract Law, Family Law, Property Law, and the Law of Trusts;
  5. Synthesise and critically analyse the practice of the Law of Succession in selected areas, including the relationship between law and practice and the principles of Will Drafting; and
  6. Critically examine and apply principles of ethical practice and professional responsibility in the practice of Succession Law.

Research-Led Teaching

Rules of succession law are considered and evaluated against their historical background, in terms of their coherence as a principled system and as a response to public policy considerations. Such consideration is informed by the lecturer's own research in private law.

Required Resources

Rosalind Croucher and Prue Vines, Succession: Families, Property and Death (5th ed: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2018)

Ken Mackie, Principles of Australian Succession Law (3rd ed: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2017)

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

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

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

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 details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 What is Succession Law?
2 Formal Requirements for Wills
3 Formal Requirements for Wills ctd
4 Revocation and Alteration of Wills
5 Testamentary Capacity and Intention to Make a Will
6 Probate and Letters of Administration
7 Executors and Administrators
8 The Text and Meaning of a Will
9 Failure of Gifts
10 Family Provision
11 Intestacy
12 Revision

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration is not required. Tutorial exercises will be built into the online seminar program

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Optional Online Quiz 0 % 23/08/2021 23/08/2021 1
Essay 50 % 30/08/2021 08/10/2021 1,2,3,5
Take Home Examination or Essay 50 % * * 1,2,4

* 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:

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.


This course involves reading, thinking and arguing. Effective participation in this course requires around 6 hours of reading each week. You should seek to read as much of the recommended reading for the week as you can.

Students are expected to prepare for both lectures and seminars and to engage critically in the discussion that takes place there. Neither lecture attendance or tutorial attendance is compulsory but it is, in part, by means of such engagement and the feedback you get from that that you will be able to evaluate and enhance the quality of your learning of the course content and skills. Lectures will be recorded. Tutorials will not be recorded but notes on selected tutorials will be available on Wattle at the end of the relevant weeks.

To further enhance your learning in this course you may also find it useful to regularly access the course WATTLE site.


Students should consult the ANU examination timetable once finalised to confirm the date, duration and time of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 23/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 23/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1

Optional Online Quiz

Brief Details: The quiz will consist of ten (10) multiple choice questions. The quiz is designed to enable students to test their understanding of basic concepts of succession law without any effect on their final grades.

Nature of task: Optional

Weighting: 0%

Release:  9:00am Monday, 16 August 2021 via WATTLE.

Due date:  9:00am Monday, 23 August 2021 via WATTLE. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated return date: A mark (out of 10) and feedback will be provided immediately upon completion of the quiz.

Assessment Criteria: Students’ marks for this assessment will not count towards their final grades, but the feedback to students will include a mark out of 10 based on the number of correct responses.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 30/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 08/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5


Brief Details: Students will do independent research and write an essay on their choice of one of the two topics supplied by the lecturer.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Weighting: 50%

Release: The topics will be available in Week 1 of the semester.

Due date: 5:00 pm Monday, 30 August 2021 via Turnitin. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted but late penalties apply.

Word limit: 3,000 words

Estimated return date: End of Week 9; Individual written feedback will be provided to students using Turnitin.

Other: AGLC style referencing of sources and a bibliography are required.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Independent Research
  • Written Communication
  • Structure of Essay
  • Response to Question
  • Referencing and Compliance with Citation Style

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Take Home Examination or Essay

Take Home Examination

Brief Details: This examination will consist of a single problem-style question covering a range of topics. All topics will be examinable. As this is a take-home examination, students may access any materials during the examination. Short form referencing of sources may be used, i.e. AGLC referencing style is not required.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Non-submission of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Release: The exam will be released via Wattle. Students should consult the ANU examination timetable once finalised to confirm the date, duration and time of the exam.

Due: The exam will be released via Wattle. Students should consult the ANU examination timetable once finalised to confirm the date, duration and time of the exam.(Late submission is not permitted.)

Duration: Two and a half (2 1/2) hours.

Permitted Material: Any material.

Weighting: 50%

Estimated return date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Content
  • Structure and Organisation
  • Written Expression and Referencing



Brief Details: Students will do independent research and write an essay on a topic of their choice. Students who wish to submit an essay as the final assessment for the course must propose a topic to the course convenor by 5:00pm on Monday 7 September 2021. The choice of topic is subject to the convenor's approval. Students who have not proposed a topic by 7 September will be taken to have elected to do the take home examination as their final assessment.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Weighting: 50%

Due date: 5:00 pm Monday, 8 November 2021 via Turnitin. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted but late penalties apply.

Word limit: 3,000 words

Estimated return date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin.

Other: AGLC style referencing of sources and a bibliography are required.

Assessment Criteria:

Independent Research

Written Communication

Structure of Essay

Response to Question

Referencing and Compliance with Citation Style

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

Hard copy submission is not required in this course.

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.
  • Late submission with an extension. To ensure equity for all students, the 5% penalty per working day for late submission of work does not apply if you have been given an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time is provided in writing. Please note that the revised due date is calculated by including weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date are penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the assessment task per day or part thereof.

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.

Returning Assignments

All assessment for this course will be submitted online, so assessment marks and feedback will be accessible online.

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 Darryn Jensen
+61 2 6125 4454

Research Interests

Trusts, Private Law Theory (including theories of property), Adjudication theory, Charitable and religious institutions.

Dr Darryn Jensen

Tuesday 09:00 10:00
Wednesday 17:00 18:00

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