• Class Number 4643
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Cameron Roles
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2021
  • Class End Date 05/10/2021
  • Census Date 13/08/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/07/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course examines the legal regulation of work in the Australian Public Service. The diverse sources and changing balance of employment rights and obligations are examined - the contract of employment, legislation (both APS and more generally), administrative law and collective bargaining, including reforms to collective bargaining brought about by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

The course examines the legal regulation of work with particular attention to the Commonwealth public service. The diverse sources and changing balance of employment rights and obligations are examined - the contract of employment, legislation for the workplace, in particular the role of administrative law and the provisions of the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth) and subordinate legislation, minimum standards (both statutory and those contained in modern awards), and collective bargaining.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify, explain and analyse the various elements, frameworks and legislation applicable in public sector employment law;
  2. Demonstrate understanding of, and critically analyse, the evolution of differences and similarities between public and private sector employment law; and
  3. Identify, critically evaluate and explain contemporary policy issues involved in legal regulation of employment generally and public sector employment specifically;
  4. Demonstrate the ability, to a Masters level standard, to plan and produce a substantial research project, analysing and critiquing issues covered in the course.

Research-Led Teaching

Cameron aims to bring to this course his passion for Australian employment law, and in particular for employment law as it impacts on the Australian Public Service. The course draws in part on Cameron’s own research, in particular in areas such as APS discipline and termination and enterprise bargaining. The assessment scheme is designed to give you the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of research into public sector employment law, giving you the opportunity to critique and analyse this dynamic area of legal regulation.

Required Resources

There are two texts for this course. One is free (and can be downloaded electronically) and one must be purchased. The book which must be purchased is:

Andrew Stewart Stewart's Guide to Employment Law (Federation Press, 6th edition, 2018). There is a 7th edition of this text, which will be released on 21 July 2021. I haven't prescribed that edition, as it may arrive just after the start of our course. The 6th edition is also only three years old, so it is still quite current. If you would like to get the 7th edition, I will put up the requisite page numbers for that edition in the Wattle reading guide once it is released. For anyone who has the 6th edition, I will make sure I explain recent developments relevant to public sector employment law, so don't feel you will be disadvantaged. I would suggest you buy the 7th edition from Federation Press. The 6th edition is available from all good outlets.

The second text is:

Marilyn Pittard and Phillipa Weeks (eds) Public Sector Employment in the Twenty-First Century (ANU Press, 2007).

The Pittard and Weeks edited collection is a little dated now, but its treatment of the profound changes to public sector employment law since Federation is excellent. You can purchase it if you would like a printed copy, or you can download it here:


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 Tuesday and Thursday (27th and 29th of July) Introduction and Orientation Sources of employment obligations and the nature of APS employment Contemporary Model of APS employment –overview of the APS Act
2 Tuesday and Thursday (3rd and 5th August) Employee obligations during the employment relationship The powers of Agency Heads Adverse action and bullying
3 Tuesday and Thursday (10th and 12th August) Investigating Misconduct Ending the employment relationship Remedies on termination of employment
4 Saturday (21st August) Minimum standards Enterprise agreements Negotiating enterprise agreements

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assessment Task 1: Quiz 20 % * * 1
Assessment Task 2: Research Essay 80 % 05/10/2021 29/10/2021 1,2,3,4

* 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.


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: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1

Assessment Task 1: Quiz

Assessment Task 1: Quiz (20%)

Brief Description: At the conclusion of each week’s class, students will be required to access the course WATTLE site and complete a short 5 question online quiz. The quiz is designed to cover material learned in each week of the course. The idea is to give you an incentive to keep up with the material. There is no need to study specifically for this quiz – if you have completed the pre-reading, and/or been paying attention throughout the classes, you won’t have any difficulty with the quiz. The purpose of the quiz is simply to test your understanding of the material covered. The quiz will be multiple choice, and should only take a few minutes at the conclusion of each week. At the conclusion of the course your marks out of 5 will be added up, and the total mark will be the final mark you will receive for the quiz.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to undertake any or all of the quizzes will result in a mark of 0 for that quiz or quizzes. If you experience unavoidable and extenuating circumstances and cannot sit a 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 particular quiz, at the same time three working days later. This will be your final opportunity to sit the quiz.

Weighting: 20%


  • Quiz 1 - 5pm Friday 30 July 2021
  • Quiz 2 - 5pm Friday 6 August 2021
  • Quiz 3 - 5pm Friday 13 August 2021
  • Quiz 4 - 5pm Monday 23 August 2021

Each quiz must be completed within 72 hours of its release.

Duration: After logging on you will have 15 minutes to answer each block of five questions

Due date:

  • Quiz 1 - 5pm Monday 2 August 2021
  • Quiz 2 - 5pm Monday 9 August 2021
  • Quiz 3 - 5pm Monday 16 August 2021
  • Quiz 4 - 5pm Thursday 26 August 2021

Estimated return date: The marks will be returned to you once all eligible students have completed the quiz.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 80 %
Due Date: 05/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 29/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assessment Task 2: Research Essay

Brief Description: A selection of essay topics (3 or more) will be made available to students on the course WATTLE site as soon as possible, but at the latest following the conclusion of teaching of the course on 21 August. You are welcome to choose a topic yourself. I will need to approve the choice of topic three weeks before the essay is due.

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

Weighting: 80%

Word Limit: 5000 words

Release: Essay topics will be made available to students on or before 21 August 2021.

Due date: 5pm, Tuesday 5 October 2021. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply.

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

b)     drawn on

·        issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified

·        material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just

c)      summarised or quoted extensively

d)     Communication & Development of Argument

·        clear theme or argument

·        arguments logical and well-organised

·        ideas/paragraphs linked coherently

e)     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

f)       Research

·        research covering primary and secondary materials

·        good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research

g)      materials used

·        use of theoretical material where appropriate

·        range of research sources

·        integration of material from research resources into the essay

h)     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.

Estimated return date: 29 October 2021

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.
  • 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.

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).

Cameron Roles

Research Interests

Cameron’s research interest is labour law. His current research project is concerned with the extent to which the law can legitimately prevent a current or former employee from soliciting, enticing or otherwise encouraging one or many current or former colleagues to leave employment and enter into competition with the former employer. The project critiques trial and appellate court decisions in the United Kingdom and Australia, and seeks to better define the extent to which an employer should be able to regulate such employee competition.

Cameron’s previous research projects have had a particular focus on labour law as it applies in the Australian Public Service (APS). In late 2013 Cameron critiqued the Fair Work Act’s genuine redundancy exclusion as it applies in the APS, and argued for its reform. He has also examined (primarily with Michael O’Donnell of the University of New South Wales) APS enterprise bargaining under both Labor and Coalition governments. He has also analysed recent reforms to the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth).

Cameron Roles

By Appointment

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