- Class Number 2396
- Term Code 3130
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
- Prof Leighton McDonald
- Daniel Stewart
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/02/2021
- Class End Date 28/05/2021
- Census Date 31/03/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
Administrative Law examines the legal framework for controlling decision-making by Commonwealth, State and local government decision-makers in Australia. It focuses on the legal restraints upon government, and the role those restraints play in maintaining government accountability. The role played by courts, tribunals and Ombudsman and the opportunities available to the public to question government activity is examined. The course covers the core administrative law material required for admission purposes and for work in the area of law and government. The following topics will be covered:
what accountability means in the context of the administrative state';
changing patterns of 'governance' in contemporary Australia;
the historical and constitutional context of Australian administrative law;
the administrative law framework for review of government decision-making;
concepts and principles of merits and judicial review;
jurisdiction and remedies available from courts and tribunals, and the principles of standing;
other administrative law avenues including information access rights and ombudsmen; and
the impact of human rights legislation on Australian administrative law.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Identify, explain and apply the principles of administrative law covered in the course;
- Identify and analyse some of the current controversies and trends in the area of administrative law
- Access, use, interpret and apply complex statutory material to solve administrative law problems;
- Select and apply a range of approaches to written and oral communication, and apply the critical thinking required to bring about solutions to complex administrative law problems;
- Analyse and predict how unresolved or ambiguous administrative law questions could be resolved by the courts through an analysis of case law and the judicial method.
The seminars will be taught by scholars who research in administrative law (see above ‘Contact Information’). The course will include consideration of current research and contemporary issues.
Professor Leighton McDonald's research is widely cited in the administrative law literature. He is legal adviser to the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, Parliament of Australia, and was Associate to the Hon Justice Mary Gaudron. See https://law.anu.edu.au/people/leighton-mcdonald.
Daniel Stewart has published widely on a range of administrative law topics, including important recent publications on freedom of information law. Daniel also acts as the Independent Research Monitor for Australia for the International Open Government Partnership, and is the legal adviser to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety (Legislative Scrutiny Role) of the ACT Parliament. He also has extensive experience as a consultant for HWL Ebsworth solicitors on matters involving administrative law and has served as an Associate in the Federal Court of Australia. See https://law.anu.edu.au/people/daniel-stewart
Students will require a textbook and the associated ‘cases’ book. The books can be purchased as a 'pack'.
Text: Peter Cane, Leighton McDonald, and Kristen Rundle, Principles of Administrative Law (3rd ed, Oxford University Press, 2018)
Cases: Peter Cane, Leighton McDonald, and Kristen Rundle, Cases for Principles of Administrative Law (3rd ed , Oxford University Press, 2018)
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- written comments
- verbal comments
- feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups
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.
Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties
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 current Grading Distribution Policy has been suspended pending the development of a new policy. For further information about the interim policy 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 and updates relating to the course.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction to the Australian Administrative Law System Introduction to Judicial Review|
|2||The Scope of Judicial Review under Statutory Sources of Jurisdiction Supervisory jurisdiction of State Supreme Courts Review of delegated legislation|
|3||Judicial Review Remedies and the centrality of jurisdictional error What are jurisdictional errors?|
|4||Remedies: the nuts and bolts The consequences of invalidity Introduction to Grounds of review Procedural Fairness Hearing Rule|
|5||Procedural Fairness Hearing Rule (continued) Rule against bias; statutory procedures|
|6||Relevant and irrelevant considerations Unauthorised purposes|
|7||The role of policy in decision-making; dictation; delegation Fact/Law distinction; Jurisdictional facts|
|8||Legal reasonableness and Standing|
|9||Statutory restrictions on judicial review|
|10||Merits review and tribunals|
|11||Internal review and Ombudsmen Freedom of Information legislation|
Please read carefully as enrolment in seminar groups commences prior to O’ Week:
The course will be taught face-to-face but students will also be able to attend online through Zoom. Seminar leaders will be teaching to a live audience but will also periodically monitor the chat function on Zoom.
Numbers of face-to-face places will be capped in line with COVID-19 social distancing considerations at the time enrolment commences. It is hoped that all students who wish to attend in person will be able to do so. Students will be able to sign up for a face-to-face place (see below for date and time). For help with the management of social distancing issues and in consideration of other students please do not sign up for a face-to-face place if you do not intend to regularly attend class in person.
Please also note that all students must enrol in a particular seminar group, including those who prefer to attend class online or to listen to a recording of class. Assessment tasks will only be graded if you have enrolled in a particular seminar group.
Enrolment for seminars and face-to-face places will open Wednesday 10 February 2021 from 7 am.
Enrolment will be conducted through the course WATTLE page.
To reiterate: to manage social distancing students may only attend a seminar in person if they have a face-to-face place in that class.
If you have limited flexibility in your schedule, you are encouraged to enrol as early as possible to secure your preferred seminar group.
See university timetable for times and locations of the seminar groups: http://timetable.anu.edu.au/
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Online Quiz||0 %||03/04/2021||03/04/2021||1,2|
|Mid-Semester Take-home assignment||30 %||07/04/2021||14/05/2021||1,2,4,5|
|Final Online Exam||70 %||*||01/07/2021||1,2,3,4,5|
|Optional Class Participation||10 %||*||03/06/2021||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:
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 ANU Online website. 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.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
Details of Task: There will be 15 multiple choice questions covering all course material up to the date the quiz goes online.
Nature of Task: This task is optional. No marks are allocated for this quiz but it provides a useful way for students to receive feedback on their understanding of the course material.
Value or weighting: 0%
Release: Friday 26 March 2021 by 5pm (on WATTLE).
Due date: Any time before 5pm on Saturday 3 April 2021 (the end of week 6). The quiz will not be available after this date.
Estimated return date: You will receive feedback on your answers as soon as you have completed the quiz on WATTLE.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5
Mid-Semester Take-home assignment
Details of Task: The mid-semester take-home assignment is designed to develop your capacity to engage carefully and critically with the cases and issues covered in the first half of the course. You will need to answer two questions with answers of 500 words per question. This will assist you in fulfilling the learning outcomes, with an emphasis on expected learning outcomes 1, 2, 4 and 5. The assessment task will also prepare students for ‘reflective/argumentative questions’ which will be included in the final examination (see below for further information). Well prepared students should expect to be able to complete the assignment in 3-4 hours.
Nature of Task: Compulsory. Non-submission will result in ‘0’ marks being awarded for this assessment item.
Value or weighting: 30%.
Release: 9 am on Tuesday, 6 April 2021 (on WATTLE).
Due date: 5 pm on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 via Turnitin. Late submissions will not be accepted. For this reason it would be extremely risky to leave uploading your assignment until the last minute.
Word limit: 1000 words.
Estimated return date: Friday 14 May 2021 via Turnitin.
make appropriate and accurate use of the reading materials covered in the class plan;
structuring responses well and ensuring they are clearly and concisely expressed;
addressing the relevant issues raised in the questions and making persuasive arguments; and
demonstrating understanding of, and critical thinking on, material covered in the Class Plan and the discussion in class during weeks 1-6 of the course.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Final Online Exam
Details of task: The final exam is designed not only to test knowledge of administrative law’s rules and principles but also to enable students to demonstrate how these rules and principles may be applied to legal problems. The problem question (worth 60% of the total marks available for the exam) will require students to demonstrate sound skills of legal interpretation and reasoning. The exam will also contain two ‘reflective/argumentative questions’ (worth 40% of the total marks available). These questions will be designed to test for deep understanding, for example, by asking: how particular concepts or ideas studied in the course relate one to another, for an explanation or evaluation of conclusions reached in particular cases, or for an explanation or illustration of the importance of a particular concept/principle/case. The focus will not be on the reproduction of information.
Nature of task: Compulsory. Non-attendance will result in a ‘0’ for this assessment task.
Timing: Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date and time of the exam.
Duration: 2.5 hours
Value or weighting: 70%. (Or 60% where a student has opted to complete the 10% Optional Class Participation task, and it is to their benefit to count their grade for the Optional Class Participation task.)
Estimated Return Date: After final grades are released
make relevant and persuasive arguments;
make accurate use of relevant legal material;
are well structured and clearly and concisely expressed;
address the issues raised in the problem questions and reason persuasively by reference to relevant legal rules and principles; and
demonstrate understanding of, and critical thinking on, material covered in the course.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Optional Class Participation
The seminar (class) participation component is optional and will be based on face-to-face participation in seminars. Seminar preparation throughout semester will prepare students for the final examination.
Grades will be based on contributions throughout the entire semester but consideration will also be given to a student's contribution in their ‘on-deck’ week. To indicate a choice to receive a (redeemable) participation grade, students need to sign up to be ‘on-deck’ for a particular week. On-deck sign up will be open until 05.03.2021. Approximately four students will be ‘on-deck’ in any given week and students will be able to sign-up to be on-deck in a particular week when seminar group enrolment opens.
Students who are ‘on-deck’ should prepare so they are in a position to respond to questions and to actively participate in class discussion. However, this contribution is not intended to exclude the participation of others. Participation grades will be based on general contributions throughout the semester and ‘on-deck’ contribution.
Nature of Task: Optional. Students who do not choose to sign up for seminar participation, or do not qualify nor choose to be assessed on their participation grade through an alternative route, will have their final exam count for 70% of their grade.
Value or weighting: 10%.
Assessment criteria: Class participation marks will be awarded according to how well students:
demonstrate thoughtful engagement with the readings being discussed in class;
are clear in their expression and make persuasive arguments;
contribute to fostering discussion;
encourage and respect others’ contributions;
make contributions of quality, rather than quantity.
Additional Information: Student who are not in Canberra due to the COVID-19 situation will have the option of qualifying for a participation grade through an alternative route.
Students not in Canberra will be able to indicate their intention to sign up for this alternative on WATTLE. (This mode of participation will involve four 200-250 word answers to questions drawn from the class plan over the course semester – one answer from weeks 1-3, one from weeks 4-6, one from weeks 7-9, and one from weeks 10-12). As a substitute for class participation, each response must be submitted prior to the relevant seminar class to indicate students are regularly reading and preparing to actively engage during seminars. As with oral participation, grades will be allocated on the basis of evidence that students have thoughtfully engaged with the reading prior to class.
This alternative arrangement for participation will also be available if a student is in Canberra but is not able to secure a face-to-face place in any of the three available seminar groups. It is not expected this situation will arise, but any student in Canberra who cannot secure a face-to -face place should contact the course convenor if they wish no later than 05.03.2021 to discuss their situation.
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
Administrative law, public law, legal theory
Prof Leighton McDonald