• Class Number 2258
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • AsPr Judith Jones
    • AsPr Judith Jones
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course must be taken in the commencing semester of a student's LLB or JD enrolment. Students commencing their legal studies in Semester One are expected to undertake Foundations of Australian Law with LAWS1203 Torts. Students commencing their legal studies in Semester Two are expected to undertake Foundations of Australian Law with LAWS1204 Contracts. This is because the content in the relevant companion course is utilised in various ways in Foundations of Australian Law.

Foundations of Australian Law is designed to lay the groundwork for the remainder of students' legal studies. In particular, the course aims to assist students to develop a range of legal skills that are crucial for successful legal studies and for professional practice. Students learn the essential skills that enable them to engage with and use our principal sources of law - case law and legislation. In addition to teaching students how to analyse case law and legislation and to formulate legal arguments, the course also covers the key legal principles of statutory interpretation and the role of the courts in interpreting statutes.

To set the context for these sources of Australian law, the course also seeks to familiarise students with

  1. some of the fundamental features of the legal institutions that generate laws (the courts and the Parliament);
  2. sources of Australian law in addition to case law and legislation (including the Australian Constitution, customary law and international law); and
  3. the historical and social forces that have shaped and continue to shape the law-making process and the legal system.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. discuss and explain the sources of law in Australia
  2. discuss the historical and social context of the institutions of the Australian legal system and the process of law-making
  3. formulate oral and written arguments in response to questions about the Australian legal system and the process of law-making
  4. identify and discuss legal principles obtained from reading and analysing selected case law (including case law from the relevant companion course - see note above)
  5. use methods of legal reasoning to apply relevant legal principles for the purpose of advising on legal problems
  6. identify, discuss and apply the principles of statutory interpretation
  7. engage in legal research using a variety of legal research sources, including legal databases, in order to research case law, legislation and scholarly journal articles
  8. use legal citation conventions appropriately in the course of legal writing
  9. reflect critically on case law, legislation and the Australian legal system
  10. use feedback to critically reflect on their own developing legal skills and understanding

Research-Led Teaching

Examination Material or equipment

Information on what to expect during an examination

Required Resources

Essential: Creyke et al, Laying Down the Law (LexisNexis Butterworths, 11th ed, 2020). You must purchase this text and it must be the 11th edition. Do not purchase an earlier edition.

  • Students are strongly encouraged to also obtain a legal dictionary. One such dictionary is the: Concise Australian Legal Dictionary (Lexis Nexis Butterworths). Some booksellers (such as Harry Hartog - on campus) offer the Lexis Nexis Butterworths legal dictionary sold in a discounted bundle with the required text. While you must have the most recent edition of the textbook (see above), the same is not true for the legal dictionary. A second hand copy, or an earlier edition, of any legal dictionary is certainly adequate.
  • Students are strongly recommended to purchase a copy of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th edition) published by the Universitiy of Melbourne and available on Zookal for a modest price. A free online version is also available. However, the online version is not as convenient or as easy to use as a hard copy. (You need the 4th edition. Any earlier edition of AGLC is not suitable).

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments on individual work
  • feedback to the whole class.

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: 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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introductory in-person orientation lecture on first day of semester (week 1 only). This is a one-off, live-in person event and will be recorded. Seminar 1: Introduction to seminars; introduction to legal systems and sources of law. Students in this course must attend the main weekly teaching event which is one compulsory 2-hour seminar each week for 12 weeks of the semester. These seminars are not recorded.
2 Pre-recorded lecture 1 released Monday week 2 Seminar 2: Case law as a source of law and legal reasoning Class participation commences in seminars in week 2 and continues for all seminars through to week 12.
3 Pre-recorded lecture 2 released Monday week 3 Seminar 3: Reading and analysing cases Lectorial 1: Not Yet – Colonialism and the Rule of Law
4 Seminar 4: Using legal rules and employing legal argument (No pre-recorded lecture this week) Quiz on legal history must be completed this week.
5 Seminar 5: Judicial reasoning Research Skills Workshops this week - finding case law Lectorial 2: Where the wild things are (No pre-recorded lecture this week)
6 Pre-recorded week lecture 4 released Monday week 6 Seminar 6: Judicial reasoning and legal change; an introduction to legislation. Mid-semester Assignment on pre-recorded lectures and seminar content for weeks 1 - 7. Assignment will be released at the end of week 6.
7 Seminar 7: The Constitution; the parliament as a source of law-making Research Skills Workshops this week - finding legislation (No pre-recorded lecture this week)
8 Pre-recorded lecture 5 released Monday week 8. Seminar 8: Key principles and approaches to statutory interpretation; commence interpretation in context Mid-semester Assignment due: Monday of week 8.
9 Pre-recorded lecture 6 released Monday week 9. Seminar 9: Statutory Interpretation continued; continue context and purpose.
10 Pre-recorded lecture 7 released Monday week 10. Seminar: Statutory Interpretation continued; extrinsic materials and presumptions of statutory interpretation
11 Pre-recorded lecture 8 released Monday week 11. Seminar: Statutory Interpretation continued; commence practice problem solving
12 Seminar: Statutory Interpretation continued; practice problem solving continued, relevance and context (No pre-recorded lecture this week)
13 Final exam (problem solving) involving statutory interpretation; held during the examination period.

Tutorial Registration

This course is taught in discussion based seminars (1 x 2 hours per week). Enrolment is via the Course Wattle page during the week before semester starts. Attendance and participation in these seminars is compulsory. Further detailed information about how to enrol for a seminar class will be available on the Course Wattle page (in this case the ANU Wattle site LAWS1201 Foundations of Australian Law). Once enrolment is open then competition for popular times is intense so, to avoid disappointment, please read the information about the commencement of seminar enrolment carefully. There will be sufficient spaces in classes for all students to attend; just not necessarily at the preferred time. 

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Seminar Participation 10 % * * 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Online Quiz 10 % 19/03/2022 28/03/2022 1,2,3
Mid-Semester Assignment 30 % 26/04/2022 17/05/2022 1,2,3,8,9,10.
Final Examination 50 % * * 4,5,6,10
Attendance 0 % * *

* 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 program. Students are expected to attend all classes except as follows.


Students must consult the examinations timetable once it has been released, to confirm the due date and time for the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Seminar Participation

Seminars are the core activity in this course.

Weighting: 10%

Release: Commences during seminars in week 2 of the semester and continues to the end of seminars in week 12 of semester.

Details of task: Engaged participation in seminars is expected and will assist in the development of confident and effective oral communication skills. Effective oral communication is an important skill in itself, and indeed vital in many varied legal contexts. Participation in discussion is an integral part of adult learning and practice as it will enable students to develop effective oral communication skills.

Participation in seminar discussions is easier and of higher quality, if it is based on preparation of the week’s readings. The preparation instructions, and recorded podcasts guiding preparation, will be made available over Wattle every week. Preparation and the associated activities will not only ensure that students get the most out of seminars but will also be the best practice and preparation for assessment tasks.

The Foundations of Australian Law seminars provide a supported learning environment that equips students to cope, week-by-week, with the assessment tasks that students face in this course and other first-semester law courses. The group work undertaken in these seminars relies on students having completed the assigned preparation prior to class, where required, in order to ensure each individual gains the maximum benefit from the seminar experience. To facilitate this, there is a minimum attendance requirement for the seminars. A roll will be taken at the beginning of each class. Students are responsible to ensure that their attendance is recorded.

Students must attend 10 of the 12 seminars between weeks 1 – 12.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to complete the attendance requirements will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.

Due date: Ongoing.

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

Assessment Criteria. A rubric will be provided on Wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 19/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 28/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Online Quiz

Details of Task: Students must answer 10 multiple choice questions to be completed within 15 minutes. The questions will focus on student knowledge and understanding of legal history arising from pre-recorded lecture 1 (week 2) & pre-recorded lecture 2 (week 3) as related to chapters 1-4 from your textbook Laying Down the Law (as specified in more detail on Wattle). For the avoidance of doubt, it does not include material discussed in the Introductory in-person orientation lecture held on the first day of semester.

Nature of the task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.

Release: Wednesday 16 March 2022, 9am via WATTLE.

Duration: Once you log into the quiz, you will have 15 minutes to complete it. The quiz will finish automatically after 15 minutes and any open attempts will automatically close and be submitted by the due date and time so please allow sufficient time to complete the quiz.

Due: Saturday 19 March 2022, 5pm via WATTLE. 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 ANU College of Law Student and Education Services here: https://law.anu.edu.au/forms/assessment-extension-request

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. 

Weighting: 10%

Estimated return date: 28 March 2022

Assessment Criteria: The mark for the quiz will be based on the number of correct responses.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 26/04/2022
Return of Assessment: 17/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,8,9,10.

Mid-Semester Assignment

Details: Students will be assessed on their ability to write a short essay from a choice of at least 2 questions relating to aspects of foundational principles associated with Australian legal history, the common law and other legal systems, the nature of law and legal institutions, and legal reasoning including legal issues relating to Indigenous peoples (as covered in Foundations of Australian Law).

The task will cover relevant course materials from pre-recorded lectures, special guest lectorials and seminars from weeks 1 - 7 (inclusive).

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

Weighting: 30%

Release: 5 pm, Thursday 31 March 2022 via Wattle.

Due date: 5 pm, Tuesday 26 April 2022 via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply.

Estimated return date: Tuesday 17 May 2022

Word limit: 1200 words.

Assessment Criteria: A more detailed rubric will be provided on Wattle. Indicative criteria follow

  • Accuracy of information.
  • Clarity of response to the question(s) asked including argument as relevant
  • Use of scholarly materials
  • Conclusions
  • Written expression.
  • Adoption of legal citation conventions using AGLC.

This is not a research task.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6,10

Final Examination

Details of Task: Broadly, students will be assessed on their ability to construct and present a legal argument in response to a legal problem containing a hypothetical statute while correctly applying the principles of statutory interpretation in their answer to the given question.

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

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

Length: 3 hours.

Word limit: There is no word limit for this exam. The approximate recommended word range for this task is 2,000 - 2,500 words depending on the conciseness of your writing style. You are strongly advised not to exceed this range. Succinct legal reasoning that is to the point, addresses the issues in the problem, and does not include irrelevancies or long sections of cut and pasted text from summaries of the law is more persuasive and will be rewarded. Marks will be reduced for answers that are unnecessarily long.

Weighting: 50%

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

Assessment Criteria:

Analyse a legal problem involving interpretation of a statute and plan an answer;

Utilise the HIRAC structure flexibly to effectively communicate a written answer to a statutory interpretation problem by:

  • Identifying legal issues in the problem;
  • Accurately explaining principles of statutory interpretation relevant to the problem and referring to the specific source of those principles;
  • Applying relevant principles of law to facts contained in the problem question;
  • Concluding on the relevant legal issue(s); and
  • Write legibly and coherently and manage own time under examination conditions.
  • Informal reference to sources as acceptable under exam conditions (see Wattle for further guidance). In this course formal AGLC citation is not required under examination conditions.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 


The Foundations of Australian Law seminars provide a supported learning environment that equips students to cope, week-by-week, with the assessment tasks that students face in this course and other first-semester law courses. The group work undertaken in these seminars relies on students having completed the assigned preparation prior to class, where required, in order to ensure each individual gains the maximum benefit from the seminar experience. To facilitate this, there is a minimum attendance requirement for the seminars. A roll will be taken at the beginning of each class. Students are responsible to ensure that their attendance is recorded.

Students must attend 10 of the 12 seminars between weeks 1 – 12.

Weighting: 0%

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to complete the attendance requirements may result in a loss of up to 5% of the marks overall for the course.

Penalties: Failure to attend 10 seminars without documented special circumstances will result in 5% being deducted from students overall mark for the course.

Due date: Ongoing. From 2022, any further absence from class, excluding the two unexplained absences, will require you to outline the circumstances that prevent your attendance and the appropriate documentation.

Exceptional circumstances that may warrant approval may include, but are not limited to:

·        medical reasons (student injury, illness or medical condition, including COVID illness or isolation);

·        family/personal reasons (family injury or illness, bereavement);

·        cultural or religious commitments; where a cultural or religious event conflicts with the scheduled seminar.

Please note that approval will not be given for work related reasons.

From your ANU email address, you must email enquiries.law@anu.edu.au  indicating

(1) your full name and student ID;

(2) the date you will be absent (or were absent) from the seminar;

(3) the exceptional circumstances you have experienced that have necessitated your absence; and

(4) relevant documentation that supports your claims.

Further details are provided on your wattle site.

Please do not email your course convenor or seminar leader for privacy reasons. All medical and other personal documentation that is sent to Col Enquiries, will be destroyed from the provided email address on the server once the assessment has been made. 

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

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 tests or 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. 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.

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).

AsPr Judith Jones
+61 2 6125 5459

Research Interests

AsPr Judith Jones

By Appointment

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