• Class Number 7083
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Will Bateman
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces students to the core legal frameworks which regulate monetary and financial systems in capitalist economies: focusing on the law regulating central banking, global capital flows, and government intervention in the economy. Students will also engage with the role played by legal institutions in building and distributing wealth. Case studies will include the legal mechanics involved in creating and responding to: financial crises, disparities in wealth (local and global), and the environmental challenges of modern industrial activity. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Investigate , explain and apply the frameworks of monetary and financial law covered in the course
  2. Explore and critically analyse some of the current controversies and trends in the areas of monetary and financial law
  3. Synthesise, investigate and interpret the policy issues arising from the topics covered
  4. Explore, distinguish and appraise the relationship between the theoretical design and practical operation of monetary and financial law
  5. Select and apply a range of approaches to written and oral communication, and hypothesise solutions to complex problems in the regulation of monetary and financial systems

Research-Led Teaching

The entire course is research-led. Students will engage with cutting-edge global topics in law, economics and politics.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

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 monetary law: Access to money is a vital precondition of flourishing (and survival) in modern mixed economies. Sometimes we earn it, sometimes we borrow it, sometimes it is given to us. Money’s value changes over time: the same Dollar can buy very different things yesterday, today and tomorrow. We mostly store our money with large banks, which lend us the money we need for food, housing and meaningful social connections. Governments borrow money from, and lend money to, large banks and require us to pay fixed amounts of our income to professional money managers who hold it until we retire. Despite promises of “decentralisation”, the monetary system remains highly-regulated and state-guided. This seminar will introduce the core subject-areas of the course. It begins by exploring the legal institutions and actors of study (“money”, “credit”, “the monetary system”, “individuals”, “commercial banks”, “central banks”, “treasuries”, “asset managers”, “carbon trading” and “cryptocurrency”). It will explain prominent theories of money (“state” and “market” theories), the theories of state within which they are located (“liberal democracy” and “market liberalism”) and their conceptual and empirical contradictions.
2 Money law (I): Money has always been a creature of law, but answering the question, “what is money?”, depends on when and where you ask it. Ø 300 years ago: “money” was a small round piece of precious metal and bank notes were “private credit” (not “money”) obligations promising to pay money. Ø 150 years ago: bank notes were still “credit” but refusing to treat them as “money” (now heavy bars of gold) was illegal. Ø 75 years ago: bank notes were “money” and the value of all bank notes was linked to the US Dollar and the gold’s world stock. Ø 50 years ago: bank notes became “money”, gold was de-monetised and the value of money became a policy variable of governments. This seminar explains the complex legal structures those varying definitions of “money” and “credit”. Starting with the “classic” Gold Standard (mid-19th century), then moving to the Bretton Woods System (mid-20th century) and finishing the current system of “fiat” money (1970s->). Our jurisdictions will be the US, UK and Australia.
3 Money law (II): Money is created by public and private sector bodies. Our wallets hold notes issued by central bank, but most of our money lives in commercial bank accounts. Governments pay part of our bill when we visit the doctor, go to school or buy a train ticket. When we buy a new smartphone from Telstra, it has been bought by Telstra using the United State Dollar. Central banks tightly control the amount of money available to ordinary people, commercial banks and governments, within a global hierarchy of central banks led by the US Federal Reserve at the apex. That is the “monetary system”. This seminar provides a deep empirical analysis of the monetary system’s legal structure. The law governing central banks, treasuries and the commercial banking system will be our subject-matter focus. Our jurisdictions will be the US, UK and Australia. We will examine how public debt, private credit and public money coalesced into “monetary policy” at different points between 1900 and 2022, explore the constitutional dilemmas of monetary policy and moot proposals for reform.
4 Money law (III): Access to commercial bank credit determines many core life choices: who can/cannot buy a house; the cost of a car loan; whether you can open a café; access to a doctor, education and personal safety. Banks view loans as an “asset”, because they will receive future cash flows from interest payments. Depending on their financial health, borrowers also view credit as an asset because it allows them to acquire things (houses, cars, education, medical assistance) which they otherwise could not afford. Credit is a toxic asset if banks extend too much and borrowers can’t repay. Governments manage the risk of credit by deciding who can/cannot lend money, how money is lent and how to protect against financial contagion. In industry jargon, this is called “prudential regulation” and it is often twinned with monetary policy. This seminar will study the legal structure of prudential regulation in the US, UK and Australia. It will explore the historical development of banking regulation under different monetary systems, beginning with the (null-) regulatory posture under the gold standard (1900-1940s), the (partial-) regulatory posture under the Bretton Woods system (1950s-1980s) and the contemporary regulatory system known as the “Basel Accords” which governs prudential regulation in all advanced economies (1980s-). Throughout that legal chronology, the passive role of national governments and the role of private sector lobbying in creating the rules governing prudential regulation will be emphasised. Successes a failure of each model will also be observed.
5 Legal responses to financial crises (I) The Global monetary system exploded in 2007. Chronic dishonesty throughout the “North Atlantic” financial system and global regulatory failure caused “money centre” banks to fail. Huge amounts of money simply disappeared, including from ordinary people’s bank accounts. Governments responded by creating new money to fill the void left by the private financial system: most of it was given to commercial banks who lent some of it to ordinary people. Some governments imposed “austerity” programs to “pay” for those bail-outs: reducing the amount of money spent by Treasuries. Other governments engaged in “fiscal stimulus”: giving out large volumes of money through their Treasuries. Those actions had consequences: economic historians have linked those programs directly to the rise of extreme politics since 2010. In this seminar we will explore the legal basis for those different responses to the financial crisis: central bank subsidies through quantitative easing programs and international “credit lines”, Treasury bail-outs, deposit insurance schemes, national budget law underlying both austerity and fiscal stimulus. We will place those legal institutions in political and financial context. Our jurisdictions will be the US, UK, EU and Australia.
6 Legal responses to financial crisis (II): Money creation during and after the financial was legally controversial. For the first time in recorded history, judiciaries became directly embroiled in the state’s power over money. High-stakes litigation was launched in the European Union to declare central banks’s economic rescue programs unlawful. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) expressed extreme deference to the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Germany Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the CJEU’s decision was flawed and unlawful. At stake were questions of economic survival in the Eurozone and the democratic integrity of monetary policy. This seminar will study that notable legal episode. It begins by reviewing the general legal insulation of central banks and the monetary system in historical perspective. It then turns to study the major QE cases in the Eurozone (Gauweiler v Deutscher Bundestag (2015); Weiss (2018) and Weiss v Bundesbank (2020)), exploring the various judiciaries’ attitudes towards the financial crises and the monetary system. It will close by exploring an Australian case study regarding the legality of QE during the COVID-19 pandemic under s 99 of the Constitution.
7 Tax money: evasion, avoidance and havens: “Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes.” In one sense, tax law is a dense wilderness of “single instances” contained in labyrinthine legislation. In another sense, tax law is governed by high-level methodological and policy principles set by the judiciary and legislature. For much of the 20th century, judicial principles of tax law protected wealth from being liquidated and distributed. Things changed in the 1970s, as legislatures and judiciaries started to make it harder to hide private money from the taxperson. We will study those varying attitude to tax law in this seminar. We will begin with a close study of the “Westminster” principle that flourished in the early 20th century and encouraged hyper-technicality in tax law as a method of protecting private money from re-distribution. Then, we will study the progressive development of “anti-avoidance” rules in legislation and judicial decisions that made tax evasion increasingly difficult. Finally, we will close by reviewing the legal structure of tax havens. Our jurisdictions of focus will the US, UK and Australia, with subsidiary focus on the European Union.
8 Money managers and social insurance: When an employer makes your privatised pension payment (“superannuation”), 10% of your salary is given to a corporation to be “invested”. Most Australian pension managers then give that money to a US “asset management” company that invests it in a fund passively tracking stock market indexes. Almost 50% of all money in the world is held by asset managers. Most of that money is social insurance: old-age and disability pensions, health and unemployment insurance of middle-income earners, often in public sector roles like firefighters and nurses. In this seminar we will study different legal framework that governs social insurance and the giant asset management firms. We will study the regulatory shift from “pay-as-you-go” pensions (funded by special government bonds and taxes) to “marketized” pensions (funded by investment in the stock market) and the different legal structures governing the managers of those funds (public investment companies and private asset managers). Our jurisdictions of focus will be the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
9 Money in globalisation: When a country runs out of money it has limited options. It usually owes money to private banks that will only lend more by taking ownership of core public buildings. It usually cannot raise taxes because its citizens have not been paid wages. The final option to re-monetise an illiquid nation state is to borrow from richer countries using the International Monetary Fund as an intermediary. The price of credit is usually deep and painful “structural adjustment” of public sector institutions and sale of public assets to private investors. The IMF did not always exist as the lender-of-law-resort to the developing world. It was originally a global clearing-house for rich countries to stabilise their currencies under the Bretton Woods system. The IMF pivoted to a facilitator of market liberalisation in the 1980s when it’s original purpose was defunct. Its current personality is highly contentious. This seminar studies the legal evolution of the IMF and its current legal powers. It reviews its original mission under the Bretton Woods system and its steps towards a back-stop against national insolvency during the 1970s-80s. It then reviews core legal and financial structure of its currency basket (the “special drawing right”) and its activities during and after the financial crisis.
10 Money and the environment (I): At least 35% of all global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions derive from products of 20 “Carbon Majors”: huge oil drilling companies. Carbon Majors borrow money from commercial banks. Commercial banks sell Carbon Major debt securities to central banks in exchange for public money. Carbon Major’s enjoy cheaper borrowing costs because their debt can be sold to the central bank. In that way, governments provide large public subsidies both to major GHG emitters and the banks that fund them. This is a hidden type of public subsidy to GHG emitters, but many Treasuries also provide direct monetary support through preferential tax agreements and transfers. In this seminar we will study the legal and institutional mechanisms that convey public funding to carbon intensive industries. We will focus on the legal rules concerning central bank credit operations (particularly collateral rules) as they exist today and how they could be reformed to respond to the Climate Emergency. Our jurisdictions of focus will be the US, EU and Australia.
11 Money and the environment (II): Carbon can be turned into money. Historically, that occurred when money was exchanged for petrol/oil. Now the monetisation of carbon is partially reversed: carbon majors can pay for the right to sell petrol. Carbon can be monetised through carbon taxes and voluntary/mandatory carbon trading system. Carbon taxes send the monetary yield of polluting to governments for re-distribution. Carbon trading relies on market mechanisms to distribute the monetary cost of global warming. Debate flourishes on which system will stop the climate emergency. In this seminar we will study the legal structure of three monetised carbon regulation schemes. Sweden’s carbon tax. The UK’s “cap and trade” emissions trading system. Australia’s voluntary “Carbon Credit Unit” trading system. We will place the legal rules in their political context and review critiques and proposals for reform.
12 Future of monetary law: A protest against the monetary system is encoded on the “Genesis Block” of the Bitcoin Blockchain: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”. “Crypto” was hailed as a “decentralised” alternative to the “monetary system”, and a protest against its legal structure. Results have not been promising: the value of Crypto fluctuates wildly; using Crypto as payment is (necessarily) slow and carbon-intensive; while fraud and market dysfunction are rife in the “decentralised finance” industry. In this final seminar we will study the legal structure of the major components of the crypto market: coins, exchanges and “DeFi” platforms. We will commence with the legal structure of the benchmark coins Bitcoin and Ether, then study “stable coins” (Tether and Luna) before moving to the legal rules applying to crypto exchanges and DeFi (“Ethereum”, “Binance” and “Coinbase”). We will close by studying proposals of central banks to create their own digital currencies (“CBDC”) and the political opportunities/challenges they raise.

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online Quiz 0 % 19/08/2022 19/08/2022 1,3
Seminar Participation 10 % * 01/12/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Research Paper 40 % 21/09/2022 28/10/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Final Take-home Assignment 50 % * 01/12/2022 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 Integrity 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 Skills 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.


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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 19/08/2022
Return of Assessment: 19/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Online Quiz

Details of Task: A multiple choice quiz testing core course concepts covered in weeks 1-3

Nature of Task: Optional and non-assessable

Weighting: 0%: The purpose of the quiz is to provide early feedback on core course ideas without exposure to grade risk.

Release: 10am, 15 August 2022

Duration: 45 minutes. Once you log into the quiz, you will have 45 minutes to complete it. The quiz will finish automatically after 45 minutes and any open attempts will be submitted automatically , so please allow sufficient time to complete the quiz.

Due Date: 10am, 19 August 2022. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated Return Date: 19 August 2022

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

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Seminar Participation

Details of Task: Participation in discussion of central topics in the course throughout the semester.

Nature of Task: Optional and redeemable

Weighting: 10%. If you wish to opt in for this optional task, you must sign up for the task via Wattle. Students who opt not to be eligible for a participation grade will sit a final exam worth 60% of the total marks for the course.

Due Date: Ongoing. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated Return Date: Official end of semester results release date.

Assessment Criteria: A detailed marking rubric will be made available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 21/09/2022
Return of Assessment: 28/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Paper

Details of Task: A research paper exploring core issues in monetary law.

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

Weighting: 40%

Release: 5 August 2022

Word Limit: 2,000 words. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Due Date: 5pm, 21 September 2022. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Estimated Return Date: 28 October 2022

Assessment Criteria: The research papers will be evaluated based on the breadth and quality of independent research, their originality, the exhibited understanding of doctrine and theory, as well as style and presentation.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Take-home Assignment

Details of Task: A final essay-based take-home assignment.

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

Weighting: 50% (or 60% for students who opt not to be eligible for an AT2 participation grade)

Release: 5pm, 8 November 2022

Word Limit: 2,500 words.The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Due Date: 5pm, 9 November 2022. Late submission (without an extension) is NOT permitted. Where you have not been granted an extension, any submission after the due date will not be accepted and a mark of zero will be awarded. As this task is open for 24 hours, there will be no time adjustments applied for this assessment. 

Note: If you experience unavoidable and extenuating circumstances and cannot attempt the assessment during the scheduled window, you should apply for an extension here. The College will give you one further opportunity to complete the assessment, at the same time one week later. This will be your final opportunity to complete the task. If you have accessed the assessment, you will not be approved an extension and will need to complete the assessment by the due date.

Estimated Return Date: Official end of semester results release date.

Assessment Criteria: The final exam essays will be evaluated based on the accuracy and inventiveness of responses, evidence of deep engagement with course content and style and presentation.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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).

Will Bateman

Research Interests

Law and finance, law and technology, public aw

Will Bateman

By Appointment

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