• Class Number 7075
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Prof Jolyon Ford
  • 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 is offered to Juris Doctor (JD) (on campus) students in the final or penultimate semester of study in their program.  

In consultation with the convenor prior to the beginning of the course, students identify a substantial individual research project that addresses a complex problem of their choice. The research project may be undertaken in a range of professional settings. The professional settings may include, but are not limited to, legal internships, legal clinics, and/ or independent legal research projects (including academic journal article, or report on professional practice or legal policy).  

In consultation with the convenor, students will identify the format of the substantial research report and will negotiate a presentation style and format appropriate to the professional setting selected.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify, plan, manage and execute a substantive and original written research project addressing a complex problem, and do so independently, and to a high professional standard appropriate to the professional setting.
  2. Demonstrate persuasive and inclusive written and oral communications skills appropriate to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and a given professional setting.
  3. Integrate and apply multiple areas of legal knowledge, skills and professional values gained throughout the JD program.
  4. Recognise and apply JD graduate attributes such as, but not limited to: an extended understanding of recent developments in law and its practice; high level research skills; high level conceptualisation; the ability to generate and evaluate complex ideas; legal technical and communication skills; a reflective and ethical approach, and high level personal autonomy and accountability.
  5. Reflect on and review key elements of a growing professional and ethical identity by, for example, naming and debating specific interests, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and career motivations and aspirations.
  6. Recognise and apply a negotiated range of legal skills relating to one or more of: their intended research, professional conduct rules and/or ethical practice, specific professional work context.
  7. Describe, analyse and critique how advanced knowledge and skills acquired through the study of law are brought to bear in a specific way for a particular purpose in a given professional setting,
  8. Identify, describe, and reflect on their workplace experiences individually and in collaboration with students and work colleagues, particularly in terms of their own professional growth.

Research-Led Teaching

The legal research experience of the convenor and the work of other colleagues will be used as examples of how to craft written work in the style of other academic or policy writing.

Required Resources

Readings/Resources as provided on the Wattle site.

All citations are to be done via the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc, 4th ed, 2018) available at: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/mulr/aglc

Staff Feedback

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

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

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 The Convenor will work with the student in this course to assist them to complete the Capstone project and reflection. There are two compulsory classes and one optional class. The Convenor will also typically have several meetings with students throughout the Semester – these are arranged at times which are mutually convenient to the Convenor and the relevant students. These meetings are arranged either in small groups, or individually, to suit the needs of both the Convenor and the students. The classes in this course are held at the following dates and times: 7pm, Thursday 28 July, 2022 (compulsory); 7pm, Thursday 1 September, 2022 (optional) 7pm, Thursday 6 October, 2022 (compulsory).

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Project Outline 0 % 11/08/2022 19/08/2022 1
Research Project Progress Report 0 % * * 1,2,3,4,6,7
Project Oral Presentation 10 % 13/10/2022 20/10/2022 1,2,3
Research Paper 70 % 03/11/2022 * 1,2,3,4,6
Reflection 20 % 03/11/2022 * 3,4,5,7,8

* 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.


Spending 10 hours per week (minimum) on planning, research, and reflection will be required to complete this course and its assessment successfully.

This is a course in reading, thinking and arguing. Effective participation in this course requires around 6 hours of self-guided reading each week.

To further enhance your learning in this course you may also find it useful to regularly access the course Wattle site and participate in the discussion there.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 11/08/2022
Return of Assessment: 19/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1

Project Outline

Details of task: Completion of this project outline is a formative assessment task aimed at consolidating the planning for the research paper discussed with the convenor in the first meeting in Week 1 and/or in any other individual meetings before the due date.

Nature of task: Failure to complete the outline will not result in a penalty but will be a missed opportunity for early feedback.

Weighting: 0%

Release Date: Students can commence the outline from Week 1.

Due date: 5pm, Thursday 11 August 2022 via Turnitin. Late submission is permitted by arrangement directly with the Convenor. Formal extension application with the College is not required.

Word limit: 800 words. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Estimated return date: Friday 19 August via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Overview of the chosen project and legal issues involved;
  • Integration of knowledge obtained in the JD program to date;
  • Identification of source material

Assessment Task 2

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Research Project Progress Report

Details of task: Students will meet as a class and work together to overcome any challenges or difficulties in the preparation of the research paper. This is a terrific opportunity to receive guidance from classmates and Convenor concerning any issues in relation to the project.

Nature of task: Optional, but highly encouraged. If you don't intend to complete this task, you must notify the convenor at least 1 week in advance.

Weighting: 0%

Release Date: N/A

Due date: In class, Week 6. Due to the nature of the task, no late submission is permitted.

Estimated return date: Feedback will be given in class.

Assessment Criteria: Each student will have 5 minutes to discuss the progress of their project, and this will be followed by questions.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 13/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 20/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Project Oral Presentation

Details of task: Students are to give a presentation that addresses the assessment criteria below and explains the chosen complex problem, the writing style to be adopted, and how answering the complex problem requires synthesis of knowledge and skills from across their entire JD program of compulsory and elective courses. The presentation will also demonstrate identification of relevant primary and secondary literature and will discuss methodological approach to answering the question posed.

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

Weighting: 10%

Due date: In class, Thursday 13 October (Week 10). Due to the nature of the task, late submissions (without an extension) are not permitted.

Time limit: Students are to speak for 10 minutes and be expected to respond to questions for a further 5 minutes.

Estimated Feedback date: Feedback given in class at the time of the presentation, and the rubric and mark to be made available by Thursday 20 October, via course Wattle site.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Identification of a complex problem;
  • Details a plan for answering the problem;
  • Engaged the audience;
  • Timing of presentation;
  • Categorises project as academic, policy, or practice-focused clinical work;
  • Research of primary legal and scholarly secondary sources

Assessment Task 4

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 03/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,6

Research Paper

Details of task: Students will answer a question or questions about a complex legal problem of their own choosing and can select to write in an academic style, in policy/law reform style, or in legal practice style for a practitioner or client audience.

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

Weighting: 70%

Word Limit: 4500 words. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Release Date: Students can choose their own research topic in Week 1.

Due date: 5pm, Thursday 3 November 2022 via Turnitin. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply. Please be mindful that if you are in your final semester, late submissions will have an impact on your eligibility to graduate on time. 

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

Assessment Criteria:

  • Complex problem identified
  • Appropriate style for academic, policy or practice work
  • Research of primary legal (case law and legislation), policy and scholarly secondary sources.
  • Paper is persuasive and well structured
  • Referencing used is appropriate for the style of the chosen work.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 03/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5,7,8


Details of task: Students will submit a written reflection on the experience in this course and the challenge of posing and answering your own research question.

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

Word limit: 1000 words. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Value or weighting: 20%

Release Date: N/A

Due date: 5pm, Thursday 3 November 2022 via Turnitin. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply. Please be mindful that if you are in your final semester, late submissions will have an impact on your eligibility to graduate on time. 

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

Assessment Criteria:

  • Identification of elements of knowledge, skills, and professional values that have been used and integrated to produce the paper;
  • Identification of CALD threshold learning outcomes (TLOs) and ANU College of Law graduate attributes demonstrated when completing the paper;
  • Reflection on personal growth achieved via writing of the paper and capstone course interactions.
  • Elements of knowledge, skills and values integrated in paper are identified
  • Identification of TLOs / graduate attributes demonstrated in completion of the paper.
  • Reflection on personal growth during writing the paper and other course activities.

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 in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). Electronic copies in .pdf file format are not acceptable.

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.

Returning Assignments

As all assessment will be submitted online, all marks and feedback will also be provided online, instantaneously, in the case of the online quizzes, or on the return dates listed above, in the case of the essay and final take home examination.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments


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).

Prof Jolyon Ford

By Appointment

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