- Class Number 4583
- Term Code 3250
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery Online
- Patricia Lane
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 25/07/2022
- Class End Date 14/10/2022
- Census Date 12/08/2022
- Last Date to Enrol 26/07/2022
Legislation dominates the contemporary legal landscape. Almost all fields of legal regulation involve legislation in some form. The ability to interpret and understand the operation of legislation is a skill essential to understanding law and its operation.
This course will provide an advanced study of the rules and principles governing statutory interpretation.
Students who have encountered statue law in a variety of contexts (criminal law, torts law, administrative law etc) and been introduced to the relevant common law principles, will benefit from a more detailed consideration of statutory interpretation as a fundamental skill involved in all areas of practice but particularly those areas involving government.
The course will cover the following topics:
• The legislative process and its role in statutory interpretation, including the role of extrinsic materials
• Approaches to the interpretation of legislation, including comparisons with interpretation of contracts and treaties.
• Interpretation Acts and drafting conventions
• Extrinsic and intrinsic aids to assist in interpretation, including role of legal assumption
• Remedial, penal and fiscal provisions
• Obligatory and discretionary provisions.
• Commencement and retrospective effect of legislation
• Consistency and contrariety of legislative provisions and legislation.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain, distinguish and apply the principles and process of statutory interpretation
- Compare, contrast and reflect on the theoretical concepts underlying and impacting on approaches to statutory interpretation and its application in professional practice.
- Plan, differentiate and prioritise approaches and materials used in statutory interpretation while working collaboratively.
- Select and apply a range of legal research principles and methods in interpreting legal instruments.
Herzfeld, P and Prince, T: Interpretation (2nd ed) Thomson Reuters 2020; OR
Herzfeld, P; Prince, T, and Tully, S: Interpretation and Use of Legal Sources (The Laws of Australia) Thomson Reuters 2013 (online as Chapter 25 Laws of Australia via the Westlaw database); OR
Pearce & Geddes: Statutory Interpretation in Australia 9th edition (LexisNexis 2019)
Essential statutes: Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth); Legislation Act 2001 (ACT); Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW)
Office of Parliamentary Counsel drafting manuals - available at https://www.opc.gov.au/drafting-resources/drafting-manuals
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.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- written comments on individual assessments
- verbal comments in class
- feedback to the whole class with general written comments on each assessment task
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction to statutory interpretation - words and rules||25 July 2022 9am -12pm|
|2||Statutory form and process, Interpretation Acts, Text and Context I||26 July 2022 10am -12pm, 2pm - 5pm|
|3||Text and Context II, Purpose||27 July 2022 10am 12 pm, 2pm - 5pm|
|4||Statutes and the common law - principles and presumptions||28 July 2022 2pm - 4pm|
|5||Drafting concepts and workshop||1 August 2022 9am - 12pm|
|6||Statutes and the common law - codes and influences||3 August 2022 9am -12pm|
|7||Particular statutes - Human Rights and Civil Liability Acts||4 August 2022 2pm - 5pm|
|8||Treaties, contracts, and overarching concepts - summing up||5 August 2022 2pm - 4pm|
Tutorial RegistrationANU 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 task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Drafting Assignment||30 %||08/08/2022||22/08/2022||1|
|Statutory Interpretation Problem OR Essay||70 %||08/09/2022||03/10/2022||1,2,4|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
- Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure
- Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure
- Special Assessment Consideration Guideline and General Information
- Student Surveys and Evaluations
- Deferred Examinations
- Student Complaint Resolution Policy and Procedure
- Code of practice for teaching and learning
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.
If circumstances arise which are beyond a student’s control and they are unable to attend a class, the student should contact the Course Convenor in advance (where possible), so that the convenor can adjust their expectations in relation to numbers for that class. If it is not possible to give advance notice, students should send the convenor an email as soon as possible with evidence to support the reason for failure to attend.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1
Details of Task: Students will produce a first draft of proposed legislation from a hypothetical set of drafting instructions. Students will have to analyse policy behind proposed legislation, consider the appropriate structure of legislation, and draft core provisions using appropriate legislative form and language to give effect to the instructions.
Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.
Release: 25 July 2022
Word Limit: 1,500 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, 8 August 2022. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply.
Estimated Return Date: 29 August 2022
- Analysis and implementation of instructions
- Understanding of legislative structure
- Attention to context and purpose of the draft legislation
- Use of proper legislative drafting technique
- Clear succinct text, including proper proofing
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4
Statutory Interpretation Problem OR Essay
Details of Task: Students will undertake an essay responding to a list of suggested topics, OR a topic approved in consultation with the coordinator, OR undertake a set problem question raising issues in statutory interpretation. Students will address their selected topic by producing a reasoned and clearly expressed argument demonstrating a sound understanding of the principles and methods of statutory interpretation, and knowledge and effective use of legislative and case materials based on independent research and analysis.
Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.
Release: 15 August 2022
Word Limit: 5,000 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, 8 September 2022. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply.
Estimated Return Date: 3 October 2022
- Demonstrated understanding of principles of statutory interpretation
- Demonstrated understanding of methods of statutory interpretation
- Ability to produce a reasoned argument based on legislation and case law
- Evidence of independent research and analysis
- Clear and succinct writing
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.
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 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.
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.
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 Access 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.
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