• Class Number 6504
  • Term Code 3270
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Damian Clifford
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 03/10/2022
  • Class End Date 02/12/2022
  • Census Date 14/10/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/10/2022
SELT Survey Results

Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a catalyst for social, economic, scientific, political and legal change in our time. AI powers machine learning, natural language processing, sentiment analysis and complex autonomous systems operating in different domains. Each of these has ramifications for the law and society. The use of algorithmic decision-making and predictive coding by government and in the courts are cause for concern. Future lawyers and other professionals will need to understand the benefits and risks associated with the use of different types of AI in all aspects of social interaction, governance, compliance, risk analysis and business opportunities. The role of AI in social relationships of trust has been explored in science fiction and popular media. Its impact on the markets, elections, global health trends and human relationships is not to be underestimated. Artificial Intelligence, Law, & Society (AILS) is an interdisciplinary module that explores these questions and helps students understand the societal impact of ubiquitous AI, robotics, and automation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Articulate and distinguish the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of artificial intelligence and its role as a primary catalyst of social, economic, scientific, political and legal change in the 21st century.
  2. Construct and defend rationales for the use of ‘Legal Technology’ in legal practice, administration, and adjudication, including software applications leveraging Big Data and related techniques to assess litigation risk, recidivism, and 'predict' the outcome of legal cases.
  3. Evaluate the use of proprietary algorithmic systems to automate legal processes and decision-making in private and public sector contexts.
  4. Critically analyse the ways that AI is shaping and changing life, work and leisure in the 21st century.
  5. Plan and conduct a project to research and critically analyse the societal impact of AI and the role of law in mediating its potential harms, and actualising its benefits.

Research-Led Teaching

This course is directed by the convenor's expertise in the challenges posed by AI. In addition to the convenor, there will be a number of guest speakers with well-recognised research expertise invited to speak to the class.

Required Resources

A reading list will be available on the Wattle site.

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). 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

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 AI and regulation Description of what can be classified as AI with a particular focus on machine learning. Introduction to regulatory theory in the context of AI
2 AI and human rights International and Transnational Human Rights Frameworks in the Development and Application of AI Discussion of the risks posed by AI to human rights
3 Data and AI (1) Introducing data protection/privacy law Personal/sensitive data and AI models
4 Data and AI (2) Automated decision-making, including profiling Fairness, impact assessments and AI
5 Intellectual Property & AI Dealing with the domestic and international aspects of intellectual property and AI Exploring the challenges for IP law posed by AI
6 Norms and the future of AI regulation Norms and Regulating code and the regulating effects of code Recent legislative developments and the moves towards regulating AI
7 Deep-dive: AI decision-making in government Challenges posed by AI for public law Public responsibility and the use of automated decision-making
8 Deep-dive: AI and the consumer Data and consumer law and the rational decision maker (including ‘vulnerable’ consumers); Case studies focusing on the use of market manipulation and dark patterns
9 Deep-dive: AI and Children Analysing the Children's Rights framework; Discussions on how AI impacts children and their rights.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quiz 10 % 14/10/2022 * 1,2,3,4,5
Research proposal 25 % 18/10/2022 25/10/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Research Essay 65 % 30/11/2022 23/12/2022 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 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 graduate 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

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 14/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5


Details of Task: Students must answer 20 multiple choice questions to be completed within 60 minutes. The questions will focus on topics covered from Classes 1-4 of the course.

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%

Release: 5pm, Tuesday 11 October 2022.

Duration: Once you log into the quiz, you will have 60 minutes to complete it. The quiz will finish automatically after 60 minutes and any open attempts will automatically close and be submitted, so please allow sufficient time to complete the quiz.

Due Date: 5pm, Friday 14 October 2022, 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 here . 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. If you have accessed the assessment, you will not be approved an extension and will need to complete the assessment by the due date. However you can apply for special consideration for your circumstances to be considered.

Estimated return date: Once all eligible students have sat the quiz.

Assessment Criteria: N/A

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 18/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 25/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research proposal

Details of Task: The research proposal will require students to conduct independent research that investigates a theme, issue, or policy underlying the impact of Artificial Intelligence on law and society. Original research will be required.

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

Weighting: 25%

Release: 5pm, Tuesday 4 October 2022

Word Limit: 1,500 words. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Topic of Research proposal: Students have two options for the research proposal topic:

  • They may choose from a list of topics that will be made available by 5pm, Tuesday 4 October 2022 on Wattle; or,
  • Students who wish to work on any other topic outside this list must consult the course convener by email or by appointment and finalise their topic on or before 14 October 2022. Students cannot work on any topic for their final research essay without the express permission of the convener.

Due Date: 5pm, Tuesday 18 October 2022 via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Estimated return date: Tuesday 25 October 2022

Assessment Criteria: A rubric and instructions will be provided for this assessment task on Wattle. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 65 %
Due Date: 30/11/2022
Return of Assessment: 23/12/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay

Details of Task: The research essay will require students to conduct independent research that investigates a theme, issue, or policy underlying the impact of Artificial Intelligence on law and society. Original research will be required.

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

Weighting: 65%

Release: 5pm, Tuesday 4 October 2022

Word Limit: 4,000 words. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Topic of Essay: Students must use the topic of their research proposal for the essay.

Due Date: 5pm, Wednesday 30 November 2022 via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply. 

Estimated Return Date: Friday 23 December 2022

Assessment Criteria: A rubric and instructions will be provided for this assessment task on Wattle.

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).

Damian Clifford
+61 2 6125 7525

Research Interests

Law and Technology

Damian Clifford

By Appointment

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