• Class Number 1569
  • Term Code 3220
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Toni Johnson
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2022
  • Class End Date 13/04/2022
  • Census Date 04/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 23/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course provides an introduction to the study of post-graduate law. It is an innovative course designed to introduce all non-law graduates (and by choice, law graduates from overseas universities) to fundamental principles of law and legal systems. The course includes a focus on both the Australian legal system and comparative issues where relevant and covers the following topics:

  • sources of law (including case law, statute, treaties, custom, tradition)
  • types of law (including national, international, public, private)
  • legal systems (including common law, civil law, international and indigenous law)
  • legal institutions (including parliament , courts, tribunals, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and community)
  • legal interpretation.

Integrated throughout the course is a discussion of legal pluralism, and law and society. A strong emphasis is also placed on assisting students to develop skills in legal research, citation, problem-solving and legal writing.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a strong knowledge and understanding of the foundations of law, legal systems and legal institutions
  2. Demonstrate a strong knowledge and understanding of the Australian legal system, including the executive, legislative, judicial and federal systems
  3. Incorporate social, policy, comparative or interdisciplinary approaches into legal analysis
  4. Demonstrate key skills in legal research, legal writing, citation and answering legal problems
  5. Read, review and analyse legal cases, texts and statutes.

Required Resources

A course reading list containing hyperlinks to online materials will be available on the Wattle site.

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

Penalties for excess word length: 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 This is a semi-intensive course that will be delivered in 3 hour blocks over 8 mornings (9am - 12pm) on 22, 23, 24 & 25 February, 1, 2, 3 & 4 March 2022. The course will explore the foundations of the Australian legal system and key contemporary lawmaking institutions. It will introduce students to the basics of locating, interpreting and applying sources of law. There is an expectation that students in this course will attend all online synchronous classes in person and complete all set preparatory reading.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quiz 1 0 % 22/02/2022 22/02/2022 1,2
Quiz 2 10 % 28/02/2022 28/02/2022 4
Quiz 3 20 % 07/03/2022 04/04/2022 1,2,3,5
Final assessment 70 % 13/04/2022 17/05/2022 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 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: 0 %
Due Date: 22/02/2022
Return of Assessment: 22/02/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Quiz 1

Details of Task: This quiz is designed to test your understanding of the preliminary readings for the course, and identify any areas that may need more class time and attention. Whilst this quiz is not compulsory, completing the quiz is highly recommended as it will enable me to appropriately assist students who may be finding the reading challenging. The quiz comprises of multiple choice questions accessed and completed online through the Wattle site.

Nature of Task: Optional

Weighting: 0%

Release: 10 am, Monday 7 February 2022

Due date: 4 pm, Tuesday 22 February 2022. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated return date: Available immediately on submission

Assessment Criteria:

a) Understanding of the material:

  • consults and comprehends the set preliminary reading for the course in advance of the face-to-face component;
  • links issues / concepts raised across the various items of preliminary reading.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 28/02/2022
Return of Assessment: 28/02/2022
Learning Outcomes: 4

Quiz 2

Details of Task: Quiz comprised of short-answer and multiple-choice questions. The quiz is not time-limited and can be paused and resumed throughout the period over which it is available.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to submit the task will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 10%

Release: 9 am, Friday 25 February 2022. The quiz will finish automatically at the due date/time 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 date: 9 am, Monday 28 February 2022. Due to the nature of the task whereby the submission is require prior to the subsequent class, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated return date: 28 February 2022

Assessment Criteria:

a) Research

  • consults appropriate databases for case law, legislation and secondary sources
  • employs appropriate search techniques
  • understands differences between databases;

b) Citation and referencing

  • consults and applies Australian Guide to Legal Citation

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 07/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 04/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Quiz 3

Details of Task: Quiz comprised of short-answer questions accessed and completed online through the Wattle site. The quiz is not time-limited and can be paused and resumed throughout the period over which it is available.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to submit the task will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 20%

Release: 5 pm, Friday 4 March 2022. The quiz will finish automatically at the due date/time 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 date: 5 pm, Monday 7 March 2022. If you experience unavoidable and extenuating circumstances and cannot complete the assessment at the due date and time, you should apply for an extension to the ANU College of Law Student Administration Services: https://law.anu.edu.au/forms/assessment-extension-request. 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.

Estimated return date: 4 April 2022

Assessment Criteria:

a)   Understanding of the issues

  • addresses the question and covers all the important points raised by the question
  • consults and synthesises relevant reading materials and in-class discussion/materials
  • connects material covered in different sessions;

b)   Thinking critically about the material

  • where appropriate, looks at questions from different angles
  • questions assumptions;

c)   Presentation

  • expresses ideas clearly and succinctly. 

Assessment Task 4

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 13/04/2022
Return of Assessment: 17/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5

Final assessment

Details of Task: A two-part question (in which both parts are compulsory):

  • PART A involves students reading a legal case provided to them and preparing a case note;
  • PART B involves students using that same case to assist in answering a hypothetical problem.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to submit the task will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 70%

  • PART A (mark value: 40% of the marks available for the course)
  • PART B (mark value: 30% of the marks available for the course)

Word limit: 4,200 words

Release: On or before 5 March 2022

Due date: 5 pm, Wednesday 13 April 2022. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Estimated return date: 17 May 2022

Assessment Criteria:

a)   Case Note

  • summarises facts and procedural history
  • correctly identifies issues to be decided
  • summarises court’s analysis of law and correctly identifies principles of law to be applied
  • correctly summarises court’s application of law to the facts
  • clearly identifies court’s decision
  • analyses the policy ramifications and/or social or cultural context of the case:
  • using logical and well-organised discussion
  • conducting critical analysis of the material
  • drawing on a range of appropriate research sources
  • reaching well-reasoned conclusions;

b)   Application to the hypothetical problem

  • answers the question asked
  • correctly identifies the legal issues raised from the facts of the question
  • accurately states and explains the relevant legal principles
  • accurately and persuasively applies legal principles to the material facts, recognising any ‘grey areas’
  • reaches clear conclusions;

c)   Presentation, style and referencing

  • well-chosen structure with good use of section headings and paragraphs
  • clear and succinct expression
  • full and accurate footnotes
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit.

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 take-home 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.

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).

Dr Toni Johnson

Research Interests

Socio-legal studies; Critical Race/Critical Legal Theory; Feminist Theory; Refugee Law, Family Law, Law, Justice and Ethics

Dr Toni Johnson

By Appointment

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