• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law, Asian Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course considers the relationship between the State and religion and, specifically, the ways in which the State – directly or indirectly – regulates the activities of religious groups in Australia through legislative and doctrinal mechanisms.

The course begins with an overview of the framework within which such regulation occurs, including constitutional and human rights protections of freedom of religion, the constitution and legal standing of religious entities, the courts’ jurisdiction over, and approach to, religious diversity, and the status of religious legal systems. The course then focuses upon doctrinal and legislative regulation of religious groups.

Topics covered will include the regulation of religious financing (particularly through charity law), religious education, religious spaces and the protection of information divulged in the context of religious relationships. The course may also include the regulation of religion in the context of family law, anti-discrimination law and employment law. There will be some comparative content. The course does not cover regulation of religious activity through the criminal law.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify, describe, theorise and critically evaluate, in writing, fundamental themes and questions underlying the regulation of religious activities in Australia and globally;
  2. Identify, explain, theorise and critically examine in writing specific examples of the regulation of religion in Australia through doctrine and/or legislation;
  3. Demonstrate the critical, technical and creative skills to communicate practical knowledge and understanding of concepts and regulation to different audiences; and
  4. Plan and execute a research project to demonstrate legal research principles and methodologies in applying critical analysis and application of legal principles and practice to complex issues arising in relation to regulation of religious activities.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research Essay 1, 3,000 words: 40%. (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Research Essay 2, 4,500 words: 60%, including: written topic proposal of 500 words worth 10%, and essay of 4,000 words, worth 50%). (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours. Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week.

Click here for the LLM Masters Program timetable.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Master of Laws (MLLM); Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP); or Juris Doctor (MJD) and have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses; or Graduate Certificate of Law (CLAW) and have completed or be completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions; or Master of Military Law (MMILL) Students undertaking any ANU graduate program may apply for this course. Enrolments are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the ANU College of Law for permission number.

Prescribed Texts

Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.

Preliminary Reading

An e-brick will be available on the Wattle course site.

Assumed Knowledge

It will be assumed that students have a basic ability to read and understand cases, legislation, historical material and scholarly commentary on doctrinal and conceptual legal issues.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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