• Class Number 4102
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Ron Levy
    • Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza
    • Dr Jelena Gligorijevic
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course examines the structure and themes of Australian public law, providing a bridge to all other public law study in the curriculum. In essence, the course examines how public power is structured, distributed, and controlled in Australia. The distinctive roles played by the legislature, the executive and the judiciary receive special attention. Subsidiary themes in the course are protection of individual rights in the Australian legal system, and constitutional change and evolution in Australia. The following topics will be covered:

  • the constitutional and legislative framework for Australian public law
  • major concepts and themes in Australian public law, including federalism, separation of powers, constitutionalism, representative democracy, rule of law, liberalism and Indigenous sovereignty
  • the Legislature, including the structure of Australian legislatures, parliamentary supremacy, and express and implied constitutional limitations on legislative power
  • the Executive, including the structure of Executive government, executive power, and liability of the Crown
  • the Judiciary, including the constitutional separation of judicial power, and the administrative law implications of judicial separation
  • constitutional change and evolution, including constitutional amendment.

In conjunction with LAWS2202 Commonwealth Constitutional Law, this course meets the requirements of the Law Admissions Consultative Committee Prescribed Academic Areas of Knowledge for Federal and State Constitutional Law.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically evaluate the reasons why countries adopt written constitutions to regulate the control of government power and the key features of Australia's Constitution, including the capacity for constitutional change, with reference to a range of diverse perspective.
  2. Critically analyse the core features, principles and rules of the Australian constitutional framework covered in the course.
  3. Analyse and predict how unresolved and/or ambiguous questions of public law could be resolved by the courts through an analysis of case law, underlying policy and the judicial method.
  4. Select and apply a range of legally specific research principles, methods and tools appropriate to plan and execute a public law research project.
  5. Select and apply a range of approaches to written and oral communication, and apply the critical thinking required to propose solutions to complex legal problems and/or issues in the context of advising a client in an Australian public law matter.
  6. Synthesise and apply a range of domestic secondary legal resources to solve complex public law problems/issues.

Research-Led Teaching

The content of this course is informed by the research interests and expertise of the lecturers. A/Prof Levy specialises in constitutional law, human rights, referendums, political processes, deliberative democracy and peacemaking; Dr Dalla-Pozza specialises in national security law, constitutional law, and deliberation; Dr Gligorijevic specialises in constitutional law and media law.

Required Resources

Anthony Connolly, The Foundations of Australian Public Law: State, Power, Accountability (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Other textbooks on public law that may serve as starting points for further reading/research include:

  • George Williams, Sean Brennan and Andrew Lynch, Blackshield and Williams’ Australian Constitutional Law and Theory: Commentary and Materials (Federation Press, 7th ed, 2018)
  • Gabrielle Appleby, Alexander Reilly and Laura Grenfell, Australian Public Law (Oxford University Press, 3d ed, 2018)
  • Joseph, Sarah and Melissa Castan, Federal Constitutional Law: A Contemporary View (Thomson Reuters, 5th ed, 2019)
  • Peter Hanks, Frances Gordon and Graeme Hill, Constitutional Law in Australia (LexisNexis Butterworths, 4th ed, 2018)
  • Ron Levy, Hoi Kong, Graeme Orr and Jeff King (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Deliberative Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
  • Cheryl Saunders, The Constitution of Australia: A Contextual Analysis (Hart, 2011)

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). 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

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 any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Levy - Introduction to Australian Public Law I: Thematic Overview (1) Westminster and Liberal-Democratic Governance Lecture (1.5h) + Seminar (1.5h) Lectures will be recorded but the weekly seminars will not be recorded.
2 Levy - Introduction to Australian Public Law II: Thematic Overviews (2) Australian Federalism and (3) Rights Lecture (1.5h) - NO SEMINAR
3 Levy - Legislature I: Electoral Rights Lecture (2h) + Seminar (1.5h)
4 Levy - Legislature II: Legislative Power and State Constitutions Lecture (2h) + Seminar (1.5h)
5 Levy - Legislature III: Delegating Legislative Power to the Executive Lecture (2h) + Seminar (1.5h)
6 Dalla-Pozza - Executive I: The Structure of the Executive and the Nature and Content of Executive Power Lecture (2h) - NO SEMINAR
7 Dalla-Pozza - Executive II: Executive Power (Prerogative and Nationhood) Lecture (2h) + Seminar (1.5h)
8 Dalla-Pozza - Executive III: Spending and Accountability Lecture (2h) + Seminar (1.5h)
9 Gligorijevic - Judiciary I: The Nature and Separation of Judicial Power Lecture (2h) + NO SEMINAR
10 Gligorijevic - Judiciary II: Judicial Power and the Rule of Law Lecture (2h) + Seminar (1.5h)
11 Gligorijevic - Judiciary III: the States Lecture (2h) + Seminar (1.5h)
12 Revision Session (details to be provided) Revision Session (2h) + Seminar (1.5h)

Tutorial Registration

Seminars will run most weeks. Seminar slots will be released two weeks before the course starts. Students will be able to swap seminars on MyTimetable. 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

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online Quiz on Course Themes 0 % * * 1,2,6
Mid-semester Assessment 50 % 30/03/2023 11/05/2023 1,2,3,4,5,6
Final Examination 50 % * 29/06/2023 1,2,3,5,6

* 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 program. Students are expected to attend all classes.


Please note that there is an exam in this course. The date for the exam in the assessment summary is approximate only. Students should check the examinations timetable once it has been released to confirm date and time of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,6

Online Quiz on Course Themes

Details of Task: This online quiz is designed to give students feedback on their comprehension of the public law themes introduced in the first two weeks of the course. It will allow students to test their comprehension of these key themes.

Nature of Task: Optional, but highly recommended. These public law themes are essential for a foundational understanding of public law. Students will be tested again on these themes (especially on the themes' application to concrete cases) in subsequent assessments.

Weighting: 0%

Release: 27 February 2023

Due Date: Any time, but it will be best attempted early in the course, such that you can gauge your understanding of the themes.

Estimated Return Date: Immediately upon completion of the quiz. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 30/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 11/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Mid-semester Assessment

Details of Task: This assessment will require students to relate the course's broad themes (eg, rights and federalism) to specific legal controversies. The assessment materials will present a legal problem scenario, which students will need to analyse (1) doctrinally (20 marks, approx 1000 words) and (2) thematically (30 marks, approx 1500 words).

  • The PROBLEM QUESTION (doctrinal analysis) will require students to discuss, in standard problem format (ie IRAC), how the laws introduced in Weeks 1-5 apply to the problem scenario.
  • The ESSAY (thematic analysis) will require students to discuss how the course themes introduced in Weeks 1-2 apply to the problem scenario. 'Course themes' will be set out in clear terms in pre-recorded videos and relevant readings. The essay also offers students an opportunity to engage in further research, analysis and reflection on a topic covered in this course. Students will be expected to undertake independent research, using appropriate primary and secondary resources.

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

Weighting: 50%

Word Limit: 2500 words (excluding any footnotes; however, footnotes must only contain citations). The word limit will be strictly applied. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here.

Submission Requirements: Footnotes should be used for the referencing of all sources. All references should be compliant with the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. Your submission must be made in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files will not be accepted.

Due Date: 5pm, Thursday 30 March 2023. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Estimated Return Date: 11 May 2023

Assessment Criteria:

PROBLEM QUESTION answers will be marked according to how well they:

  • Identify the relevant issues from the factual situation presented in the question;
  • Identify and accurately explain the applicable legal principles, giving authority;
  • Accurately and concisely apply the legal principles to the factual situation;
  • Avoid irrelevant issues;
  • Provide a well-structured and written answer that responds to the question and organises ideas and arguments in a logical way; and
  • Comply with the principles of academic honesty.

ESSAYS will be graded according to how well they:

  • Are structured: There should be a clear central argument in the paper. The whole paper should defend, explore and deepen this central argument.
  • Are clearly presented: Papers should be simply and logically organised. They should use headings and subheadings, appropriate terminology, and correct grammar, syntax and spelling. The style must also be consistent with the AGLC 4th ed.
  • Answer the question asked.
  • Reason persuasively and rigorously, and demonstrate critical and original thinking.
  • Demonstrate sound research and analytical skills. The paper must demonstrate adequate breadth and depth of research, and an ability to apply the research to the question in the construction of key arguments. Primary and secondary materials should be covered.
  • Make accurate and succinct use of relevant legal materials. All arguments must be supported by relevant authorities.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Return of Assessment: 29/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5,6

Final Examination

Details of Task: The final exam will require students to answer one problem question. Students will be required to demonstrate an understanding of the relevant doctrinal legal principles and apply them to a factual scenario presented in the exam. The exam will cover course content from Weeks 6-11. There is no thematic component in this assessment.

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

Weighting: 50%

Duration: 120 minutes

Word Limit: 2500 words (excluding any footnotes; however, footnotes must only contain citations). The word limit will be strictly applied. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here. *This word limit will not apply if the University schedules the final examination as an in-person, on-campus examination.

Due Date: The exam will be held during the end-of-semester exam period. Please consult the ANU examinations timetable when it is released. Because this is a formal examination, late submissions will not be accepted

Estimated Return Date: Official end-of-semester results release date. 

Assessment Criteria: Exams will be graded according to how well they:

  • Identify the relevant issues from the factual situation presented in the question;
  • Identify and accurately explain the applicable legal principles, giving authority;
  • Accurately and concisely apply the legal principles to the factual situation;
  • Avoid irrelevant issues;
  • Comprise a well-structured and written answer that responds to the question and organises ideas and arguments in a logical way; and
  • Comply with the principles of academic honesty.

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. DO NOT INCLUDE A COVER SHEET. USE ONLY WORD FILES (no pdf).

Hardcopy Submission

This course does not require or accept hardcopy submissions for any assessment.

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 granted an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time will be provided in writing. Importantly, any revised due date is inclusive of weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date will be penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the task per 24-hour period.  

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.

Returning Assignments

All marks and feedback will be provided online by the return date listed in the class summary. 

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).

AsPr Ron Levy

Research Interests

Human rights, Constitutional Law, Public law, Democracy, Deliberation, Indigenous Issues, Referendums, Peacemaking and Constitutional Reform

AsPr Ron Levy

By Appointment
Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

Research Interests

Dr Dominique Dalla-Pozza

By Appointment
Dr Jelena Gligorijevic
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Dr Jelena Gligorijevic

By Appointment

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