This course introduces students to the legal systems and legal traditions of South East Asia in the context of their plural societies, and considers the relationship between law, governance and development in the region over the span of modern history. Among the topics covered in the course include:
• pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial law, including customary and religious law;
• the influence of legal transplants, state-building, and development initiatives;
• critical consideration of theoretical frameworks used to make sense of the diversity in the region;
• key issues relating to constitutionalism and nation-building;
• domestic challenges such as ethnic and sectarian conflict;
• the role of law in socio-economic change in the region.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Analyze and critically evaluate the historical evolution of the legal systems in South East Asia;
- Evaluate the role of legal institutions in governance and development in South East Asia, and present the evaluation in verbal form;
- Assess contemporary academic and policy debates about law and society in South East Asia, and participate in those debates orally;
- Access South East Asian legal materials for research purposes and employ a variety of research methodologies;
- Plan and execute complex legal research on issues relating to law and society in South East Asia, and present the research findings in written form.
Classes may be offered in non-standard sessions and be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (a minimum of 36 hours). Please refer to the LLB timetable for dates. Please contact the ANU College of Law Student Administration Services to request a permission code to enrol in classes offered in non-standard sessions.
- Class Participation: to be assessed in seminars throughout the course (10) [LO 2,3]
- Class Presentation: 5-10 minutes of presentation followed by discussion (10) [LO 2,3]
- Research Essay: 4000 words (80) [LO 1,4,5]
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- Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 36 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 three contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Click here for the LLB Program course list
Requisite and Incompatibility
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Alternatively, this information will be published in the Program course list when known.
Preliminary ReadingPatrick Glenn, Legal Traditions of the World (2004) Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (1983)Barry Hooker, Legal Pluralism: An Introduction to Colonial and Neo-Colonial Laws (1975)
Assumed KnowledgeThe course will assume a working knowledge of basic legal concepts.
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.