- Class Number 6489
- Term Code 3370
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery Online
- David Heaton
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 09/10/2023
- Class End Date 25/11/2023
- Census Date 20/10/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 10/10/2023
The course is designed to review the ever-changing scope and operation of the executive power inherent in the Australian Constitution. It is set against the background of the UK development of the concept (largely by the courts). But its primary focus is on s 61 of the Constitution and relevant decisions of the High Court. It draws also on available literature.
Because of the large expansion of executive power in recent years it then moves on to explore current issues. These are associated with powers relating to migration and 'terrorism', the trend towards republicanising the legal system
The course content uses an historical, analytical and topical approach to enable the potential of the concept of executive power in Australia to be appreciated and in particular focuses on:
- the emergence of the concept of an Australian executive power and the consequential progressive reduction in reliance on prerogative power as a useful concept
- the conventions and law governing the exercise of executive power (by Governor-General, Ministers, Cabinet and administrators)
- the constitutional grounding of responsible government and its effectiveness in the 21st century
- the narrowing of the traditional immunities and privileges the common law extends to the Crown and the impact of the practice by the executive of privatising and contracting out
- federal issues relating to executive power, including the issues that arise if there is a conflict between the exercise of Commonwealth and State executive power
- the unique position of the executive in the ACT
- challenges to the protection, through the rule of law, of individuals, using as examples counter-terrorism law and migration law.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate mastery of knowledge and understanding of the principles and context of executive power;
- Explain, distinguish and critically examine the complexity of the law relating to executive power;
- Demonstrate, through identification and critical evaluation, an understanding of the implications of the sometimes not altogether unanimous views of the judges;
- Identify, examine and review the facilitation of the exercise of executive functions according to law, demonstrating an understanding of both its scope and its limitations; and
- Plan, design and execute a research project that identifies, critically examines and communicates complex theoretical issues and practical problems in relation to the exercise of executive power, demonstrating relevant research principles and techniques.
An E-brick will be available on the Wattle site.
Students are required to have read prior to each class. For this reason, the required reading has been kept to a minimum.
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
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.
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
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.
|Summary of Activities
|Day 1 Session 1 - Definitions, taxonomy, and key themes
|Day 1 Session 2 - Responsible government and separation of powers
|Day 1 Session 3 - Role of governors and reserve powers
|Day 1 Session 4 - The federal dimension to executive power in Australia
|Day 2 Session 1 - The power to spend money and the Williams decisions
|Day 2 Session 2 - The state as a "private law" actor
|Day 2 Session 3 - Tort and the executive
|Day 2 Session 4 - Immunities and intergovernmental immunities
|Day 3 Session 1 - Delegated legislation and its judicial review
|Day 3 Session 2 - Judicial review of exercises of non-statutory power, including amenability/justiciability
|Day 3 Session 3 - Executive power and international relations
|Day 3 Session 4 - A comparative perspective: Recent UK decisions on aspects of executive power
|Day 4 Session 1 - The integrity branch
|Day 4 Session 2 - Deference
|Day 4 Session 3 - The Voice and the Executive Government
|Day 4 Session 4 - Robodebt: A case study of key themes in the course
There are no tutorials in this course.
|Return of assessment
* 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:
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.
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
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Details of Task: Students are to write a blog post of up to 2,200 words on one or more issues raised in a session of their choice. The blog post should critically address at least three of the readings for the session and should where possible draw out key themes and tensions across the materials.
Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.
Release: 9th October 2023.
Word limit: 2,200 words. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here.
Due Date: 5:00pm, Thursday 26th October 2023. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply. Please be mindful that if you are in your final semester, late submissions will have an impact on your eligibility to graduate on time.
Estimated Return Date: 17th November 2023.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Details of Task: Students are to write an essay of up to 5,000 on a topic approved by the course lecturers, which must be on a different topic from that of the blog post. Topics should be proposed to the lecturers well ahead of the 20 October 2023, so that they can be discussed with candidates and refined if that is required.
Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.
Release: 27th October 2023.
Word limit: 5,000 words. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here.
Due Date: 5:00pm, Thursday 23rd November 2023. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply. Please be mindful that if you are in your final semester, late submissions will have an impact on your eligibility to graduate on time.
Estimated Return Date: 18th December 2023.
a. Understanding of the Issues
- addresses the question and covers all the important points
- evidence of close consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on
- issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified
- material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively
b. Communication & Development of Argument
- clear theme or argument
- arguments logical and well-organised
- ideas/paragraphs linked coherently
- originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
- complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
- suggestions for change where appropriate
- interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate
- addressing opposing arguments
- well-reasoned conclusions
- research covering primary and secondary materials
- good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used
- use of theoretical material where appropriate
- range of research sources
- integration of material from research resources into the essay
e. Presentation, style and referencing
- good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
- clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
- use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
- full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography – every proposition of law must be supported by authority.
- style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
- adherence to word limit
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.
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 in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). Electronic copies in .pdf file format are not acceptable.
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.
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.
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.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students