• Class Number 3527
  • Term Code 3340
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr AJ Mitchell
    • Prof Daniel H. Joyner
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 06/06/2023
  • Class End Date 04/08/2023
  • Census Date 23/06/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 07/06/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course provides an introduction to nuclear energy and its applications in both the civilian and military spheres. It then covers the various sources of international law which have been established to regulate both of these spheres of use, with a focus on sources of law regulating civilian applications of nuclear energy. Topics covered will include the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards, the AUKUS agreement, trade and investment law relative to nuclear energy, law relative to safety of nuclear facilities and the security of nuclear materials, and liability for nuclear incidents.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Examine, investigate and interpret the development of nuclear energy technologies and their application in both the civilian and military contexts;
  2. Recognise, distinguish and appraise the relevant international treaties;
  3. Identify and critically analyse the power and function of the International Atomic Energy Agency in implementing relevant treaty obligations
  4. Research and critically analyse contemporary issues which have arisen in the application and interpretation of international nuclear energy law.
  5. Incorporate and reflect on key aspects of peaceful uses of nuclear-based technologies in the application and interpretation of international nuclear energy law. 

Research-Led Teaching

Nuclear security is by no means a new concern for the international community. Indeed, since the signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968, tremendous energies have been expended upon diplomatic efforts to develop an institutionalised framework to regulate the production and use of single and dual-use nuclear materials within states, as well as their spread through the increasingly globalised channels of international trade to other states and non-state actors. This course provides an advanced understanding of how international law and organisations regulate both peaceful and military nuclear activities within and across states, in order to facilitate the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, while limiting the use of nuclear materials for military purposes, and securing fissile materials from theft and diversion to private actors. It will also cover counter-proliferation efforts, up to and including the international use of force, and international legal sources relevant to such efforts.

Required Resources

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, Principles and Practice of International Nuclear Law (OECD Publishing, 2022). 

A full list of readings/E brick will also be made available on Wattle two weeks prior to the course commencement date.

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

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 This is a semi-intensive course that will be delivered at 10am to 12:30pm, on every Tuesday - Friday between 6 and 23 June. Nuclear Energy and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle 6 June 2023
2 Civilian Uses of Nuclear Energy (The Nuclear Energy Industry) 7 June 2023
3 Military Uses of Nuclear Energy (AUKUS) 8 June 2023
4 The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty 9 June 2023
5 Safeguards 13 June 2023
6 Trade Controls 14 June 2023
7 Radiological Protection, Nuclear Safety 15 June 2023
8 Nuclear Security, Nuclear Transport 16 June 2023
9 Liability for Nuclear Incident 20 June 2023
10 Nuclear Activities and Environmental Protection 21 June 2023
11 Nuclear Trade and Project Development 22 June 2023
12 Paper Presentations 23 June 2023

Tutorial Registration

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
Class Participation 10 % * 30/06/2023 1,2,3,5
Oral Presentation 10 % * 30/06/2023 1,2,3,
Research Essay 80 % 03/08/2023 28/08/2023 1,2,3,4,5

* 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 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. 


There is no final examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Class Participation

Details of Task: Classes in this course are structured very much as a conversation between the lecturer and students, and between the students themselves. This form of conversation is designed to encourage reflection and criticism, such that those skills might also be applied to the other assessment tasks and further the student’s knowledge of, and engagement with, the course materials. The Class Participation mark assesses students’ in-class engagement with the material, with each other, and with the lecturer. The lecturer will take notes on students’ contributions to class and engagement with the course.

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

Weighting: 10%

Estimated Return Date: 30 June 2023

Assessment Criteria:

a)   Preparation and understanding of the material

  • Consulting and reading pre-assigned materials in advance of the lectures/seminars
  • linking material between various aspects of the class and different lectures

 b)  Thinking critically about the material

  • Looking at questions from different angles
  • questioning assumptions

 c)  Expressing ideas clearly

  • So that other students and the instructor can understand them
  • Use of relevant examples

d)  Engaging with other students and the lecturer in the discussion

  • Including encouraging others to speak
  • responding to what other students, and the lecturer, have said
  • being respectful for a range of views and opinions

e)  If possible, linking material with your own background and knowledge

  • Which involves relating the material to your own personal and professional experience

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,

Oral Presentation

Details of Task: Each student will give an oral presentation on the topic of their research paper, which has to be approved by the convenor. The presentation should explain the topic and its significance, review any research the student has done so far on the topic, and map out the arguments and conclusions planned for the paper. Each student will receive verbal feedback in class from the convenor and from other class members.

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

Weighting: 10%

Due Date: In class. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated Return Date: 30 June 2023

Assessment Criteria:

a) Preparation and understanding of the material

b) Thinking critically about the material

c) Preliminary research of the topic

d)  Expressing ideas clearly

e)  Engaging with other students and the lecturer during feedback.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 80 %
Due Date: 03/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 28/08/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay

Details of Task: For the written assessment for this class, you must propose and have a topic approved by one of the co-teachers of the course by 16 June 2023. The topic of your paper should focus on a question or issue of law related to nuclear energy. We will be as flexible as possible in approving topics. The legal question or issue can relate to any nuclear technology, application, or policy covered in the course readings or lecture sessions. The co-teachers will be happy to answer any questions you have about potential paper topics, whether through email or through an independent meeting. Additionally, some time during the 14 June class session will be devoted to an open discussion in class about paper topics.

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

Weighting: 80%

Approval of Topic: Student choice with the convenor’s approval. Approval must be sought by 16 June 2023.

Word Limit: 6400 words. 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, 3 August 2023. Late submissions without an extension are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Estimated Return Date: 28 August 2023

Assessment Criteria:

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

c)  Argument/Analysis

  • 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

d)  Research

  • 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 for the reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography
  • 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 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

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.

Returning Assignments

All marks and feedback will be provided 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).

Dr AJ Mitchell
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Dr AJ Mitchell

By Appointment
Prof Daniel H. Joyner

Research Interests

Professor Joyner’s research interests primarily include international law regulating nuclear energy, nuclear weapons nonproliferation, and nuclear weapons arms control and disarmament. He has also written on customary international law theory, the powers of the U.N. Security Council, fragmentation theory in international law, the jus ad bellum, and international trade and investment law.

Prof Daniel H. Joyner

By Appointment

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