• Class Number 4127
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Joshua Neoh
  • 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 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, with an emphasis on current issues in law and society.

The course will cover key literature and pressing issues concerning law, governance and development (and the development of law) in the region, including:

  • pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial law, including customary and religious law, and the impact of these on law and society at the present time;
  • the influence of legal transplants, state-building, and development initiatives;
  • critical consideration of theoretical frameworks used to make sense of a diversity of social, economic and political conditions in the region;
  • key issues relating to constitutionalism and nation-building, including representative democracy, and political movements;
  • domestic challenges such as ethnic and sectarian conflict;
  • the role of law in bringing socio-economic change in the developmental states of the region.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse and explain the contemporary shape and historical evolution of the legal systems and constitutional structures of South East Asian states;
  2. Critically analyse South East Asian laws and explain the role of legal institutions in achieving justice and development in the region;
  3. Assess, distinguish and critically evaluate contemporary academic and policy debates about ‘legal pluralism’, ‘legal traditions’, ‘legal transplants’, ‘good governance’, ‘rule of law’, and ‘constitutionalism’; and
  4. Access South East Asian legal materials and employ a variety of tools and methodological approaches useful for legal research on the subject.
  5. Plan and execute complex legal research with independence in order to produce original scholarship on issues relating to law and society in South East Asia.

Required Resources

The readings will be available on Wattle.

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 details on weekly classes and any announcements and updates relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction Due to the controversial nature of the topics covered in this course, the classes will NOT be recorded. This course will be taught entirely in-person. It is NOT possible to complete this course online. Students are expected to attend all classes in-person.
2 Constitution of Malaysia
3 Case 1: Lina Joy v Islamic Religious Council
4 Case 2: Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur v Home Minister
5 Case 3: Indira Gandhi v Director of the Islamic Department
6 Constitution of Singapore Mock Essay Exercise (Optional)
7 Case 4: Tan Eng Hong v Attorney-General
8 Case 5: Lim Meng Suang v Attorney-General
9 Basic Law of Hong Kong
10 Case 6: Ng Ka Ling v Director of Immigration
11 Case 7: Sixtus Leung v Chief Executive of the HKSAR
12 Conclusion

Tutorial Registration

There are no tutorials in this course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Mock Essay Exercise (Optional) 0 % 27/03/2023 27/03/2023 1,4,5
Class Participation 10 % * 29/05/2023 2,3
Debate 20 % * 29/05/2023 1,2,3
Research Essay 70 % 01/06/2023 29/06/2023 1,4,5

* 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.


This course will be taught entirely in-person. It is NOT possible to complete this course online. The classes will NOT be recorded. Students are expected to attend all classes in-person.


There is no final examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 27/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 27/03/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Mock Essay Exercise (Optional)

Brief Description: In the Week 6 class, we will have a mock essay exercise in class to prepare students for the final research paper. Feedback will be provided in class and this is an opportunity for students to receive formative feedback.

Nature of Task: This task is optional, and it has no impact on the final mark for the course.

Weighting: 0%

Release: Monday 27 March 2023

Due date: Monday 27 March 2023

Estimated return date: Monday 27 March 2023

Assessment Criteria: As this mock essay exercise is a preparation for the final research paper, the assessment criteria are the same as the final research paper.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 29/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Class Participation

Details of Task: This task will assess the student's ability to evaluate contemporary debates about law and society in South East Asia, and participate in those debates in a class discussion.

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

Weighting: 10%

Duration: Throughout the 12 weekly seminars in the course.

Estimated Return Date: Monday 29 May 2023 via Wattle.

Assessment Criteria: The discussion in class should (a) be informed by the readings, and (b) engage with what others have said in class.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Return of Assessment: 29/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3


Brief Description: Law is about argument and advocacy in the resolution of concrete cases. This course is centered on 7 cases. Each case has two sides: the plaintiff and the defendant. There are 14 positions in total. Each student will be assigned to take a position. The student should present and defend that position in class in the week in which the case is discussed. The presenter needs to upload their notes of their key points via Turnitin prior to the start of their assigned seminar. Both components will be taken into account in awarding the marks for this assessment and further details will be provided in class.

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

Weighting: 20%

Release: The list of allocation will be released in Week 1. The allocation will be done alphabetically.

Due date: In the assigned seminar based on the allocation list via Wattle and the notes submitted before the start of the assigned seminar. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated return date: Feedback will be provided the following week of the allocated seminar via Wattle.

Assessment Criteria: The presenter should be able to (a) defend a legal position with well-considered and sophisticated legal arguments, and (b) present the argument in the form of an oral advocacy, as would be required of an advocate. A detailed assessment Rubric will be made available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 01/06/2023
Return of Assessment: 29/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Research Essay

Brief Description: The research essay should answer the question that is posed.

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

Weighting: 70%

Word Limit: 4200 words. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here. Footnotes should be used for referencing of sources. All references should be in the style required by 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.

Release: The essay question will be released on Wattle on Monday 1 May 2023.

Due date: 5pm, Thursday 1 June 2023 via Turnitin. Late submission is permitted, but late penalties will be applied.

Return date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin. 

Assessment Criteria:


Selection of a relevant and appropriate theoretical framework (if applicable).

Clear explanation of what the paper is attempting to accomplish.

Ability to evaluate materials critically.

Quality and precision of supporting arguments.

Ability to anticipate and respond to possible objections.

Where necessary, use of appropriately chosen examples.


Clarity and coherence of structure and argument.

Construction of a sustained argument, including the avoidance of irrelevant discussion and repetition.


Clarity and precision of use of language.

Conventional spelling, grammar and syntax.

Avoidance of waffle.

Prose easy to read, argument easy to follow.

Compliance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

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 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).

Joshua Neoh
+61 2 6125 3707

Research Interests


Joshua Neoh

By Appointment

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