• Offered by Department of Pacific Affairs
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Pacific Studies
  • Areas of interest Pacific Studies, Asia Pacific Studies

Drawing upon the research and policy work of staff within the Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) this course will provide an introduction to key issues in law and justice in the Pacific islands region. Having regard to historical and colonial legacies, the course will explore the plural and hybrid forms of law and justice that have emerged and shape the broader policy context. The course will consider law and justice development in the region, including broad trends, challenges & reform priorities. It will also explore contemporary debates concerning social order and the role of state and non-state actors in the law and justice arena. Case studies from the region will be used to illustrate the key issues. The course will equip participants with tools to analyse and understand complex law and justice issues and the associated policy challenges, provide them with an overview of domestic and international reform efforts and a foundation from which to evaluate policy options.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply concepts and frameworks to critically analyse complex and contemporary law and justice issues
  2. Demonstrate a working understanding of law and justice policy challenges
  3. Formulate, analyse and evaluate policy options for improved law and justice outcomes in Pacific Islands countries
  4. Develop and communicate ideas, analysis, and arguments in a range of forms for professional and scholarly audiences

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research Essay (2000 words) (60) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Policy Options Brief & Presentation (1000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This course comprises some 65 hours of activity over 12 weeks, both interactive/seminar based and independent research. The course comprises a maximum of 3k words of assessment or the equivalent. Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

None required

Preliminary Reading

·        Firth, S. 1997. “Colonial Administration and the Invention of the Native”. In D. Denoon with S. Firth, J. Linnekin, M. Meleisea and K. Nero, (eds) The Cambridge History of the Pacific Islanders. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 253-288.

·        Desai, D, D. Isser & M. Woolcock, 2012, Rethinking Justice Reform in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States: Lessons for Enhancing the Capacity of Development Agencies’, Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, Vol.4, (Special Issue), March 2012, 54-75.

·        Scaglion, R., 2004. ‘Legal Pluralism in Pacific Island Societies’, in Lockwood, V. S., (ed), 2004. Globalization and Culture Change in the Pacific Islands, New Jersey, Pearson Prentice Hall, 86-101.

·        Allen, Matthew, Sinclair Dinnen, Daniel Evans, and Rebecca Monson, Justice Delivered Locally – Systems, Challenges, and Innovations in Solomon Islands. Washington DC: World Bank, Justice for the Poor, Research Report, August 2013.

·        Dinnen S. and Peake, G., 2015. ‘Experimentation and innovation in police reform: Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands and Bougainville’, Political Science, Vol.67(1), 21-37. 


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:
3 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.

3.00 0.06250
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $2220
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $3180
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1429 01 Jan 2025 TBA TBA 31 Mar 2025 In-Person and Online N/A

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