'Good governance', 'rule of law', 'strengthening access to justice' and 'land reform' are currently high on the agenda of governments and donors in the South Pacific region. Law reform is often presented as a remedy to political instability, corruption, disappointing economic growth, and conflict.
This course introduces students to the legal systems of the independent nations of the South Pacific and examines the relationship between law, governance and development in the region. It considers:
the general features of law and legal systems in countries of the South Pacific, including the influence of custom and tradition;
the multiple meanings of 'law' in the social, political and legislative contexts of the South Pacific;
constitutions, leadership and the organisation of the state;
“state building” and “access to justice” in the “arc of instability”; and
current debates about the status and recognition of customary law, particularly in relation to (i) land and natural resource management and (ii) human rights.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- be familiar with the general patterns of law and legal systems in countries in the independent nations of the South Pacific, including:the influence of custom and tradition; and the influence of the colonial period and contemporary state-building initiatives;
- have a broad understanding of the multiple meanings of ‘law’ in the social, political and legislative contexts of the independent South Pacific, and be able to consider which meaning may be appropriate in different contexts;
- be able to evaluate contemporary academic and policy debates about the status and recognition of customary law, particularly as it relates to: governance and state-building; land and natural resource management; and human rights; and
- be able to access and analyse South Pacific legal materials and to employ a variety of tools and methodological approaches useful for legal research and practice in South Pacific contexts.
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.
- Participation in class discussions (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Reading memo (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Reflective Reading Journal (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Research Paper (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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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.
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.
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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