• Class Number 3537
  • Term Code 3240
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
  • COURSE CONVENER
    • AsPr Ron Levy
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 06/06/2022
  • Class End Date 29/07/2022
  • Census Date 17/06/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 07/06/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course explores the methodology and substance of comparative constitutional law. Attention will be given to several constitutional schemes including those of the United States and the United Kingdom, which have historically served as models for constitutional structures in many jurisdictions including especially Australia and other parts of the Commonwealth.  

This course will also consider variations on common constitutional themes as well as context-driven divergences in several other jurisdictions in Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.

The framework for analysis will include questions as to when, how and why to compare constitutions, and an analysis of the vastly different constitutional arrangements that govern the relationship between the state, society and citizens across the world.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify, analyse and explain theoretical knowledge and understanding of the range of constitutional models throughout the world;
  2. Investigate, synthesise and critically evaluate the role and relevance of constitutional comparison;
  3. Interpret and critically examine contextually, the current trends towards protecting human rights in the Australian legal systems, and in other legal systems;
  4. Identify, evaluate and review the accomplishments and shortcomings of the Australian constitutional system through a comparative lens; and
  5. Plan, design and execute a research project that identifies, critically examines and communicates comparative analysis to complex theoretical issues and practical problems in constitutional schemes, demonstrating relevant research principles and techniques.

Research-Led Teaching

A/Prof Levy's research focuses on the intersection of constitutional law and political science. He is especially interested in constitutional change, referendums, deliberative democracy, peacemaking and post-conflict constitutions, and human rights. Read more at: https://law.anu.edu.au/people/ron-levy

Additional Course Costs

N/A

Examination Material or equipment

Detailed guides will be posted on Wattle with information on assessments.

Required Resources

Required and recommended readings will be posted on the course Wattle site.

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). 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.

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

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 7 June - CLASS 1 Part I: Prerecorded lecture/movie: (a) 'Overview of course topic: Why comparative constitutionalism? + (b) Comparative topic 1: Covid responses and human rights. Part II: Live interview 1-3pm: Students interview Guest speaker. Each day, a selection of students will prepare questions for a guest speaker and conduct an interview with that speaker for 30-45 minutes. After this the lecturer will carry the rest of the interview. This assessment repeats (with different students) until Class 5.
2 8 June - CLASS 2 Part I: Prerecorded lecture/movie: Comparative topic 2: Constitutional equality guarantees and theories of rights. Part II: Live interview 1-3pm: Students interview Guest speaker. As above.
3 9 June - CLASS 3 Part I: Prerecorded lecture/movie: Comparative topic 3: The environment and the Constitution. Part II: Live interview 1-3pm: Students interview Guest speaker. As above.
4 14 June - CLASS 4 Part I: Prerecorded lecture/movie: Comparative topic 4: Divided societies and Indigenous constitutional recognition. Part II: Live interview 1-3pm: Students interview Guest speaker. As above.
5 15 June - CLASS 5 Part I: Prerecorded lecture/movie: Australia's 'Handful of Rights': Right to/freedom of: (a) religion, (b) jury and (c) property. Part II: Live interview 1-3pm: Students interview Guest speaker. As above.
6 16 June - CLASS 6 - Group Exercise on Constitutional Design and Process, 12-4pm. Group Exercise - Assessment on Constitutional Design/Process

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Expert Interview (in class) 20 % * 17/06/2022 1,2,3,4
Group Assignment: Constitutional Convention 30 % 16/06/2022 21/06/2022 1,2,3,4,5
Research Paper 50 % 11/07/2022 18/07/2022 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

Policies

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:

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 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.

Participation

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

Value: 20 %
Return of Assessment: 17/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Expert Interview (in class)

Details of Task: Each student will choose a live class session to attend at which the student (and other students on the same day) will interview an expert on the topic of the day's class. Students will use concepts and country comparisons from the day's readings to prepare a set of questions. They may also watch the prerecorded video lecture on the relevant topic to help hone interview questions. The student-led interview session will last 30-45 minutes, including time for both questions posed by the student(s) and answers given by the expert.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Weighting: 20%

Estimated return date: 17 June 2022.

Assessment criteria:

a) Preparation and understanding of the material

  • consulting and reading pre-assigned materials in advance of the lectures
  • 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
  • use of language

c) Expressing ideas clearly

  • so that other students and the instructor can understand them
  • use of relevant examples

d) Engaging with the interview in a back-and-forth discussion

  • asking questions to solicit answer going to the core of the topic
  • responding to what the interviewee says (ie, don't just read a rigid script; be prepared to ask follow ups or modify your questions in response to interview answers)
  • being respectful of 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: 30 %
Due Date: 16/06/2022
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Group Assignment: Constitutional Convention

Details of Task: During Class 6, students will convene a mock Constitutional Convention. They will debate which constitutional provisions should be entrenched in a hypothetical new Constitution for a hypothetical jurisdiction. The options for inclusion will mostly be drawn from the class readings and discussions in Days 1-5. There will be a pre-class written component to be completed in pairs. Students will make written submissions on the possibility of including a particular provision in the hypothetical Constitution; students will present these submissions during the Class 6 Constitutional Convention. Students will be marked individually. Further details will be provided on Wattle in a guide to the assessment.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Weighting: 30%

Two compulsory elements:

(a) Written submission:

Due Date: 5 pm, 15 June 2022.

Word length: 3600 words for the complete submission (1800 words per student). NB: In the event of odd numbers in the class, we will make arrangements for a group of 3; if you are in a group of 3, the group will submit 5400 words. Word Length and Excess Word penalties will be strictly applied.

(b) Class participation in Constitutional Convention: on Day 6 (16 June 2022) from 12pm to 4pm. To receive a mark, students must also attend on this day to participate in the Convention.


Estimated return date: 21 June 2022

Assessment criteria:

a) Understanding of the Issues (applicable to: written submissions and participation)

  • addresses the issues and covers all the important points
  • evidence of close consideration of the questions 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 and Development of Arguments (applicable to: written submissions and participation)

  • clear theme or argument
  • arguments logical and well-organised
  • ideas/paragraphs linked coherently

c) Argument/Analysis (applicable to: written submissions and participation)

  • originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
  • complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
  • interdisciplinary perspective
  • well-reasoned conclusions

d) Research and drafting (applicable to: written submissions)

  • range of research sources
  • good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used
  • use of comparative material where appropriate
  • integration of material from research resources into the task

e) Presentation, style and referencing (applicable to: written submissions)

  • 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
  • adherence to word limit

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 11/07/2022
Return of Assessment: 18/07/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Paper

Details of Task: The research paper addresses a research topic related to the course and approved by the Course Instructor. Students may choose to pursue a topic of their choice, after consultation with the course convenor. An Essay Guide will be provided to students.

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

Weighting: 50%

Word limit: 3200 words (excluding footnotes, but footnotes must only include citations). Word Length and Excess Word penalties will be strictly applied.

Due date: 5 pm, 11 July 2022. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Estimated return date: 18 July 2022

Assessment criteria:

a) Understanding of the Issues

  • frames a good topic and questions for research
  • 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
  • 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 of 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. 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.

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 given an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time is provided in writing. Please note that the revised due date is calculated by including weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date are penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the assessment task per 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.

Referencing Requirements

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.

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).

AsPr Ron Levy
ron.levy@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


Ron Levy is an Associate Professor at the ANU College of Law with considerable experience in research, teaching and consultancy in the areas of constitutional change, referendums, deliberative democracy, peacemaking and post-conflict constitutions, and human rights.

AsPr Ron Levy

By Appointment

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