LAW 7042 - AI and Technology: Legal and Security Issues

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 2 - 2024

Advances in technology - such as artificial intelligence and machine learning - are radically altering society. To what extent, however, are legal frameworks keeping pace? This course addresses legal and security issues arising from technological developments, ranging from general principles of international law through to specific laws of war, as well as domestic regulatory issues and resilience-building capacities. Students at the end of the course will have a developed understanding of how existing legal frameworks are being exploited by State and non-State actors to achieve strategic goals, and will understand the strengths and weaknesses of Australia?s federalist structure in responding to them.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7042
    Course AI and Technology: Legal and Security Issues
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Trimester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Students without a Bachelor of Laws must have completed LAW 7177
    Assessment Participation, assignments/research paper and/or exam as determined at first seminar
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Samuel White

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Foundations of AI and Emerging Technologies: Understand the basic principles of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies and their relevance to national security.
    2. Legal Analysis Skills: Develop the capacity to analyse, evaluate, and synthesize information from various sources and apply it to national security issues.
    3. Legal Frameworks for AI: Examine national legal frameworks regulating the use of AI and emerging technologies for national security purposes.
    4. International Legal Frameworks: Explore international agreements, treaties, and norms relevant to AI and emerging technology in the context of national security.
    5. Ethical and Policy Considerations: Analyse ethical and policy dimensions of AI and emerging technology applications in national security.
    6. Critical Thinking in National Security: Refine critical thinking skills to assess the implications and risks of AI and emerging technology for national security.
    7. Research in National Security Law: Develop advanced research skills to independently investigate legal issues in the field of national security.
    8. Effective Communication: Demonstrate proficient communication skills for written and oral presentations on complex legal topics.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2, 5, 6

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    5, 6, 7

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    5, 6

    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    1, 3, 7

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no required resources. There is a wide range of legal (and technical) material available. Students will be directed to the MyUni site.
    Online Learning
    Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with announcements, materials and learning resources throughout the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course is taught intensively. Learning and Teaching Activities amounting to 36 hours (across lecture, seminar and structured learning activity formats) will be offered to students in this course.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The course will be taught intensively over 4 days with structured learning activities required to be completed in advance of the intensive classes.
    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Length      Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Student presentation Individual/group 10 minutes + written outline  In class 30% 1-6, 8
    Individual essay  Individual 4000 words Friday 2pm in the seventh week after end of course 70% 1-8
    Assessment Detail
    Student presentation (30%) 10 minutes per student + written outline of argument

    This assessment task involves several options:

    (i) Individual/group
    It may be a group or individual presentation. In group presentations, all group members will receive the same mark and each student must present for 10 minutes. Students are to engage with the scenario provided at the start of the class, and incorporate legal frameworks taught throughout the week.

    (ii) Topics
    The topic of the presentation may be varied, but must relate to the problem in the scenario: 'the National Security Committee wishes to be briefed on specific legal issues that you, as a relevant departmental lawyer (and please identify the department you represent) think are relevant for the NSC to be aware of prior to deciding whether and what diplomatic, legal, military, or other actions to take in response'.

    This may involve a particular area of law engaged throghout the course; a matter of legal interpretation (international or domestic), or an area the student(s) believe requires further clarification. A written outline will be required to be given to the 'Minister' (who is the course co-ordinator).
    Feedback will be promptly provided to the group following the presentation. The course co-ordinator will have discretion, in exceptional cases, to adjust an individual's score where satisfied with information that the student has not sufficiently contributed to the group work.

    Individual essay (70%)

    Students write an individual essay of 4000 words from a list of topics provided on day 1 of the course, or their own topic to be negotiated. Essays are to be submitted 7 weeks after the conclusion of the course.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.