LAW 7034 - Anti-discrimination Law: Practice and Theory PG

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

The course will consider the legislative and common law framework which regulates discrimination in Australia. It will assess the Commonwealth and South Australian anti-discrimination legislation in terms of their conceptual underpinnings, constitutional basis, legislative structure, procedures and remedies. In addition to introducing students to the current anti-discrimination regime in Australia, the course will facilitate continued engagement with anti-discrimination legislation (necessary in this fast developing arena) through examination of the theoretical framework of anti-discrimination legislation and theories of equality and discrimination. In order to expand understanding of the operation and limitations of the Australian legislation, there will also be a comparative analysis of aspects of equality and anti-discrimination law in Europe and North America.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7034
    Course Anti-discrimination Law: Practice and Theory PG
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 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
    Restrictions Available to LLM(Course), MCompLaw & MBusLaw & Double Degree students only
    Course Description The course will consider the legislative and common law framework which regulates discrimination in Australia. It will assess the Commonwealth and South Australian anti-discrimination legislation in terms of their conceptual underpinnings, constitutional basis, legislative structure, procedures and remedies. In addition to introducing students to the current anti-discrimination regime in Australia, the course will facilitate continued engagement with anti-discrimination legislation (necessary in this fast developing arena) through examination of the theoretical framework of anti-discrimination legislation and theories of equality and discrimination. In order to expand understanding of the operation and limitations of the Australian legislation, there will also be a comparative analysis of aspects of equality and anti-discrimination law in Europe and North America.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Anne Hewitt

    Associate Professor Anne Hewitt coordinates this course.  Anne's office is Room 329 in the Ligertwood Building, and she can be reached at:

    p: 8313 3354
    Course Timetable

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

    This course is taught intensively over 4 days, which have been planned for August and September 2018.

    Students will be expected to engage in preparation before face to face classes to ensure they can fully engage in the class activities and discussions.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, graduates will be able to:

    1. Analyse, evaluate and synthesise a range of primary and secondary legal sources to inform the provision of coherant and appropriate advice regarding the operation and effect of anti-discrimination laws.

    2. Apply anti-discrimination law to complex legal problems, provide sophisticated advice regarding the operation of the laws in a range of practical scenarios, and critique the operation of anti-discrimination and equality laws from a theoretical and policy perspective.

    3. Develop persuasive written and oral arguments appropriate for both lay and legal audiences. Work effectively as an individual and engage in effective collaboration with others.

    4. Demonstrate profesionalism in interaction with collegues during the completion of cooparerative activities, and exercise profesional and ethical judgment when representing a client in an anti-discrimination matter in an academic context.

    5. Interact with peers, clients and others in an appropriate and ethical manner in the context of a contentious matter, and analyse the impact of anti-discrimination law in the context of social and cultural diversity.

    6. Reflect on the importance of individual background and perspective in the experience of discrimination in society, and use that understanding to drive professional development.
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Beth Gaze and Belinda Smith, Equality and Discrimination Law in Australia: An Introduction (2017 Cambridge University Press).

    South Australian and Federal anti-discrimination legislation will be referred to regularly. Students can access the legislation electronically.

    Recommended Resources
    Chris Ronalds & Rachel Pepper, Discrimination Law and Practice (4th Edition, 2012, The Federation Press).

    Neil Rees, Katherine Lindsay and Simon Rice, Australian anti-discrimination law (3rd edition, 2018, The Federation Press).

    Sandra Fredman, Discrimination Law (2nd edition, 2011, Oxford University Press, Clarendon Law Series).
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to post announcements and distribute relevant materials, including readings, activity instructions, and discusssion questions, with which students are expected to engage before attending the face to face classes. MyUni will also be used to distribute resources for assessments and assignment instructions.

    Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is taught intensively over 4 days which have, at this stage, been scheduled in August and September 2018.

    Over those days students will engage in a range of lectures, interactive discussions and role play activities. We will explore anti-discrimination law from a practical and theoretical perspective, and compare the scope and operation of Australian and international laws.

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

    The University expects full-time students (ie those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of up to 48 hours per week to their studies. In law, this figure represents the bare minimum necessary to an understanding of the concepts covered. Students in this course are expected to attend face to face classes in addition to completing pre-class preparation and subsequent revision and assessment activities. Please refer to Access Adelaide for your timetable and enrolment details.

    Learning Activities Summary
    In the classes in August we will explore foundational concepts, including

    • concepts of equality and discrimination
    • the framework of anti-discrimination legislation
    • the attributes, conduct and areas covered by laws, and
    • the process of enforcement.
    Students will be introduced to a "client" with an anti-discrimination law problem, and will begin to explore and apply the law relevant to that client's case.

    In the classes in September we will discuss topics including

    • positive action,
    • government action to advance equality, and
    • how anti-discrimination law might look in the future.

    Students will give short presentations in groups, and will engage in role play of negotiation of their client's anti-discrimination law case.

    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable.
  • 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
    This course is taught intensively over 4 days in August and September.

    Over those days students will experience a range of lectures, interactive activities and discussions, and engage in role play. We will explore anti-discrimination law from a practical and theoretical perspective, and compare the scope and operation of Australian and international laws.
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Due Length Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Foundational concepts quiz Individual 5% 2:00pm Friday 17 August 15 questions No 1, 2
    Advice to a client 1 Individual 15% 2:00 Thursday 29 August 1000 words No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Group presentation Group 15% 3 or 4 September 20 minutes No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Advice to client 2 Individual 15% 2:00 Thursday 13 September 1000 words No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Final Assignment Individual 50% 2:00 Thursday 18 October 3000 words No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Assessment Detail
    Foundational concepts quiz (5%)
    Every student will have the opportunity to test their understanding of foundational concepts in the course via an online quiz worth 5%.

    Advice to Client # 1 (15%)
    On 13 and 14 August every student will be assigned a ‘client’ who is (or at least, believes they may be!) involved in a dispute which involves anti-discrimination laws. You will be given some background information about that client and asked to complete 2 assessable tasks on their behalf. The first is a letter of advice due on 29 August at 2:00pm. That letter has a word limit of 1000 words. Specific instructions regarding the client's problems and the nature of the advice required will be provided in class in August.

    Presentation (15%)
    On 13 and 14 August students will be asked to form groups and nominate to give a group presentation on a specific topic on either 3 or 4 September. Presentations will last approximately 20 minutes, and will be worth 15% of your final grade. All students are expected to contribute to both the preparation and presentation, and unless exceptional circumstances apply will share equally in the mark awarded for the presentation.

    Advice to client # 2 (15%)
    On either 3 or 4 September students will engage in a face to face role play negotiation of their client's case.  Following this negotiation you will be expected to write a further letter of advice to your client. That letter will be due on 13 September, and will be worth 15% of your final grade.  It will have a word limit of 1000 words.  Further instructions regarding the role play and letter will be provided in assignment instructions.

    Final assignment (50%)
    A final assignment, requiring advice to be provided to one or more clients, and an analysis of law reform in anti-discrimination law, will be due at 2.00pm on Thursday 18 October 2018.
    A 3000 word limit applies for the assignment.
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted. All assignments must be submitted online. Details for electronic submission will be provided with the assignment instructions. All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    Late Submission Penalties

    When an assessment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend and public holidays. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    Word Length Penalties

    5% of the total mark possible for a written assessment will be deducted for every 100 words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3,100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%, etc. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations, but exclude citations in footnotes. Any separate cover page, table of contents, bibliography or list of sources is excluded from the word limit. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.


    Requests for extensions must be made electronically according to law school policy. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.

    Turnaround time

    Feedback on interim assessment in this course will be returned to students within two weeks of the submission date. Feedback on the final assignment will be provided within 3 weeks of submission.
    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.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

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

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • 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
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Academic Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • 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.