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

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 3 - 2023

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 Trimester 3
    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 Proposed - attendance & participation at seminars, presentation & associated written work, 4,000 word essay
    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.

  • 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)

    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.


    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.


    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.


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

    Recommended Resources
    There are a variety of anti discrimination texts available online, in the library or for purchase which may be of use.
    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, and students will be expected to engage in some preparation before classes to ensure they can fully engage in the class activities and discussions. In addition, there will be structured learning activities to complete outside of class times.

    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 first few classes we will explore foundational concepts, including:
    1. concepts of equality and discrimination
    2. the framework of anti-discrimination legislation
    3. the attributes, conduct and areas covered by laws, and
    4. the process of enforcement.

    Students will also 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 later classes we will discuss topics including:
    5. positive action,
    6. government action to advance equality, and
    7. how anti-discrimination law might look in the future.

    Students will give short presentations on a law reform topic, and will engage in role play of negotiation of their client's anti-discrimination law case.
  • 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 September 2023. Over those days students will experience a range of lectures, interactive activities and discussions, and engage in role play, as well as compoleting in-class assessments. 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 Description Individual or group Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Foundational Concepts Quiz 15 question quiz Individual

    5:00pm 13 September

    5% 1, 2
    Letter of Advice 700 word letter to client providing legal advice Individual 5:00pm 13 September 10% 1,2,3,4,5,6
    Report on negotiation 700 word report to client on the outcome of the in-class negotiation of their dispute Individual 5:00pm 25 September 10% 1,2,3,4,5,6
    Presentation 15 minute in class presentation on law reform Group Scheduled in class on 15 September 10% 1,2,3,4,5,6
    Final assignment 3500 words final assignmenbt providing advice to one or more clients and considering a topic of law reform
    1200 word assignment advising one client if extended research option is chosen
    Individual 5:00pm 23 October 65%


    20% if extended research paper is completed
    Extended reseach paper (only available to students who require it for their extended research essay program requirement) Students may elect to complete an extended 7000 word research assignment on one of a selection of assigned law reform questions Individual 5:00 pm 20 November 45% if undertaken 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%. It will be completed after the first two days of classes.

    Advice to Client  (10%)
    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 prepare a letter of advice to them.  That letter has a word limit of 700 words and will be due on 14 September. Specific instructions regarding the client's problems and the nature of the advice required will be provided to the class via MyUni. On 14 September  you will engage in a face to face role play negotiation of your client's case. 

    Report on negotiation (10%)
    Every student will prepare a written report to their client about the outcome of the negotiation, explaining how the outcome negotiated relates to the alternative dispute resolution processes and likely outcomes available. That report has a word limit of 700 words and is due on 25 September.

    Law reform assignment (10%)
    At the conclusion of the first class students will be asked to form groups and nominate to give a group oral submission on a specific law reform topic on 15 September. Presentations will last approximately 15 minutes, and will be worth 10% 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.

    Final assignment (65% or 20%)
    The final assignment, requiring advice to be provided to two clients, and an analysis of law reform in anti-discrimination law, will be due at 2.00pm on 23 October 2023. A 3500 word limit applies for the assignment. If a student elects to complete an extended research paper this assignment will be reduced to 1200 words and only include advice to one client.

    Extended reseach paper (45%)
    A student may elect to complete a 7000 word paper on one of a selection of provided law reform topics which will be due 5:00pm on 20 November. This option is only avilable if the student is using this course to fulfil their extended research essay program requirement.
    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.

    Citation guide
    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
    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
    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 2500 word assignment graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 2501 and 2600 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the assignment is between 2601 and 2700 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%, etc.

    Word limits
    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.

    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 feedback
    The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. The course was last taught in 2021, and based on student feedback the assessment scheme has been altered, to reduce the size and weighting of the interim assessments.
  • 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.
    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 Integrity
    All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy. Academic Misconduct is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic Misconduct (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 Integrity 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.