LAW 1504 - Principles of Public Law
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code LAW 1504 Course Principles of Public Law Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Law (LLB) Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites LAW 1501 Corequisites LAW 1501 Restrictions Available to LLB students only Course Description An introduction to the role and content of public law in the Australian legal system, and to skills of legal research enabling students to address critical contemporary public law challenges. Selected topics will include: introduction to Federal and State Constitutions, both written and in common law; historical background and theories of constitutionalism, including an introduction to the doctrine of separation of powers and the nature of legislative, executive and judicial power at both Commonwealth and State levels; the exercise of judicial power and the role of the judiciary; the roles of and interactions between courts, parliaments and the executive; representative and responsible government, including the relation of citizens and their parliaments and the structure of government administration; introduction to administrative law theory, including basic administrative law principles; and the protection of human rights in Australia. The course provides a foundation for Australian Constitutional Law and Administrative Law. The course also incorporates a Small Group Discovery Experience, with students working in small groups on research projects to answer the pressing public law questions confronting Australians today.
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Matthew StubbsCourse Coordinator: Associate Professor Matthew Stubbs
Associate Professor Matthew Stubbs
Dr Adam Webster
Small Group Discovery Experience Leaders:Cornelia Koch
Associate Professor Matthew Stubbs
Dr Adam Webster
Seminar Leaders:Will be listed on MyUni.
Contact details and times for consultation will be made available to students on MyUni.
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Gain an understanding of the reception of common law into Australia, the system of administration of government in Australia and the relevant constitutional documents and conventions at State and federal levels 2 Read, synthesise, analyse and evaluate primary and secondary materials with a critical understanding of the principles of public law 3 Understand the role of Parliament and courts and the general framework of political and legal accountability in Australia 4 Understand and apply core principles of public law in problem solving 5 Communicate clearly and concisely in written form and orally 6 Enhance skills of working independently and as a member of a team 7 Develop excellent research skills, particularly in respect of primary materials (cases and statutes) 8 Understand social and cultural diversity and the operation of Australian public law in that context
The Legal Practitioners' Education and Admissions Council (LPEAC) sets rules for the academic requirements for admission to legal practice in South Australia. Students must demonstrate a satisfactory level of understanding and application of 11 core areas of legal knowledge. This course teaches the following topics within these core areas:
- Organization and structure of the administration
- Administrative law theory
- Administrative Appeals Tribunal (introduction)
- Freedom of Information
- State constitutions and constitutional systems
- The Commonwealth Constitution and constitutional system (introduction)
- The constitution and operation of the legislature, executive and judiciary
- The relationship between the different institutions of government and the separation of powers
- The relationship between the different levels of government
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) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,8 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,4,5,6,7 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,4,6,7 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5,6,7 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2,5,7 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,4,5,6,7,8 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 8
There are two sets of materials for the course:The List of Readings and Seminar Questions will be available at no charge.
The Course Readings will be available for purchase.
You will need both sets of materials. The booklets will be available for collection/purchase from the Image and Copy Centre on Level 1 of the Hughes Building (http://icc.library.adelaide.edu.au/ has information on location, opening times etc). Paid materials must first
be ordered online through https://unified.adelaide.edu.au/ (click on ‘Online
Shop’ from the left hand menu). The material from both booklets will also be available in electronic form on MyUni.
The course textbook is:Gabrielle Appleby, Alexander Reilly and Laura Grenfell, Australian Public Law (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 2014). (Please note: the book has been substantially revised from the 1st edition, so you will need to obtain a copy of the 2nd edition.)
You will also need:A copy of the Australian Constitution, and the Constitution Act 1934 (SA). Both are available under Additional Materials on the MyUni Website.
Australian Guide to Legal Citation (Melbourne University Law Review Association, 3rd ed, 2010) (Available for download from http://mulr.law.unimelb.edu.au/go/aglc or for purchase at Unibooks).
Recommended ResourcesButterworths, Concise Australian Legal Dictionary (3rd ed, 2004).
In weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11 of the course, students will be expected to watch a series of online videos before attending the lecture. At the lecture, we will be working through activities which will require you to know the material in the videos.
Because of the importance of understanding the material covered in the videos, and to enable you to test your learning from the videos before you attend the lecture, in each week with pre-lecture videos there will be a pre-lecture quiz to be completed on MyUni before the lecture. Further information on the pre-lecture quizzes is available below under 'Assessment Detail'.
Online Learning ToolsAdditional course-related material is available through MyUni, which all students are expected to undertake. This includes:
- An interactive online learning module on legal citation (leading to the 4% online citation quiz);
- An interactive online learning module on secondary source research (essential preparation for the Small Group Discovery Experience);
- Video lectures relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian Constitution (optional - leading to the 3% optional extra credit quiz).
The MyUni Discussion Board will be activated by the start of teaching and will be available until immediately before the primary exam. All questions relating to substantive course content and assessment should be posted on the Discussion Board, rather than emailed to staff. Guidelines on communication, including the use of the Discussion Board, will be posted on MyUni.
Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with announcements during the semester.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe teaching in Principles of Public Law has (from 2014 onwards) moved away from the 'traditional' lecture-seminar format to embrace blended learning and flipped classroom pedagogy, as well as to include a Small Group Discovery Experience (see below).
Blended learning essentially combines online and traditional face-to-face teaching and learning modes. We are using this because it enables us to spend more of our face-to-face time actually working with you, rather than talking at you; and because it gives you much more control and flexibility to manage your own learning.
The flipped classroom describes inverting the traditional use of lecture time for didactic (talking-head) presentation of content to a passive body of students (who, research tells us, do not in fact learn very much from this). Instead, we will use lectures for active learning, where students are solving problems (for example, applying the law to a practical situation), learning and practising skills (for example, advanced skills of case analysis) and working together to develop teamwork and practice peer instruction (that is, to help teach each other) - again, research tells us that this contributes to much better learning outcomes for students (and, also, to better grades).
In our seminars, we will be undertaking traditional problem-solving activities, but will have a particular focus on understanding different perspectives on the law under examination, and the development of critical thinking skills.
Your learning process for each week should be structured as follows:
- Read the assigned readings
- Watch the pre-lecture videos
- Make topic notes based on this material
- Prepare for the in-lecture activities
- Complete the pre-lecture quiz on MyUni
- Engage and participate actively in all of the in-lecture activities
- Make special note of new skills or understandings that you have developed, or errors/difficulties that you have identified
- Update your topic notes based on what has occurred in the lecture, and if necessary refer again to the readings and pre-lecture videos
- Prepare for the seminar activities
- Engage and participate actively in all of the seminar activities
- Make special note of new understandings that you have developed, or errors/difficulties that you have identified
- Revise your topic notes to ensure they capture all that you have learned
- Refer again to the readings and pre-lecture videos if you have any areas of uncertainty
- Attend the PASS seminar (the following week) to further consolidate your learning
- If you have any questions, post them on the Discussion Board
Traditional lecture-style content is now available on MyUni in the form of pre-lecture videos.
We will also continue to record our interactive lecture sessions, mainly because these may be useful revision tools. However, attendance at the interactive lectures is essential to your learning in the course. You should make every effort to attend all of the lectures in this course. Moreover, because the lecture will be interactive, there is a lot that will not be captured on the video and which you will simply miss. Listening to a lecture online after it is given is, therefore, no substitute at all for personal attendance. If you skip a lecture, you are penalising yourself, your learning in the course will suffer, and so will your grades.
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 48 hours per week to their studies during semester. This means that in addition to lectures and seminars, students should spend an additional 9 or 10 hours per week in private study in the course across the semester – this includes doing the readings, watching the pre-lecture videos, taking the pre-lecture quizzes, preparing for the lecture and seminar activities, participation in group work, and undertaking the assessment tasks.
Learning Activities Summary
Pre-Lecture Videos and Lectures Seminars Assessment Week 1 Introduction to Public Law: Constitutionalism as a Check on Unlimited and Arbitrary Power; The Framing of the Australian Constitution Introduction to Public Law Week 2 The Separation of Powers in Theory, the Separation of Judicial Power under the Australian Constitution, and Boilermakers Legislative, Executive and Judicial Powers Pre-Lecture Quiz (2%) due 2pm Tuesday Week 3 Defining Judicial Power Identifying Powers, Critical Perspectives on the Separation of Judicial Power Pre-Lecture Quiz (2%) due 2pm Tuesday Week 4 The Separation of Judicial Power – Applications and Exceptions Critical Perspectives on Judicial Power and Detention, the Persona Designata Exception Pre-Lecture Quiz (2%) due 2pm Tuesday Week 5 The Separation of Judicial Power – Consequences for State Courts The Kable Doctrine Pre-Lecture Quiz (2%) due 2pm Tuesday Week 6 Executive Power and the Political Accountability of the Executive Accountability of the Executive Government Pre-Lecture Quiz (2%) due 2pm Tuesday Week 7 Executive Accountability to Independent Review and Freedom of Information Freedom of Information Pre-Lecture Quiz (2%) due 2pm Tuesday Week 8 The Constitution of South Australia - Introduction to Small Group Discovery: Group Work and Legal Research Small Group Discovery Week 1 Pre-Lecture Quiz (2%) due 2pm Tuesday
Friday, 3am-9pm – Online Citation Quiz (4%)
MID SEMESTER BREAK Week 9 (No lecture) Small Group Discovery Week 2 Week 10 (No lecture) Small Group Discovery Week 3 Week 11 Human Rights Law in Australia; Human Rights Simulation Exercise (part 1) (No seminars) Small Group Project (25%) due Monday 2pm
Pre-Lecture Quiz (2%) due 2pm Tuesday
Week 12 Revision Human Rights Simulation Exercise (part 2) In seminars: Small Group Poster and Presentation for human rights simulation (5%)
There are no additional requirements for completion of this course other than described elsewhere in this document.
Specific Course RequirementsHurdle Requirement
To pass the course, students MUST attend ALL 3 Small Group Discovery Experience seminars, in the seminar in which they are enrolled (in weeks 8, 9 and 10).
Students who do not attend the required seminars will FAIL the course.
In extraordinary medical or compassionate circumstances ONLY, students may apply (by email to the course coordinator) to submit written work in lieu of attendance. Even in such circumstances, entitlement to share in the group research report mark will depend on the student making an alternative contribution to their group's research project (see the section on group work below).
This requirement exists because the Small Group Discovery Experience can only work effectively if every member of every group contributes to the research project being undertaken.
Small Group Discovery ExperiencePrinciples of Public Law gives its students a Small Group Discovery Experience (SGDE) in weeks 8, 9 and 10.
The SGDE will commence with instruction on legal research and group work skills. Students will then be allocated into groups of either 3 or 4 to undertake research into critical contemporary public law issues.
The SGDE classes contain the same students, and occur at the same times, as the seminar classes for the rest of the course. However, all SGDE classes will:
- be held in the Law Library computer suite (with access to all Law Library facilities);
- be supervised by leading academic researchers in public law; and
- have library staff who are legal research experts available to assist.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment item % of final mark Dates Length Redeemable in exam? Online Citation Quiz (Compulsory) 4% Friday of Week 8, 3am – 9pm No Online Pre-Lecture Quizzes - Weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11 (Compulsory) 2% each, total of 16% Tuesday 2pm in the week to which the quiz relates (or, with the late penalty specified below, any time before Friday 2pm in swot-vac week) No Small Group Project (Compulsory) 25% Monday of Week 11, 2pm 2,000 words Yes (UNLESS student fails to make a reasonable contribution to their group) Small Group Poster and Presentation for human rights simulation (Compulsory) 5% Week 12, in your seminar class 1 A4-page poster plus 4 minute presentation Yes (UNLESS student fails to make a reasonable contribution to their group) Exam (Compulsory) 50% - 80% Exam period 2 hours and 30 minutes, plus 10 minutes reading time Extra credit: Online Quiz - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian Constitution (Optional) Up to 3% extra credit (that is, in addition to the 100% of required assessment
Any time before Friday 2pm in swot-vac week N/A
Students who do not complete the quiz before the lecture (for any reason, including medical/compassionate) will have access to complete the same quiz at any time before Friday 2pm in the swot vac week, but their mark for that quiz will be subject to a late penalty of half the score obtained (so, for a student who scores 100% for a quiz, which would normally contribute 2 marks out of 100 to their total grade, they will instead receive only 1 mark towards their total grade; a student who scores 60% for a quiz, which would normally contribute 1.2 marks towards their final grade, will instead receive 0.6 marks).
Assessment Related RequirementsSpecific instructions on each item of assessment will be made available to students on MyUni.
Assessment Detail1. Online Citation Quiz (4%, Compulsory, NOT Redeemable)
A multiple-choice online MyUni quiz assessing your ability to use appropriate legal citation that complies with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3rd ed, 2010).
An important element of legal writing is the ability to reference relevant material in a manner that conveys clearly and concisely the nature of the material referred to, and the means of locating it. This is what the accepted system of citation (of cases, legislation, books, articles and other materials) is designed to achieve. Students’ ability to operate within the conventions of citation will be assessed in this short online quiz.
2. Online Pre-Lecture Quizzes (16%, Compulsory, NOT redeeemable)
Because of the importance of understanding the material covered in the videos, and to enable you to test your learning from the videos before you attend the lecture, in each week with pre-lecture videos there will be a pre-lecture quiz to be completed on MyUni before the lecture. In weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11, the pre-lecture quiz will be worth 2% of your final grade in Principles of Public Law (these eight quizzes in total will therefore be worth 16% of your final grade).3. Small Group Project (25%, Compulsory, Redeemable)
Students who do not complete the quiz before the lecture (for any reason, including medical/compassionate) will have access to complete the same quiz at any time before Friday 2pm in the swot vac week, but their mark for that quiz will be subject to a late penalty of half the score obtained (so, for a student who scores 100% for a quiz, which would normally contribute 2 marks out of 100 to their total grade, they will instead receive only 1 mark out of 100 towards their total grade; a student who scores 60% for a quiz, which would normally contribute 1.2 marks towards their final grade, will instead receive 0.6 marks).
As the online videos and quizzes are available from well before the start of the semester, and as students have the option to sit the quiz late (with the penalty indicated above), there will be no extensions for any reason, except in the most exceptional circumstances. (To be clear, acceptable exceptional circumstances does not include being sick that week, even with a medical certificate - because you could have done the quiz earlier.)
Students will work in groups of 3 or 4 to complete a small group research project as part of their Small Group Discovery Experience, which will be due on Monday of week 11 at 2pm.
The project will give you an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills:
- Group work;
- Legal research;
- Analysis and synthesis of legal material;
- Critical evaluation of legal material and concepts;
- Articulation and structuring of a logical legal argument;
- Clarity in legal writing style; and
- Proper and accurate referencing and citation of sources, in compliance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
4. Small Group Poster and Presentation for Human Rights Simulation (5%, Compulsory, Redeemable)
Students will work in their SGDE groups of 3 or 4 to prepare an A4 size poster and a presentation of no more than 4 minutes at their seminar class in week 12 as part of the human rights simulation exercise. All students will be expected to deliver some part of the presentation (for students who are unable to attend in week 12, their group must satisfy the seminar leader that the absent member has made a reasonable contribution to the preparation [or was an excellent contributor to the SGDE project]). Students will be assessed on the clarity and persuasiveness of their visual and oral communication skills as well as on the quality of their human rights advocacy.
Assessment Items 3 & 4: Failure to Contribute Appropriately to your Group
If a student fails to contribute appropriately to their group, they will suffer a marks penalty that adjusts their mark for this item of assessment to a level commensurate with their contribution, and this lower mark will become non-redeeemable and thus count in full towards their final grade.Information about how to work in groups, and the processes to be followed in the event of a failure to contribute appropriately, will be made available on MyUni.
5. Extra credit: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian Constitution: Online Quiz (Up to 3% extra credit, Optional)
Students have the opportunity, which is entirely optional, to view video lectures on the important topic of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian Constitution, and answer an online quiz based on that material.
6. Exam 50%-80%
The exam is two and a half hours in length with 10 minutes reading time. It will be held in the University examination period. It will comprise two parts: three problem questions (worth 60%), and two short-answer questions (worth 40%). The exam will cover the whole of the course (excluding material covered only in the video lectures on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian Constitution, which is only examined in the optional extra-credit assessment).
(N.B. It is each student's responsibility to read the examination timetable. Misreading the timetable is not accepted as grounds for granting a supplementary exam. University staff are not permitted to provide examination times to students over the telephone or in response to personal enquiries.)
The exam is open book: that is, students may bring into the exam any books, notes, and materials, other than books from the library.
SubmissionStudents will be provided with submission instructions as part of the assessment instructions for each item of assessment which will be made available on MyUni.
Late Submission: 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. 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. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised accordingly.
Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
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.
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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.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. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and speaking skills
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- International Student Support
- AUU Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
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.
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.
For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:
Plagiarism and other forms of cheating
Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide 2014, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.
Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse 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.
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.