LAW 2566 - Statutory Interpretation

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

Statutory interpretation is the process by which legislative instruments are given meaning so that they can be understood and applied. This subject will systematically examine the body of law that is relevant when determining the intention of Parliament as expressed in legislative instruments. The rules, approaches and practices required by statute or developed at common law are considered and applied to both state and federal legislation. In addition to developing students? interpretation skills the subject will also focus on legal research and opinion writing.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 2566
    Course Statutory Interpretation
    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
    Assumed Knowledge LAW 1504
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description Statutory interpretation is the process by which legislative instruments are given meaning so that they can be understood and applied. This subject will systematically examine the body of law that is relevant when determining the intention of Parliament as expressed in legislative instruments. The rules, approaches and practices required by statute or developed at common law are considered and applied to both state and federal legislation. In addition to developing students? interpretation skills the subject will also focus on legal research and opinion writing.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Stacey Henderson

    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, a student will be able to:
    1. Locate, identify and be able to critically analyse relevant statutes, statutory provisions and legislative instruments, as well as pertinent judicial authority;
    2. Interpret the appropriate provisions using the accepted tools and techniques of statutory interpretation;
    3. Apply statutory provisions to fact scenarios and communicate the interpretation, nature and effect of statutory provisions to relevant stakeholders, such as clients and courts.
    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)
    1-3
    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
    1-3
    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
    1-3
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1-3
    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
    3
    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
    1-3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The textbook for this course is Michelle Sanson, Statutory Interpretation, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, 2016

    All students will need to have access to:
    1. Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth)
    2. Acts Interpretation Act 1915 (SA)

    Further resources will be made available on MyUni. 


    Recommended Resources
    Other useful texts include:

    DC Pearce and RS Geddes, Statutory Interpretation in Australia, 8th ed, LexisNexis, 2014
    Perry Herzfeld and Thomas Prince, Statutory Interpretation Principles: The Laws of Australia, Thomson Reuters, 2014
    Kath Hall and Claire Macken, Legislation and Statutory Interpretation, 4th ed, Lexis Nexis, 2015
    Online Learning
    The course is supported by the Statutory Interpretation MyUni website. The website contains links to the following resources:
    • Course information, including the Course Profile.
    • Course materials – such as items of assessment, lecture PowerPoint slides, and other course materials which will be posted from time to time.
    • Lectures – audio streaming of lectures and video streaming of lecture slides will be posted (where available) under the Course Materials link as soon as possible after each lecture.
    • Discussion Board – This is available for students to discuss the course among themselves and to communicate with academic staff in relation to administrative or substantive questions about the course.
    • My Grades – where students’ grades will be entered for each assignment.
    MyUni will also be used to post announcements, and assignment tasks. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.

    Students should also regularly check their email.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught in a three hour block. This will include some short lectures, but predominantly involve large and small group discussion and activities in which students will be required to discuss, debate and defend their analysis of the relevant material set in the
    course readings. It is absolutely critical that students have undertaken the reading before coming to class each week.
    Workload

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

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

    Contact time: three hours/week. This amounts to 36 hours of formal class time across the semester.

    Preparation time: In addition to attending formal classes it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for classes and to complete the course assignments. The University expects full time students (those undertaking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Introduction to Statutory Interpretation
    Creation of Legislation
    Week 2 Interpretation Legislation
    Week 3 Context and Purpose
    Week 4 Intention and Interpretive Techniques
    Week 5 Intrinsic Materials: Statute Components
    Week 6 Intrinsic Materials: The Text
    Week 7 Extrinsic Materials
    Week 8 Traditional Common Law Approaches
    Week 9 Statutory Presumptions
    Week 10 Fundamental and Human Rights
    Week 11 International Law in Statutory Interpretation
    Week 12 Interpreting Specific Instruments
    Revision
  • 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 Weighting Task Type (Group or Individual) Due Dates Redeemable Length Learning Outcome
    Research Assignment 40% Individual 11/9/19 No 2,500 words 1, 2, 3
    Legal Opinion Assignment 60% Individual 18/11/19 No 4,500 words 1, 2, 3
    Assessment Detail
    Research Assignment (40%)

    Students will research and locate legislation and other materials to aid in their interpretation, and undertake a process of statutory interpretation. Detailed instructions will be distributed with the Assignment.

    Legal Opinion Assignment (60%)

    Students will be given a fact scenario and have to locate and apply relevant legislation.  Student answers will be in the form of a legal opinion that would be provided by a barrister to a solicitor.  Detailed instructions will be distributed with the Assignment.
    Submission
    Submission requirements for each piece of assessment will be set out in the information provided when the assessment item is released. Students should read the information on MyUni carefully in relation to submitting each piece of assessment and follow the 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.

    Extensions

    Extensions beyond the due date will only be granted in the case of serious and unforeseen incapacity. 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.

    If you require an extension, you will need to use the on-line application form available on Unified as soon as you are aware of the need for an extension, and before the due date of the assignment. The course coordinator will reply by email, determining whether an extension is warranted, what evidence is required to verify the student’s incapacity, and the length of the extension. Evidence of the incapacity must be submitted with the assignment, and must be consistent with details in the email requesting the extension. If the details of the request for an extension, and the medical or other evidence verifying the extension are not consistent in all respects, the extension is nullified, and the assignment may be penalised.

    Penalties

    Late Submission: 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that submission 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 assignment 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 (Monday) and will be penalised accordingly.

    Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated word length will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 1,250, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 1,251 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 1,351 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.
    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.

    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 Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.

    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).

     
    Moderation

    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.


  • 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 (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.

  • Student Support
    Lex Salus Source code 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.