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Unit Outline 2015
Faculty of Business Government and Law
Institutions of Law and Government G
This Unit Outline must be read in conjunction with:

  1. UC Student Guide to Policies, which sets out University-wide policies and procedures, including information on matters such as plagiarism, grade descriptors, moderation, feedback and deferred exams, and is available at(scroll to bottom of page)

  1. UC Guide to Student Services, and is available at(scroll to bottom of page)

  1. Any additional information specified in section 6h.

1: General Information
1a Institutions of Law and GovernmentG

1b 9582

1c 2015 Term 1: RIM Bhutan

1d Credit point value 3

1e Unit level:G

1f Unit Convener: Dr Robin Tennant-Wood

1g Administrative contact details (including name, location, telephone and email)
Tel: +61 2 6201 2700

DrRobin Tennant-Wood

Consultation by appointment

Room 11B30



2: Academic Content
2a Unit description and learning outcomes
This unit will provide an introduction to the role of legal, political and economic institutions in setting the context for business and government both in Australia and abroad. Participants will gain an understanding of the Australian domestic legal systems and institutions and how they impact on business and economic development. We will also consider the international framework within which business and government operate and the role of international law and institutions. The unit will includes practical case studies and workshop exercises which are designed to develop skills in tackling issues commonly encountered by businesses engaging with institutions in areas such as competition law, corporate governance, regulation and reform, international trade and foreign investment and e-commerce.
Learning outcomes:

1. Understand the impact of different institutional arrangements on the operation of government and business

2. Be able to apply this knowledge to understanding domestic and international business contexts

3. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the relationship between domestic and international legal structures and governance arrangements

4. Demonstrate an understanding of the implications of different legal and governmental structures in domestic and international business and governmental relationships
This unit will be delivered through face to face seminars delivered to the Canberra cohort (and which will be recorded) These will be supplemented with on-line readings and recorded lectures.
2b Attributes of UC Graduates
See 5b below
2c Prerequisites and/or co-requisites

3: Delivery of Unit and Timetable
3a Delivery mode
3b Timetable of activities, such as lectures/ tutorials/ practicals/ field classes, showing key dates and topics (Information might be provided in the form of a table)
For more on enrolment see the UC enrolment guide: Enrolment guide
See Moodle for the final version






Lecture: Introduction to the Unit

What are institutions?

How government shapes the law

Parliamentary systems and democracy


Tutorial: The role and limitations of government


Assessment item 1: Introduce assignment, allocate groups and commence work under supervision



Lecture: The Constitution and its elements

What is the role of the Constitution?

Changing the Constitution

A legal or political document?


Tutorial: The role of the High Court; the separation of the powers


Assessment item 1: continue working



Lecture: The bureaucracy and public policy

The institutional role and status of the civil service

The bureaucracy and accountability

The institutionalization of public policy


Tutorial: The economy and the economic system


Assessment item 1: continue working



Lecture: National security and justice

The military and military action

International relations

Cross-border movements



Tutorial: Handling institutional corruption


Assessment item 1: continue working



Lecture: Other social institutions and their role in government and law


Tutorial: Media, religion, trade unions, NGOs, the UN


Assessment item 1: final group session

4: Unit Resources
4a Lists of required texts/readings
These are posted weekly on the Moodle site.

Text book

No set text

Readings for this unit will be via e-reserve, electronic books via the UC library, or posted as links on the Moodle site

4b Materials and equipment
There is no compulsory equipment used in this Unit
4c Unit website
To find your unit site online, login to LearnOnline(Moodle)using your student ID.

Note that your unit site has a profiles page that displays your name and email address for the benefit of other students. If you prefer to hide your email address, click here for instructions.

5: Assessment

Grades/Grading Criteria
The relevant grading criteria in this unit will be as follows:

Letter Grade

Numerical Grade

Grading Criteria

High Distinction



Work that is of outstanding quality on the learning outcomes, which may be demonstrated in areas such as criticism, logical argument, interpretation of materials or use of methodology. (This grade may also be given to

recognise particular originality or creativity.)

Distinction (DI)


Work of superior quality on the learning outcomes, demonstrating a sound grasp of content, together with efficient organization and selectivity.

Credit (CR)


Student demonstrates work of good quality showing more than satisfactory achievement on the learning outcomes, or work of superior quality on a majority of the outcomes.




Work that shows a satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes of the subject

Ungraded Pass (UP)

Pass or Fail basis only

Work showing achievement of the learning outcomes of the subject to a satisfactory level or better.


It is law faculty policy not to use the PX grade in any unit. A PX grade is not available in this unit.



Unsatisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes of the subject and not qualifying for the grade of pass or conceded pass.



NN, etc

These grades are explained in the Handbook.

5a Assessment overview

Assessment item (including exams held in the exam period)

Due date of assignments


(total to equal 100)

Addresses learning outcome(s)

Addresses generic skill(s)

Group assignment: institutional analysis

24th April



Written presentation skills

Assignment2500 words

15th May



Written presentation skills;


See examination timetable



Written presentation skills;

5b Attributes of UC Graduates
The University of Canberra provides a high-quality, innovative educational experience. Our courses are designed to equip our graduates to be leaders of their profession, to be outward-looking global citizens and to value lifelong learning.

  1. UC graduates are professional. Because we collaborate closely with industry and other stakeholders, our graduates have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to succeed in their profession and become leaders in their field.

UC graduates can:

  • employ up-to-date and relevant knowledge and skills;

  • communicate effectively;

  • use creativity, critical thinking, analysis and research skills to solve theoretical and real-world problems;

  • work collaboratively as part of a team, negotiate, and resolve conflict;

  • display initiative and drive, and use their organisation skills to plan and manage their workload;

  • take pride in their professional and personal integrity.

  1. UC graduates are global citizens. We support students to gain the knowledge and confidence to be global citizens.

UC graduates can:

  • think globally about issues in their profession;

  • adopt an informed and balanced approach across professional and international boundaries;

  • understand issues in their profession from the perspective of other cultures;

  • communicate effectively in diverse cultural and social settings;

  • make creative use of technology in their learning and professional lives;

  • behave ethically and sustainably in their professional and personal lives.

  1. UC graduates are lifelong learners. Our graduates are passionate about being at the forefront of their profession, staying in touch with the latest research, news and technology.

UC graduates can:

  • reflect on their own practice, updating and adapting their knowledge and skills for continual professional and academic development;

  • be self-aware;

  • adapt to complexity, ambiguity and change by being flexible and keen to engage with new ideas;

  • evaluate and adopt new technology.

5c Details of each assessment item
In this unit, students are expected to obtain an overall total score of at least 50/100. It is not necessary that students obtain a pass result (i.e. at least 50%) in each and every items of assessment. However, students are expected toobtain a pass result (i.e. at least 50%) in the final examination to pass this unit. The final mark is determined by adding the total number of marks achieved in the term. Final grades in this unit will be assessed according to performance in the items of the assessment described in the table below:

5c. Details of each assessment item

(i) Group assignment: institutional analysis (25%)

This assignment, to be undertaken in groups during class time, consists of five questions relating to the lecture and tutorial topics for each day. Each group will be assigned a governmental or legal institution to study, and each day will analyse how that institution operates or influences a given situation. A minimum of 90 minutes of class time for each of five days will be allocated for this assignment 7.5 hours in total).

  1. Assignment (40%):

A maximum of 40% will be awarded for an assignment of a maximum length of 2500 words. It is due by 5.00pm Friday May 15th. Assignments must be submitted through the Moodle site. Students should retain a hard copy of their submitted assignment. It will be the responsibility of the student to substantiate any claim of proper submission of the assignment in the event of the assignment not being received by the lecturer or tutor. See also penalties on late submission at 5c below.
The submitted assignment should be typed and display an assignment cover sheet that contains all the required information. Referencing must be clear and follow the Harvard style. It is expected that, unless explicitly stated otherwise, each assignment is totally the work of the individual submitting it and is produced specifically for this unit (see policy on plagiarism at 6f below). Please see
The assignment and exam questions in the unit will typically take the form of a hypothetical situation, where you will be asked to prepare a response and to identify issues and propose a solution In this unit, the global approach will be used for all assessment, whereby a fixed number of marks are not allocated to particular criteria, but are awarded on the basis of a global appraisal of the merits of the work. The criteria are set out below.

Papers/essay type assessment criteria


Examined factors


Correct syntax, grammar and spelling.

Clarity of thought and expression

Demonstrated familiarity with


The paper reflects a discussion of the issues from an informed perspective

Gone beyond recommended or minimal readings/evidence of wider reading and research

Analysis, discussion and argument

Identifies the question to be discussed•

Discusses and analyses relevant arguments and evidence

Does not wander

Moves beyond emotive responses to deal with evidence and arguments in a logical, coherent structure

Comes to some kind of conclusion


Typed, stapled and 3 cm margin, bibliography

Notes and bibliography in conformance with Canberra Law Review style guide requirements (see Appendix B)

Layout/ setting out (use of appropriate headings- clarity, ease of reading).

  1. Final Examination (35%):

There will be one examination at the end of the term during the examination period, worth a maximum of 50 % of the overall marks. The final exam will be of two hours duration. Further details about the exam will be discussed in classes prior to the examination period.

If you are unable to sit the examination due to illness, you must submit an original medical certificate and the completed application for special consideration form within the appropriate time frame of the official release of results by the University The medical certificate must clearly state

    • that you were unfit to attempt the examination;

    • the date of the medical consultation; and

    • the period, if any, during which you will be unable to sit the examination.

5d Submission of assessment items
All assessment items (other than the invigilated examination) will be submitted online via the unit Moodle site. The first page of each assessment submission should include the following information:
Student Name:

Student ID:

Assessment Name:

Word Count (if applicable):

Penalties for late submission

Written assessment must be submitted by the required date and time (there is no reason why work cannot be submitted early, and this practice is actively encouraged). Students are expected to lodge assignments within the stipulated time limit. The onus rests on individual students to comply with the timetables for completing and submitting assessment. You should therefore learn to manage your time so that, for instance, printer or computer malfunction several hours before the deadline does not disqualify you from submitting assessment on time. Moreover, lecturers have responsibilities to ensure relative equity and fairness to the majority of students who perform on time, as well as other responsibilities that they have organised around the teaching and assessment timetable in a particular term.

There is no requirement for lecturers to mark assessment submitted late. However, in this unit the following practice will be followed. Late assignments that are submitted within seven days of the specified submission date and time will be accepted for marking. However, 5% of the mark assessed will be deducted for each day the assessment is overdue to a maximum cumulative penalty of 35% of the assessed mark. Late assignments submitted more than seven days after the prescribed date and time will not be accepted for marking. In this case a student will not receive any marks for the relevant piece of assessment.

These requirements will not be applied unfairly. They are intended to strike a reasonable, practicable balance between the different factors of relative equity amongst participating student and management of the lecturer’s workload, including the on-going teaching program.

Where you, as a student, encounter genuine and exceptional circumstances that will or may prevent submitting an assignment on time you should immediately contact the University and speak with the lecturer or tutor.

Genuine requests on reasonable grounds (e.g., unforeseen paid work commitments, child or family-care responsibilities, illness or family matters including bereavements) will not ordinarily be refused. In cases of illness, you may be required to produce a medical certificate.

5e Special assessment requirements
There are none

5f Supplementary assessment

Refer to the UC Supplementary Assessment Policy

5g Academic Integrity

Students have a responsibility to uphold University standards on ethical scholarship. Good scholarship involves building on the work of others and use of others’ work must be acknowledged with proper attribution made. Cheating, plagiarism, and falsification of data are dishonest practices that contravene academic values. Please see UC's Academic Integrity Policy.

To enhance understanding of academic integrity, it is expected that all students will complete the LearnOnline Academic Integrity Module (AIM) at least once during their course of study.  The module is automatically available as a listed site when students log into LearnOnline.
5h Use of text-matching software

The University of Canberra has available, through LearnOnline (Moodle), text-matching software that helps students and staff reduce plagiarism and improve understandings of academic integrity. Known as URKUND, the software matches submitted text in student assignments against material from various sources: the internet, published books and journals, and previously submitted student texts. Click here for further information on the URKUND text-matching software.

6: Student Responsibility
6a Workload

The amount of time you will need to spend on study in this unit will depend on a number of factors including your prior knowledge, learning skill level and learning style. Nevertheless, in planning your time commitments you should note that for a 3cp unit the total notional workload over the semester or term is assumed to be 150 hours. These hours include time spent in classes. The total workload for units of different credit point value should vary proportionally. For example, for a 6cp unit the total notional workload over a semester or term is assumed to be 300 hours.

6b Inclusion and Welfare

Students who need assistance in undertaking the unit because of disability or other circumstances should inform theirUnit Convener at the University of Canberra or Inclusion and Welfareas soon as possible so the necessary arrangements can be made.

6c Participation requirements
Students are expected to access the online materials regularly and to participate in all activities.
6d Withdrawal

If you are planning to withdraw please discuss with your unit convener. Please seeWithdrawal of Units for further information on deadlines.

6e Required IT skills
Basic IT literacy
6f In-Unit Costs
(Note: To calculate your unit fees see:How do I calculate my fees?.

The onlineUC Co-op Textbook Searchis available for purchasing text books.)

6g Work placements, internships or practicums
6h Additional information
7: Student Feedback
All students enrolled in this unit will have an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback on the unit at the end of the Semester via the Unit Satisfaction Survey (USS) which you can access by logging into MyUC via the UC homepage: Your lecturer or tutor may also invite you to provide more detailed feedback on their teaching through an anonymous questionnaire.

8: Authority of this Unit Outline
Any change to the information contained in Section 2 (Academic content), and Section 5 (Assessment) of this document, will only be made by the Unit Convener if the written agreement of Head of Discipline and a majority of students has been obtained; and if written advice of the change is then provided on the unit site in the learning management system. If this is not possible, written advice of the change must bethen forwarded to each student enrolled in the unit at their registered term address. Any individual student who believes him/herself to be disadvantaged by a change is encouraged to discuss the matter with the Unit Convener.

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