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Unit of study_

LAWS3465: Sydney Law Review

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study is offered annually under the supervision of a member of the academic staff of Sydney Law School and the Law Publishing Manager. The unit is limited to 10 students per semester and enrolment is by way of departmental permission on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants must have a minimum WAM of 70 and be in their final year of study. Each student will complete a range of tasks with respect to the Sydney Law Review, including copyediting and reference checking a submission, writing a review note (for assessment purposes only) and writing a case note or law reform essay for assessment and potential publication. The writing of the case note/law reform essay is under the supervision of a member of the academic staff of Sydney Law School. Students selected for this unit must be prepared to serve for six months, so that duties may start before, and may continue after, the formal teaching and examination period.

Unit details and rules

Unit code LAWS3465
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
LAWS3057 or
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Jacqueline Mowbray,
Lecturer(s) Jacqueline Mowbray,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation hurdle task Meeting attendance
Meeting participation
0% Multiple weeks 3 group meetings and one Board meeting
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Presentation Essay presentation
Oral presentation of essay topic
0% Multiple weeks 5-10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO6 LO5 LO4
Assignment hurdle task Critical review
Written report that critically reviews an article
20% Multiple weeks 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Copy-editing exercise
This exercise involves the copy-editing of content that will be published
0% Multiple weeks Copy-editing of article and 1-2pp report
Outcomes assessed: LO2
Assignment Essay
Law review essay or case note
80% Week 13
Due date: 04 Nov 2022 at 16:00
6000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO6 LO5 LO4
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

  • Essay (6000 words) 80%: Students are to critically evaluate a recent piece of law reform or a recent case (generally an important decision of the High Court of Australia). Examples of published case notes and law reform essays can be found in previous issues of the SLR.The submission due date is Friday, 4 November 2022 at 4pm. Details as to the topic and the supervisor must be emailed to the Unit of Study Convenor by Friday, 26 August 2022 at 4:00pm.
  • Critical review (1000 words maximum) 20%: Each student undertakes a critical review of an article submitted for publication in the SLR. Examples of critical reviews (ie referee reports) will be distributed in the first meeting. For the critical review and copy-editing exercise, you will be allocated to one of three groups. The group lists will be published on Canvas. The groups will alternate in completing this and the copy-editing exercise. The tasks will be emailed to your University of Sydney email address on the distribution date (25 July, 22 August or 4 October) and are due respectively on 4:00pm Monday, 8 August 2022, 4:00pm Monday, 5 September 2022 or 4:00pm Tuesday, 18 October 2022.
  • Copy-editing exercise (non- graded): Each student must complete a copy-editing exercise in relation to journal content. You will be required to copy-edit content that has been accepted for publication or is likely to be published in a forthcoming issue of SLR. No mark is allocated to this task but it must be completed to a satisfactory standard. In addition to submitting your marked-up copy-edit of the article you are allotted, you must include an editing report of approximately 1–2 pages, summarising the changes you have made to the article. The editing report will assist the Publishing Manager in assessing the changes you have made and your thinking behind them. The articles will be distributed to each group and due at differing times: distributed Tuesday, 4 October 2022 and due at 4:00pm Tuesday, 18 October 2022​; distributed Monday, 25 July 2022 and due at 4:00pm Monday, 8 August 2022; distributed Monday, 22 August 2022 and due at 4:00pm Monday, 5 September 2022.


    Meeting attendance: Three group meetings will be held and each student must attend one allocated meeting of the Editorial Board of the Sydney Law Review. No mark is allotted to attendance but attendance is mandatory. 

    In addition, students must make a presentation of their essay topic. The presentation must be completed to a satisfactory standard in order to complete the unit. The essay topic presentations are informal (5-10 minutes, oral only, no Powerpoint slides) and are designed to give you an opportunity to share the details of your topic with the rest of the group and to get some feedback on the topic.

A student must make a genuine attempt at all assessment tasks set out for this unit of study in order to obtain a Pass mark and grade (or above); otherwise an Absent Fail grade will be recorded as the student’s result for this unit of study.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

  • Completely answers the question.
  • Contains striking originality of approach or analysis.
  • Demonstrates exhaustive or innovative research (where independent research required).
  • Exceptionally well written, structured and expressed.
  • Is otherwise exceptional in some way.


75 - 84

  • Completely answers the question.
  • Achieves a critical and evaluative approach to the issues.
  • Content and structure is well organised in support of the argument.
  • Demonstrates extensive research and analysis to support a well-documented argument.
  • Generally well expressed and free from errors.
  • Has a clear structure and is well articulated.


65 - 74

  • Covers main issues fairly well in answering the question.
  • Contains no significant errors.
  • Demonstrates an attempted critical approach to the issues.
  • Demonstrates reasonably sound research and analysis in addressing the key issues.
  • Has a clear structure and reasonably clear expression.


50 - 64

  • Identifies the key issues, but does not follow through with a reasoned argument.
  • Contains some significant errors.
  • Displays satisfactory engagement with the key issues.
  • Offers a descriptive summary of material relevant to the question.
  • Superficial use of material, and may display a tendency to paraphrase.
  • Demonstrates little evidence of in-depth research or analysis.
  • Adequate expression.
  • Overall, demonstrates the minimum level of competence in the assessment and satisfies the requirements to proceed to higher-level studies in the degree or subject area.


0 - 49

  • Does not answer the question.
  • Contains significant or numerous errors.
  • Few or no identifiable arguments.
  • Content that is inappropriate or irrelevant.
  • Lack of research or analysis.
  • Difficult or impossible to understand through poor grammar, expression or structure.
  • Overall, does not demonstrate the minimum level of competence in the assessment.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The late submission of a piece of assessment, without an approved extension, will attract a penalty of 10% of the total marks available for the piece of assessment per calendar day or part thereof. For example, a submission after 4pm but by 11:59pm on the due date for submission will attract a 10% penalty. A submission after midnight of the due date for submission will attract a 20% penalty. Penalties for late submission will be applied strictly, subject to a 10-minute grace period

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Attending meeting of Sydney Law Review Board Practical (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO7
Ongoing Copy-editing exercise Independent study (7 hr) LO2
Critical review Independent study (8 hr) LO1
Law reform essay or case note Independent study (16 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Pre-semester Introduction and editing skills (25 July) Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 10 Topic presentations (14 October) Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 11 Topic presentations (21 October) Seminar (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: All students are required to attend three meetings with the unit coordinator plus one meeting of the Sydney Law Review Editorial Board to satisfy the pass requirements for this unit of study. Failure to meet this requirement may result in a student being precluded from sitting the final assessment, and being discontinued from the unit of study, resulting in an Absent Fail or Discontinue-Fail grade.
  • Required meetings: Students in this unit of study do not attend lectures or formal tutorials but are expected to attend three meetings with the academic convenor across the semester and one editorial board meeting, and to manage their own time in order to complete research and editing-based assignments. As a full unit of study, students are expected to devote the same amount of time to this unit as they do to other units of study. The subject requires care and meticulous attention to detail in writing, editing and research. Dates for meetings will be advised via email or Canvas.
  • Essay assignment: Students are required to find a member of the academic staff to act as supervisor for their long essay. The role of the supervisor is to provide initial assistance to the student by making suggestions as an appropriate topic and useful starting places for reading and research. They may also provide ongoing advice as the work progresses. Students are responsible for ensuring that they arrange their supervision in adequate time having regard to the due dates for assessment. The Academic Convenor will mark all essays for the Unit of Study. The assessment of the copy-editing exercise will be undertaken by the Convenor with advice from the Publishing Manager. Please note, due to the iterative and consultative nature of these assessment tasks, anonymous marking may not be practical or achievable.
  • Word count penalty: A piece of assessment which exceeds the prescribed word limit will attract a penalty of 10% pf the total marks available for the piece of assessment for every 100 words, or part thereof. The total word count for essay and other written assessments will exclude: bibliography; footnote numbers; footnote citation; cover page and include: body text; headings and sub-headings; quotations; anything other than numbers and citations in footnotes.
  • Referencing guide: The Sydney Law School expects you to use the most recent version of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th edition, 2018) for your footnoting style, although you should confirm this with your lecturer, and a link to the website where this is set out comprehensively is available at About the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC).

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate competence in reviewing scholarly work
  • LO2. demonstrate competence in editing scholarly work
  • LO3. demonstrate the ability to develop a novel contribution to scholarly literature on an aspect of law
  • LO4. undertake independent research into aspects of law
  • LO5. demonstrate the ability to develop an original argument on an aspect of law
  • LO6. produce an extended piece of legal writing based on extensive research into a chosen topic
  • LO7. explain the processes involved in producing a peer-reviewed scholarly journal and the place of journal publication within the legal publishing landscape

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.