Being able to communicate appropriately about the law to the broadest possible audience is one of the key expectations of the Australian legal curriculum.
A virtual exhibition of work by students in Selected Topics in Australian-United States Comparative Laws (LAWS4257) will be launched to coincide with The Australian National University’s (ANU) 2020 Virtual Open Week that runs 22-28 August. The virtual exhibition is an opportunity to showcase the diverse and innovative approaches to teaching and assessment being adopted by the ANU College of Law.
Selected Topics in Australian-United States Comparative Laws is just one of the electives open to the College’s students. In 2019, the course was run jointly by Associate Professor Heather Roberts from ANU and Professor Heather Elliott from the University of Alabama Law School, with a focus on comparative apex courts – the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of the United States.
The course reflected Dr Roberts’ innovative approaches to teaching and research in constitutional law and legal history and biography. It offered students the opportunity to engage with the themes of the course using a diverse array of resources, and encouraged them to explore a variety of approaches to communicating ideas about the courts in ways that were accessible to the public.
“Being able to communicate appropriately about the law to the broadest possible audience is one of the key expectations of the Australian legal curriculum,” says Dr Roberts. “But it’s also critical to the ideas that underpin the community’s relationship with our legal system. Making information about the courts, and how they operate, easily accessible to the community promotes a better understanding of their critical role.”
Students took the opportunity to create podcasts, magazines, reimagined judgments, imagined conversations between judges, and even children’s books and teacher resources.
“The current challenges meant that a physical exhibition of the work had to postponed,” says Dr Roberts. “But I was delighted that we were able to adapt the work to be exhibited virtually through a public website. Visitors to the Open Day, and the website, will be able to read, watch and listen to students’ work, which fits neatly with the original objective of making information about the law accessible.
“Visitors can take a sneak peek at a preview of some of the students’ work before the Open Week by visiting the website. A small sample of work has already been made public. And we’ll publish more during the lead-up to its formal launch.”
Visit our virtual exhibition of students' work here