Group Assignment: Observation Report

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2.       Assignment is worth 30%.

3.       Please include a cover sheet stating all group members’ names and student numbers.

4.       Submitting in a group indicates that all group members agree that each member should receive the same mark for the assignment.   Group members may not apply to get different marks, so please be very careful in choosing your team members.  Ensure your team members are able to work effectively with you.

5.       Submit ONE electronic copy via Turnitin.

6.       The maximum word limit is 2,250 words.  (not including footnotes)

7.       Use the AGLC4 style guide for doing the footnotes. (see to an external site. )

8.       Maximum number of students in each group is 4 students.  If you have compelling reasons to work in a smaller group or work individually, you may apply to do so.

9.  Marking Criteria for Option 1 (Court Observation) are:

·         Clear explanation of the nature of the hearing and how this hearing relates to the legal subject matters in this course.

Clear summary of the facts and legal arguments presented in court.

Thorough description of the witnesses (if any), lawyers, parties, and the case’s outcome (if finalised), and the students’ own views / impressions / thoughts about the case and the court procedure.

·         Logical structure

·         Use of English language with care and accuracy

9.Marking Criteria for Option 2 (Explain the legal issues in two News Articles) are:

·         Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the law and the relevance of the law to the facts

Description of legal sources (legislation and/or case law)

·         Logical structure

·         Use of English language with care and accuracy


Your task is to write an Observation Report, from observing an employment law hearing at any of the following:

  • the Fair Work Commission.
  • Federal Court
  • Federal Circuit Court
  • VCAT

The case you observe should be related to subject areas covered by or related to this course, for example, unfair dismissal, adverse action.

Information about the Fair Work Commission

Most hearings are open to the public.

You can find information on Hearing SchedulesLinks to an external site. on the Fair Work Commission Website.

The Member hearing the case is listed in the schedule. See Contact a Commission MemberLinks to an external site. link on the FWC website to find their email address.  It is advisable to inform to the registrar or the member before you attend.

Members of the public must keep their phone or microphone on ‘mute’ during the hearing, while they are on Microsoft Teams.

Please contact FWC on 1300 799 675 if you need more information. to an external site.

Instructions for the Observation Report

In your report, you should:

  • State the names of the parties and the name(s) of the judge(s) or Commission Member(s) presiding.
  • Explain the nature of the hearing.
  • Explain how this hearing relates to the subject matters in this course.
  • Summarise the facts and legal arguments presented in court. Refer to relevant sections of the legislation or relevant cases.  This section must be very detailed and accurate.
  • Describe the witnesses (if any), lawyers, parties, and the case’s outcome (if finalised).
  • Describe your own views / impressions / thoughts about the case and the court procedures in general. For example, do you think the witnesses were credible?  Do you think the barristers were skilled and persuasive?  What do you think about the Commission Member(s)?

If the hearing spans for many days, it is not essential you attend all of those sessions. Only one single session is required for this assignment.


1 'Secure Jobs, Better Pay'

The Australian Government has passed the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022. This legislation amends the Fair Work Act to change a number of existing rules and introduces a range of new workplace laws.

Answer the following questions:

(i) What is Secure Jobs Better Pay?

(ii) What are the changes ?

(ii) What are the start dates?

  1. Respect at Work Act

On 12 December 2022, the Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Act 2022 (Cth) (the Act) came into effect.

Answer the following questions:

  1. What is the Act about? What's the background?
  2. Are there expanded powers of the Fair Work Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission? ( as a result of the new Act)  If so, what are they?
  3. What remedies are now available to the applicant?


You need to  identify the key legal concepts  and explain what they mean (definitions).  Next, provide a more detailed discussion of how these legal concepts relate to previous laws.

Use case law to provide weight to your submission.

When defining and discussing the law, you must refer to appropriate sections of legislation and/or appropriate cases.

In addition to discussing and explaining, your answer should also incorporate your own opinions, thoughts and arguments.


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