LAWPUBL 467 : Anti-corruption Law and Democracy


2023 Summer School (1230) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The global significance of corruption and its implications for self-government are explored within the context of rising economic and political inequality and illiberal populism. This course asks whether anti-corruption law can respond to democracy’s vulnerabilities and decline. It examines current economic and political trends, anti-corruption law domestically and internationally, and the potential for enhancing the law to better-protect political integrity.

Course Overview

This course is for students who have already gained a foundational understanding of law & society, public law, and criminal law. Building on those foundations, this course explores the meanings of democracy and corruption in domestic and international law, and the possibility for legal reforms to produce and protect good government. The first part of the course sets the foundation for our time together by examining general definitions of democracy, definitions of corruption, and worrisome trends connected to both—including high levels of wealth concentration, rising illiberal populism, and the failure of governments to mitigate climate change. The second part of the course discusses the prevention and criminalization of corrupt acts and the enforcement of those legal provisions. This part begins with domestic law, moves on to a sample of regional treaties, and ends with a detailed examination of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The third and final part of the course discusses “pressure points” (or potential growth areas) in anti-corruption law that have major implications for democratic integrity. Those areas include conflicts of interest, lobbying, campaign and party finance, and corporate corruption. 

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: LAW 201, 211 Restriction: LAWHONS 735

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Laws

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and evaluate different theories of democracy and corruption (Capability 1.1, 2.2 and 4.1)
  2. Articulate and apply key legal principles and concepts that relate to democracy and anti-corruption law, including in New Zealand law and international law (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1 and 5.1)
  3. Develop a sophisticated awareness of the effects and challenges that corruption poses for contemporary concerns over poverty and development, environmental protection, human rights, and the integrity of economic and political systems; and examine the potential for legal reforms and social movements to address these challenges. (Capability 1.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  4. Demonstrate effective written communication skills (Capability 2.3 and 4.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Reflection 10% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 20% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 70% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Final Exam
REFLECTION PIECES x 2: 10% of total grade (5% and 300 words each) – This assessment task will require students to read, synthesise and critically reflect on the first two sets of readings (reflection 1 on readings for lectures 1 and 2) and to critically evaluate one class presentation by the lecturer (reflection 2 on the content of lecture 3 itself). 

QUIZZES: Multiple choice quizzes x 2: 20% of total grade (10% each) – This assessment task requires students to answer a series of multiple-choice questions about anti-corruption law. Both quizzes will be conducted through Canvas.

FINAL EXAMINATION: The final examination will comprise two sections. The first section will require students to answer a compulsory problem question worth 40 marks. The second section will comprise multiple essay questions worth 30 marks each. Students will be required to select and answer two questions. 

Workload Expectations

This is a 15-point summer course. There will be around 36 hours of lectures in this course. As a general guide, you should expect a workload of three hours outside of the classroom for each hour spent in class. The guideline for the total workload for this course is 150 hours.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Assuming no relevant change in COVID-19 alert levels:

Attendance of lectures is required.

Lectures will be available as recordings.

The course will not include live online events.

Attendance on campus is required for the final exam.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Course book
I will post the course book as a PDF on the “files” tab of the Canvas page. It is strongly recommended that you purchase a physical copy of the course book, particularly as the exam is open book.
Recommended Text
There is no prescribed text, but this free book is recommended: Gerry Ferguson, Global Corruption: Law, Theory, and Practice (3rd ed., 2018), available at

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of every semester students  are invited to give feedback on the course and teaching either through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturer will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions. Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students. The following are in response to feedback received from previous students of this course:

1.we will examine recent anti-corruption cases decided in New Zealand  (namely, the political donations controversies that engulfed the New Zealand First Foundation and the National and Labour parties); also
2. we will spend more time introducing some of the concepts from political science and economics that are featured in the readings. 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course director, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a Student Academic and Support Adviser as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 26/10/2022 04:59 p.m.