Workplace Investigations (LAWS6305)


Lawyers and HR/IR practitioners are increasingly required to deal with complaints of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination, and address suspected misconduct such as fraud/theft, violence, and safety and other breaches. In order to take disciplinary and other action, a proper factual foundation must be established, through a workplace investigation. This unit of study provides a framework for conducting effective and fair workplace investigations. It provides an overview of the legal risks that arise from poorly conducted investigations and draws relevant principles from current case law, including unfair dismissal decisions and breach of contract cases examining the implied duty of mutual trust and confidence. We consider how concepts of 'procedural fairness' and 'natural justice' impact each stage of a workplace investigation, including: Establishing the scope of the investigation and particularizing the alleged complaint or misconduct; Preparing an Investigation Plan; Conducting interviews and gathering information; Managing participants, including stand down/suspension; and Evaluating information and making findings, applying the relevant standard of proof.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Intro Class: Mar 22 (6-8) then Apr 8, 9 & 29, 30 (9-5)


class participation including individual in-class exercises (25%) and group in-class exercises (25%) and 3000wd take-home exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

LAWS6252 or LAWS6071

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.