Availabilities:

Location Domestic International
Gold Coast Session 1 Session 1
Lismore Session 1 Session 1
Online Session 1,  2 N/A

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Introductory

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Unit aim

Introduces students to the concept of law and to the Australian legal system. Discusses basic concepts such as federalism, parliamentary sovereignty, separation of powers, rule of law, statutory interpretation, the doctrine of precedent and procedural fairness. Explores issues related to Indigenous Australian peoples and to effective equality before the law for all Australians.

Unit content

Topic 1: Nature and Sources of Law 
Topic 2: The international context 
Topic 3: Origins of the Australian legal system 
Topic 4: Aboriginal Sovereignty 
Topic 5: The Constitutional framework 
Topic 6: Legal Institutions and processes 
Topic 7: Judicial decision-making 
Topic 8: Statutory interpretation 
Topic 9: Access to justice 
Topic 10: Law in practice

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 identify the role of law in society and classify the various areas of the law;
2 demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the Australian legal system, including federalism, parliamentary sovereignty, separation of powers, rule of law, statutory interpretation the doctrine of precedent and procedural fairness;
3 understand the historical, social and political context of the foundations of the Australian legal system and evaluate whether it achieves equality before the law for groups, such as women, Indigenous peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, gays and lesbians, and children;
4 identify the broad scope of the law and how law enforcement in practice impacts on individuals and groups;
5 assess the role of the paralegal in the practice of law;
6 identify how the law is made and the institutions and processes that influence change;
7 demonstrate academic writing skills including critical analysis.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. identify the role of law in society and classify the various areas of the law;
    • GA4:
  2. demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the Australian legal system, including federalism, parliamentary sovereignty, separation of powers, rule of law, statutory interpretation the doctrine of precedent and procedural fairness;
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  3. understand the historical, social and political context of the foundations of the Australian legal system and evaluate whether it achieves equality before the law for groups, such as women, Indigenous peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, gays and lesbians, and children;
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  4. identify the broad scope of the law and how law enforcement in practice impacts on individuals and groups;
    • GA4:
    • GA7:
  5. assess the role of the paralegal in the practice of law;
    • GA4:
  6. identify how the law is made and the institutions and processes that influence change;
    • GA4:
  7. demonstrate academic writing skills including critical analysis.
    • GA6:

Prescribed texts

  • Ellis, Elizabeth, 2009, Principles and Practice of Australian Law, 2nd edn, Lawbook Co.: Ellis, E, 2013, Principles and Practice of Australian Law, 3rd edn, Lawbook Co.

  • Ellis, E, 2013, Principles and Practice of Australian Law, 3rd edn, Lawbook Co.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.