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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

Explores the discursive conventions of Law, a discipline predicated on powerful narratives and solid rhetorical practices while simultaneously denying that it is anything other than the simple application of known and certain rules.

As Wetlaufer notes “Rhetoric offers us a set of tools for thinking about the discursive conventions within which we work”.  Students will have the opportunity to explore Law’s rhetoric and the stories it tells about itself while developing their own rhetorical toolboxes, drawing upon classical traditions from Plato, Quintillian and Socrates to the new rhetoric identified by Chaim Perelman

Unit content

  1. Law as Rhetoric and its denial of its own rhetoric
  2. Discipline specific discursive conventions
  3. Law’s discursive conventions
  4. Law as syllogism
  5. The three appeals – pathos, ethos and logos
  6. The role of narrative and analogy in law
  7. Unpacking the Rhetorician’s toolbox – from Alliteration to Synedoche
  8. Tools and techniques for analysing and critiquing discursive conventions

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: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of rhetoric to Law and the ways in which Law is a practice of rhetoric Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline
2 Identify the use of rhetorical tools and devices used within Law’s texts and artefacts which speak of and about Law Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
3 Utilise rhetorical devices to present powerful and compelling arguments, positions and stories Creativity Communication and social skills
4 Critically analyse Law’s texts and artefacts using classic and new rhetorical lenses Knowledge of a discipline

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of rhetoric to Law and the ways in which Law is a practice of rhetoric
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. Identify the use of rhetorical tools and devices used within Law’s texts and artefacts which speak of and about Law
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  3. Utilise rhetorical devices to present powerful and compelling arguments, positions and stories
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA6: Communication and social skills
  4. Critically analyse Law’s texts and artefacts using classic and new rhetorical lenses
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline