Introduction to the Australian Legal System and Legal Methods
Not sure where to start?
- Is online study right for me?
- Why OUA?
- What should I study?
- How does it work?
- How do I enrol?
Discover what's involved in studying through OUA.Find out more
To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider.
Read before you start
Level of study: What does Postgraduate mean?
EFTSL: What does EFTSL mean?
Delivery Method: What does delivery method mean?
Prerequisites: What are the prerequisites?
Availability: What is a Session?For enrolment (2012): For forward planning* (2013): What is Forward Planning?
- Sess 1
- Sess 2
Government loans available:
- Domestic student fee:
- $3,300.00 (AUD)
This unit provides the student with knowledge of the Australian legal system and an understanding of the foundations of Australian Law. The unit examines sources of law focusing on the common law system, the doctrine of precedent, the Constitution in the context of parliamentary legislative powers, legislation and interpretive rules and also provides a brief introduction to sources of international law. Students are introduced to the process by which the lawyers analyse legal problems as part of the process of legal problem solving. The unit will introduce students to legal electronic resources. This will lead into skills based sessions on basic legal research and writing and the ethics associated with developing these skills. The research workshops for this unit will enable you to develop a working knowledge of legal research in relation to accessing legislation, case law, journal-based sources (including databases), constructing information searches and research problem-solving. You will then apply this knowledge both in this unit and in other law units in the Juris Doctor.
This unit is taught entirely on campus in Melbourne over 3 non-consecutive weekends. Attendance at all three weekends is compulsory.
Session 1, 2012* on-campus attendance required:
Friday 24th February - Sunday 26th February 2012
Saturday 31st March - Sunday 1st April 2012
Saturday 5th May - Sunday 6th May 2012
Session 2, 2012* on-campus attendance required:
Friday 13th July - Sunday 15th July 2012
Saturday 18th August - Sunday 19th August 2012
Saturday 15th September - Sunday 16th September 2012
*Dates are subject to change.
- Assignment (15%)
- Group Project (10%)
- Open Book Invigilated Exam (60%)
- Presentation (5%)
- Report (10%)
At the conclusion of this unit, you will have a solid understanding of the Australian legal system. You will be able to understand the historical, doctrinal and philosophical perspectives that have influenced the development of law and critically compare and assess key theoretical positions and interdisciplinary movements that provide critique and commentary on the role and practice of law. You will gain the following capabilities after completing this unit:
Legal Discipline Knowledge
- A knowledge of the sources of Australian law, how they are made and developed, and of the institutions that administer the law.
- The ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of legal concepts, values, principles and rules of Australian law and to explain the relationship between them in a number of particular areas.
- Identify and find relevant Australian legal sources and materials.
- Extract the essential points from those legal sources and materials.
- Apply this law to the facts of the problem so as to produce satisfactory answers to the questions posed.
- Communicate the reasons for those answers, both orally and in writing, making use of the legal sources and materials, appropriately to the needs of a variety of audiences.
- Use the English language and legal terminology with care and accuracy.
This unit addresses the following topics.
|1||Classification of law|
|2||Introduction and overview|
|3||Finding the law - research skills class|
|4||Legal system and constitution|
|7||Legal problem solving and legal writing|
|8||Legislation and statutory interpretation|
|9||Overview of legal history|
|10||What is a lawyer?|
|11||Revision-law exam techniques|
Each unit offered through OUA provides students with unit information that includes assessment topics and due dates, policy information and contact numbers for university support and academic staff. Study materials will also clearly outline each week's topic, readings, student activities and the format of all assessment.
Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.
Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:
Supplier:Go to Unibooks
This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:
This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:
- Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
- In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Unibooks textbook list.
Have a question? Give us a call.