Introduction to the Australian Legal System and Legal Methods - 2018

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Web Dependent
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sess 1 , Sess 2
  • Availability for 2018: Sess 1 , Sess 2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Legal Research & Writing Task (20%) , Assignment 2 - Statutory Interpretation Task (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 4,440.00

This unit introduces you to the Australian legal system, and a number of foundational legal skills. 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. Topics which will be covered include:

  • The Constitutional Framework
  • Sources of Law – Legislation and Case-law
  • Statutory Interpretation;
  • Legal Institutions and Processes
  • Legal Theory;
  • Legal Research, Legal Analysis, and
  • Law in Practice

This unit is taught in Melbourne over 3 non-consecutive weekends. OUA students are encouraged to attend the 3 intensive weekends if possible, however it is not compulsory.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an integrated understanding of the sources of Australian law; how laws are made, developed and applied (both common law and statute); and the ways in which institutions administer those laws
  2. critically evaluate aspects of the Australian legal system and identify areas of law reform
  3. analyse and research problems relating to the doctrine of precedent and rules of statutory interpretation and make reasoned and appropriate choices amongst alternatives
  4. demonstrate cognitive and creative skills in approaching foundational legal issues and legal rules, and generate appropriate responses
  5. demonstrate the intellectual and practical skills needed to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions and identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues using legislation, case law and secondary source materials
  6. demonstrate self-management skills in a professional context.
  • Assignment 1 — Legal Research & Writing Task (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Statutory Interpretation Task (30%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam — Take Home Exam (50%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1What is Law
2Case Law and the Doctrine of Precedent
3Legal Research and Legal Writing
4The Australian Legal System
5Statutory Interpretation
6Human Rights/Indigenous Australians and the Law
7The Role of the Lawyer
8The Australian Court System and Judicial Decision Making
9Law Exam Techniques and Revision

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.

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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