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Subject details

  • Topics
    • Law, Government and Criminal Justice
    • Law and Government in Australia
    • Federalism
    • Politics and the Media
    • Liberalism, Democracy and Justice
    • Human Rights Protection
    • Case Studies
    • Indigenous Rights and Recognition
    • Accountability and Justice
    • International Comparisons
    • Review and Conclusion
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
    • Online Materials
      • Printable format materials
      • Resources and Links
      • Online Assessment

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. Describe key institutions involved in making and influencing laws in Australia
  2. Understand principles and theories underlying Australian law and government
  3. Explain constraints on efficient and effective law-making in Australia
  4. Think critically about the operation and fairness of law and government
  5. Identify, locate and analyse information resources relevant to the degree
  6. Describe key political institutions and processes in the Australian context, and compare these with other systems internationally
  7. Understand how institutions and processes of law and politics are relevant to the operation of the criminal justice system throughout Australia.
  • Assignment 1 - Online Quizzes (20%)
  • Assignment 2 - Law Reform Report (40%)
  • Assignment 3 - Invigilated Exam (40%)

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 subject

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject introduces key ideas and institutions associated with law and its production in Australia. It examines how law is made by courts and parliaments, and the principal legal and political conventions and processes involved in law making. This knowledge provides a foundation for further study on criminal law and justice systems.

This is a core, introductory subject in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program. It gives students an overview of the role of law in Australian society, and how it is made, influenced and applied by courts and by governments. These concepts and processes are an essential framework for the criminal justice system and knowledge developed in this degree provides a foundation for later studies in criminology and criminal justice, and for employment in the field.

The central focus of the subject is on examining how law and politics operate and interact in society. The relationship between concepts like rules, morality, justice, politics and power are also examined. Students think critically about the law-making process, and consider diverse issues including: the moral content of laws; liberalism, legalism and the rule of law; the role of judges; indigenous rights and justice; the nature of democracy; the exercise and control of government power; and human rights. This is done through the use of case studies to encourage a problem-based approach to learning. 

The subject also has a strong focus on skill development for both academic and vocational purposes, especially research, writing and critical analysis.

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