Foundations of Law
Get to grips with the legal system. Take a deep dive into how the law is made, the operations of the legal system, and the role that this all plays in society. Learn basic methods of legal analysis, and develop skills in legal research and writing.
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Online and other materials
Subjects may require attendance
- 26 Oct 2020
- 01 Mar 2021
- 28 Jun 2021
- 25 Oct 2021
The University of New England is the only Australian public university to be awarded the maximum 5 stars for Overall Experience by the Good Universities Guide, 13 years in a row. UNE has delivered distance education since 1955—that’s longer than any other Australian university. Perhaps that’s why students continue to rate UNE so highly for student satisfaction and teaching quality. With over 170 degrees offered online, and more than 20,000 online students, UNE is the expert in online education.
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Upon completion of this subject, students will be able to:
- interpret the principal sources of law, including statutory law and judge‐made law, customary law, how the doctrine of precedent operates and the principles of statutory interpretation;
- apply the basic methods of legal analysis; to analyse critically legal problems, including applying relevant case law and legislation to differing contexts and a particular sets of facts;
- demonstrate initiative and autonomy in legal research by locating primary and secondary legal resource material;
- plan, organise and communicate legal advice in writing; and
- demonstrate an informed understanding of the Australian constitutional framework and legal system.
- Topics are only available to enrolled students in the unit Moodle site.
You must either have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject, or currently be enrolled in the following subject(s) in a prior study period; or enrol in the following subject(s) to study prior to this subject:
Please note that your enrolment in this subject is conditional on successful completion of these prerequisite subject(s). If you study the prerequisite subject(s) in the study period immediately prior to studying this subject, your result for the prerequisite subject(s) will not be finalised prior to the close of enrolment. In this situation, should you not complete your prerequisite subject(s) successfully you should not continue with your enrolment in this subject. If you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite subject(s) and believe you may not complete these all successfully, it is your responsibility to reschedule your study of this subject to give you time to re-attempt the prerequisite subject(s)
To enrol in this subject you will need to pass UNE-LSU100 subject. Please note as UNE results are released after the close of enrolment date, your enrolment into this subject will be withdrawn if you do not receive a satisfactory result for UNE-LSU100.
- EquipmentDetails - Headphones or speakers (required to listen to lectures and other media) Headset, including microphone (highly recommended) Webcam (may be required for participation in virtual classrooms and/or media presentations).
- SoftwareDetails - It is essential for students to have reliable internet access in order to participate in and complete your units, regardless of whether they contain an on campus attendance or intensive school component. For additional information please visit UNE Hardware Requirements: https://www.une.edu.au/current-students/support/it-services/hardware
- TravelDetails - Travel may be required to complete invigilated examination.
- OtherDetails -
- Most law units will require students to spend at least 15 hours of study per unit per week. That includes time spent online in the LMS, doing private study and working on assignments. The amount of time needed will vary depending on your existing study skills.
- Law units are particularly time-heavy because of the amount of reading that’s required and the type of reading. Reading cases and other types of legal texts will be unfamiliar at first.
- Learning law involves learning new skills, and UNE’s law teachers will help with that, but it does take a commitment of time on your part.
- You need to consider carefully your existing time commitments before enrolling in multiple units.
Progression into the Degree.
To be admitted to the Bachelor of Laws (4 Years) students need to complete the following four units of study and achieve a minimum GPA of 4.2.
- LSU100 Introduction to Legal Studies
- LAW100 Introduction to Legal Systems and Methods
- LAW101 Law in Context
- LAW162 Criminal Law or LAW172 Contract Law
LSU100 is a prerequisite of LAW100; LAW100 is a prerequisite of LAW101, LAW162 and LAW172
- The 4.2 GPA requirement equates to three Passes and one Credit.
- Be aware that if you fail a unit it is included in your GPA calculation and means you will need to achieve higher grades to obtain admission to the degree.
- For this reason, we recommend students consider their study load and academic skills before attempting a subject.
- For more information on GPA requirements, please refer to the UNE website.
For students who have not studied before or have not studied recently
- If you’ve not studied previously, or have been out of study for a while, in your first year we recommend you don’t attempt more than one UNE Law unit per trimester and consider completing an introductory study subject like COM10 and APC100.
- If you are successful in gaining admission to the Bachelor of Laws (4 years) either of these units could count towards the Elective component of the degree.
Note: This subject was previously known as 'Introduction to Legal Systems and Methods'.
This subject serves as an introduction to law studies. Its objective is to start students on the path to achieving an understanding of how the legal system operates, the ways in which the law is made and the role of the law in society.
Assignment 1: Written Assessment. 1000 words. Relates to Learning Outcomes LO: 1, 2, 3, 4 Quizzes: 3 quizzes at 10% each. Relates to Learning Outcomes LO: 1, 2, 3 and 5 Final Examination: 2 hours 15 mins - This exam will be offered online with supervision via webcam and screen sharing technology. More information can be found on our web page at "https://www.une.edu.au/current-students/my-course/examinations/olx-project" Final Examination Relates to Learning Outcomes: LO: 1‐5 UNE manages supervised exams associated with your UNE subjects. Prior to census date, UNE releases exam timetables. They’ll email important exam information directly to your UNE email address.
- Written Assessment (30%)
- Final Examination (40%)
- Quizzes (30%)
Laying Down the Law 10th ed.
Creyke, R., Hamer, D., O'Mara, P., Smith, B. and Taylor, T.
Principles and Practice of Australian Law 4th ed.
Greaney, J., Thomson Reuters
Concise Australian Legal Dictionary 5th ed.
Finkelstein, R. and Hamer, D.
Check the learning management system (LMS) of your university for textbook details.
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