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LAW1101 - Introduction to legal reasoning

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Semester One: Melissa Castan


Clayton First semester 2008 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2008 (Day)


The unit begins by examining the foundation and structure of the institutions and processes of the Australian legal system. This introduces the sources of authoritative law - statutes, delegated legislation and judicial precedents. A substantial portion of the study of the Australian legal system will examine how judges use precedents and interpret legislation. We will use a series of cases from a selected area of law to study how the content of common law changes within the constraints of the doctrine and practice of precedent. Students will assess the influence of social change in the development of the common law.


At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to:

  1. explain how the institutions of the Australian legal system shape the content and administration of the law;
  2. extract and formulate legal propositions from judicial decisions, and assess their scope, legal validity and weight;
  3. identify and articulate the legal issues raised by a given fact situation;
  4. locate efficiently the current law on a legal issue using library resources;
  5. interpret, analyse, synthesise and apply the law when located, to solve a legal problem; and
  6. make a legal argument, or provide an opinion, and to do so clearly, accurately and concisely.


Legal reasoning skills task (equivalent to 1600 words): 20%
Report on observation of courts, tribunals or community legal service (1600 words): 20% Examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 60%

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW7212, LAW1100

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