Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) First semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2012 (Day)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see http://www.law.monash.edu.au/current-students/postgraduate/pg-disc-dates.html


This unit is only available to international students.

This unit is designed to assist lawyers from non-common law and non-english speaking backgrounds to develop their basic legal research and communications skills within the Australian legal environment. By means of seminars, practical workshops and individual instruction sessions, students will be guided in the development of basic legal research skills, critical reading skills and core legal communication skills, including the skills of oral presentation and legal writing.


On completing this unit a student should have:

  1. a familiarity with the basic sources of law in common law jurisdictions and the methods used to locate those sources
  2. the ability to independently research legal topics for the purposes of selecting, developing and writing a legal exposition and/or critique
  3. the ability to interpret and use legal references, including those found in reading guides, footnotes, bibliographies etc
  4. improved clear and critical thinking skills
  5. improved law related english-language skills pertaining to listening, reading, discussion, note-taking and the delivery of structured oral presentations
  6. an ability to observe the main conventions of english expression, including those most relevant to regular legal discourse
  7. improved legal writing skills, particularly in the areas of structure, expression and style
  8. a familiarity with the use of word-processors as an aid in the development of legal writing skills.


Research methods assignment(s) (2200 words): 30%
Assignment(s) (4,500 words): 60%
Short presentation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Leighton Morris

Contact hours

Classes commence two weeks prior to the beginning of Semester 1 and Semester 2.
24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)