Faculty of Law

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2013 (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
  6. make a legal argument, or provide an opinion, and to do so clearly, accurately and concisely.


Multiple choice/matching Research Skills for Law quiz (1hour); 5%; Legal reasoning skills task (equivalent to 1000 words, 1 hour): 20%; Engaging with the Legal System Report and Reflection (1500 words) 30%; and examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 45%

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Ross Hyams (First Semester)
Associate professor Moira Paterson (Second Semester)

Contact hours

Four hours of lectures per week


LAW7212, LAW1100