Faculty of Law

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Day)


This unit was previously coded LAW1101. This unit is only offered to students commencing in 2015 and beyond.


The unit examines the foundation and structure of the institutions and processes of the Australian legal system, including legal practice as a distinctive element within the Australian legal process. It introduces the sources of authoritative law - statutes, delegated legislation and judicial precedents. A case series is used to demonstrate the evolution of the common law within the constraints of the doctrine and practice of precedent. The unit provides foundational knowledge and skills in the interpretation of judicial precedents and legislation and their application in legal problem-solving. Students develop fundamental skills in legal research and legal writing.


At the successful completion of this Unit students should be able to:

  1. explain how the institutions of the Australian legal system shape the content and administration of the law
  2. reflect on the role and responsibilities of lawyers in the administration of justice
  3. demonstrate a developing awareness of the role of law in facilitating the formation, operation and regulation of private legal entities, and the commercial significance of law's role in this respect
  4. locate efficiently the current law on a legal issue using library resources critically evaluate the relevance, quality, authority and currency of the materials that they find
  5. find the statutes and related extrinsic materials relevant to answering a legal question
  6. extract and formulate legal propositions from judicial decisions, and assess their scope, legal validity and weight
  7. interpret, analyse, synthesise and apply the law when located, to solve a legal problem
  8. make a legal argument, or provide an opinion, and to do so clearly, accurately and concisely
  9. design and implement an efficient research strategy to answer a legal research question, using the most appropriate online and paper-based research tools
  10. identify the hallmarks of good legal writing, and use them to edit and improve their own writing.


(1) Multiple Choice Questionnaire - 1hr on introductory material and legal reasoning (weeks 1 to 6) (equivalent to 1000 words) - 20%
(2) Written assignment on the legal profession and institutions, including a reflective component (1500 words) - 30%
(3) Final examination (two hours plus 30mins reading and noting time) - 45%
(4) Library research online quiz - 5%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Ross Hyams (First Semester);
Associate Professor Douglas Guilfoyle (Second Semester)