ECC4720 - Law and economics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate, Postgraduate - Unit

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


Business and Economics

Organisational Unit

Department of Economics


Professor Russell Smyth

Not offered in 2017


The unit applies the method of economics to the analysis of the law itself - to the structure of the common law, legal processes, legal institutions and statutory regulation, and to the impact of law on the behaviour of individuals and groups and the functioning of the economy. Topics include: is there a role for law and economics in studying the law, economics of crime and capital punishment, punitive damages, interest group theories of judicial independence and the determinants of judicial influence and prestige.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. understand the two-way interrelationships between law and economics
  2. evaluate the key role of laws in setting the institutional framework in which economic decisions are taken and to critically evaluate current and proposed laws as determinants of economic performance
  3. critically assess the responses of households and business enterprises to current and alternative laws.


Within semester assessment: 30% + Examination: 70%

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. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. 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)

Professor Peter Forsyth (First semester)

Professor Russell Smyth (Second semester)


Students must be enrolled in course code 0181, 0024 or 0171 to undertake this unit