LAW4163 - Parents, children and the state - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


Examines legislative structures for resolving disputes between parents, children and State child welfare authorities and the difficulties which arise as the result of the divided Commonwealth/State responsibility. Examines creation of families and parent-child relationships, common law and statutory principles governing rights and responsibilities of parents, particularly the provisions of Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). Examines paramountcy of 'best interests of the child' and relevant considerations.


Students who complete this course will:

  1. identify and evaluate a knowledge of the common law and statutory principles which govern the relations between parents and children and between children, parents and the State and develop some understanding of the way in which these laws operate in practice b analyse and interpret the jurisdictional issues and legal procedures relevant to the determination of such disputes

    c research and evaluate theoretical and critical debates about the laws governing parents and children and the adequacy of current laws and procedures

    d communicate effectively and persuasively on issues relevant to family law

  2. evaluate and reflect on some of the skills necessary for practice in this area of the law and recognize ethical issues they may encounter in practice.
  3. learn and work autonomously and use feedback to improve their own capabilities and performance


Final examination (3 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 100% OR final examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 60% and either a research assignment (2000 words): 40% OR participation in the Family Law Assistance Program with both 2.5 days (over five x half days) practical component AND a file/court report (1500 words): 40%

Please note that the Family Law Assistance Program option will not be available in semester 2, 2017

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)


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104