LAW5080 - Australian legal system - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Trimester 1 2017 (Day)
  • Term 3 2017 (On-campus block of classes)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7212


The unit covers Australian legal and political institutions (including the institutions of government and the constitutional framework), sources of law in Australia (including the historical origins of our legal system, common law and equity, legislation and delegated legislation and the contemporary relationship between the courts and Parliament), legal writing (including an introduction to legal terminology, an overview of the different types of writing required in the Law School and a discussion of the criteria for assessment), case law and statutory interpretation.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • apply knowledge of the rules of precedent and statutory interpretation with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information in relation to legal and political institutions in Australia, sources of law in Australia, case law and its evolution and the role of judges in interpreting legislation;
  • conduct research based on knowledge of appropriate research principle and methods and an understanding of the requirements of good legal writing, including basic matters of style; and
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to the Australian legal system.


Research paper (3750 words): 50% and

Examination (2 hours): 50% or

Take-home examination (3750 words): 50% (to be determined by the unit lecturer)

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements).

Chief examiner(s)