LAW5613 - Game theory and the law - 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

The unit can be taken by a maximum of 45 students (due to limited facilities and method of teaching).

Unit guides



  • Term 2 2017 (Day)


"Game Theory" is often considered a subfield within the subject of "Law and Economics". This unit is aimed at providing an overview of Law and Economics and then refining that understanding with an expansive examination of Game Theory.

Topics in this unit will include, but are not limited to:

  • the impact of bicameral v. tricameral systems upon judicial decisions;
  • international agreements' influence upon domestic interpretations of the law;
  • decisions about specific political candidates and their impact upon macro-understandings within a government party;
  • the role of marginalisation upon how and whether issues become considered relevant by judicial and legislative bodies;
  • statistical data and its use by various parties to push their concerns forward;
  • trends in voting methods and how those processes encourage deliberation about municipal and state planning in the long term; and
  • the relevance of lobbying efforts by private entities and publicly-funded agencies.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. identify, synthesise and apply knowledge of key concepts in the field of law and economics, as well as detailed knowledge of game theoretic concepts
  2. demonstrate intellectual and creative skills to identify decision-making processes to which game theory can be usefully applied and to generate reasoned, practical and appropriate applications of predictive analysis
  3. observe and critically evaluate when strategizing about opposite parties' actions has made its way into litigation and judicial evaluation
  4. conduct research into complex game-theoretic concepts based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods; and
  5. communicate effectively and persuasively their understanding of research findings.


Attendance requirement: Students who fail to attend at least 80% of the classes in this unit (ie who miss 3 or more classes) will receive a result of 0 N for the unit. Students who are unable to meet this requirement due to severe illness or other exceptional circumstances must make an application for in-semester special consideration with supporting documentation.

Completion of online games prior to and in class, demonstrating the operation of various aspects of game theory, and participation in class discussion about the implications and application of games to the relevant aspect of the syllabus: 5% per class x 12 classes = 60%

Take-home examination of 2,000 words: 40%

Workload requirements

This will vary depending upon the demands of Prato and the timetable. Indicative hours would be: 6 hours a week for 6 weeks or 12 hours per week for 3 weeks. The total number of hours contact will remain 36.

Chief examiner(s)