LAW5463 - Children's law in action - 2018

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.



Chief examiner(s)

Ms Erica Contini

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Second semester 2018 (Evening)


For students enrolled in the Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) or the Juris Doctor, completion of 72 credit points of core units.


Using a child centered approach, follow the development of legal issues that impact upon children as they grow. Examine the evolution of modes of legal representation for children starting with the role of an independent children's lawyer in family law proceedings. As children grow, their legal rights develop as do their legal responsibilities. Explore how this can involve state interference in the family unit through child welfare laws and the cross jurisdictional issues that can arise from this involvement especially in relation to criminal law and intervention order matters. Students will examine the transition to independence and the common law and statutory principles governing rights and responsibilities of children. The unit will explore the various laws that directly affect children and the specialized approach to resolving these issues. The unit will take a practice oriented approach requiring students to hone their oral as well as written advocacy and legal drafting skills.


Apply knowledge and understanding of laws and court processes that directly affect children to enable students to excel in professional practice and/or for further learning

Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to laws effecting children including child protection, criminal, mental health, infringements, intervention orders and family law.

Conduct practise based research in children's law based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods

Gain an understanding of the Children's Court and its jurisdiction

Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to representing children and children's law.

Develop analytical and complex case management skills to enable students to adopt a holistic, approach to acting for children with multiple and complex legal needs.


  1. Short procedural written exercises (500 words): 20%
  2. Written submission (2250 words): 30%
  3. Oral argument based on written submission: 10%
  4. Take-home examination (3,000 words): 40%

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 24 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study