units

LAW7470

Faculty of Law

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Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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

LevelPostgraduate
FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton Trimester 1 2011 (Day)
Clayton Trimester 2 2011 (Day)
Clayton Trimester 3 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Mr Ross Hyams (T1-58); Dr Martine Marich (T1-58 T3-58); Ms Rachel Chrapot (T1-58); Dr Gerry Nagtzaam (T2-58); Ms Oyiela Litaba (T3-58)

Synopsis

The unit provides students who are new to the study of Australian law with:

  1. a knowledge and understanding of the sources of law in Australia
  2. practical skills in legal research, and an understanding of the nature of legal research
  3. an understanding of the requirements of good legal writing, and practical experience in analysing legal problems, and applying the relevant law to the facts of a case.

Students will be instructed as to the interrelationship between case law and statute law, led through the features of case law and legislation and encouraged to understand the process by which these resources evolve. Students will also learn the principles of statutory interpretation and acquire an ability to interpret law and an understanding of the role of judges in interpreting legislation.

Practical skills in legal research are essential to legal studies (and legal practice) and accordingly students will be assisted in developing these skills as well as developing an understanding of the nature and importance of thorough legal research. Attendance at specified library classes will be a hurdle requirement for undertaking assessment in this unit.

This unit will also assist students in understanding the features of good legal writing, and emphasise how a proper understanding of the law can be applied to produce efficient and accurate legal writing. Assessed tutorials will be employed, to provide students with adequate supervised practice in applying the law to the facts of an individual case, and critical analysis of the merits of particular laws.

Students will be required to submit an individual written assignment of 3,375 words, explaining and critically evaluating a superior court decision, with reference to a limited number of secondary resources chosen by the student after careful research.

Students will also be required to undertake a take home examination, applying legislation to the facts of a fictional client's case with reference to relevant case law.

Objectives

  1. To develop an understanding of the sources of law in Australia and the interrelationship between case law and statute law.
  2. To develop an ability to read and analyse cases and an understanding of the process by which case law evolves.
  3. To become familiar with significant principles of statutory interpretation and acquired an ability to interpret law and an understanding of the role of judges in interpreting legislation.
  4. To understand the nature of legal research.
  5. To be able to undertake independent legal research.
  6. To acquire an understanding of the requirements of good legal writing, including basic matters of style.
  7. To develop the ability to analyse legal problems, to apply relevant law and to argue a case (in written form) to a level appropriate for qualified legal practitioners.

Assessment

Written task linked to tutorial activities: 10%
Written assignment (3,375 words): 45%
Take-home examination: 45%

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Ross Hyams (Trimester 1)
Dr Gerry Nagtzaam (Trimester 2)
Ms Oyiela Litaba (Trimester 3)

Contact hours

30 contact hours per teaching period plus 6 hours of library labs (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)

Prohibitions

LAW7079
LAW7212
LAW7436
LAW7285