Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)


Students will study the relationship between law and justice; major theories of the foundations and the nature of law (legal positivism, natural law, legal realism); the nature of legal reasoning and the role of value-judgments in judicial decision-making; the meaning of statutes and constitutions; judicial activism and fidelity to law.


Students will acquire a basic understanding of the major contemporary philosophies of law and legal reasoning, and the main lines of debate between them. In particular, students will:

  1. acquire an understanding of how each philosophy regards the relationships between law and justice, and legal and moral reasoning
  2. develop an appreciation of how the debates between these philosophies illuminate actual controversies in the practical administration of legal systems.


Class Participation: (10%)
Compulsory research assignment 2,000 words: (40%)
Final examination: (2 hours plus 30 minutes and noting reading time): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2200 or LAW2201 and LAW2202 OR ATS2868/3868. ATS2869/3869 OR ATS2905/3905