NOTE: This course has had one or more changes made to it since publication on 1 October 2016. For details of changes, please consult the Handbook change registerHandbook change register (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2017handbooks/2017-change-register.html).
A Monash law degree offers a realistic way to make a difference in the world. This straight-from-school law course will enable you to join the next generation of high achieving lawyers, with the ability to solve complex, demanding and interesting problems. Whatever the field of law, international law, intellectual property, criminal law, human rights law, biotechnology law, tax or family law, lecturers at Monash will challenge you to develop career-ready skills in legal research, analysis and persuasive written and oral communication.
Freshly redesigned to accommodate the needs of the legal profession, the Monash law degree reflects contemporary innovations in legal education. You will learn the key concepts, principles, procedures and methodologies underpinning the Australian legal system, and acquire advanced knowledge of the sources of law, the principal areas of law, and broader but related perspectives including legal ethics and justice. The study of law will enhance your research, analytical and communication skills within legal and related contexts, enabling you to develop a broad range of professional capabilities.
Monash Law will offer you a wide range of options, including the choice of a double degree course. While a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) is a fine start to your career, you can enhance your career options and professional expertise by combining it with another degree from a range of other disciplines including arts, global studies, biomedical science, commerce, engineering, music or science. The combined degrees can be completed in two years less time than if they were undertaken separately.
In the elective component of the law degree you can choose from a large number of specialist law units, study overseas and undertake work-based learning. You will have the opportunity to study at the Monash Prato Centre in Italy, our campus in Malaysia and leading partner universities overseas, exposing you to brilliant minds around the world and enhancing your global perspectives. You can also gain practical work-based experience through the legal clinical programs at our community legal service centres, and through internships, enabling you to understand how theory comes alive in practice.
Graduates who are admitted to legal practice can work as independent barristers or as solicitors in small or large law firms. They can also provide legal advice within law reform agencies, government and non-government organisations and private corporations. A law degree is also an excellent preparation for diverse law-related careers within the judiciary, government, media, business, industry and politics. The bachelor's degree is a pathway to post-graduate study at the master's or doctoral level. Indeed, high achieving students have the opportunity to choose one or two master's units in their final year, creating an opportunity to complete a master's degree in less than one year after graduation.
The Bachelor of Laws (Honours) is recognised by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB) as satisfying the academic requirements for admission to practice in Victoria as an Australian lawyer. But no law degree will enable you to practise law immediately. To do so, you must complete additional practical training as an articled law clerk, or as a candidate for a Diploma in Legal Practice. For further information refer to the Faculty of Law's Professional recognition of coursesProfessional recognition of courses (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/undergrad/law-03.html) webpage.
The Bachelor of Laws (Honours) course can be taken in combination with each of the following courses:
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Biomedical Science
- Bachelor of Commerce
- Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
- Bachelor of Global Studies
- Bachelor of Music
- Bachelor of Science
This will lead to the award of two degrees, the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and the degree awarded by the partner course. Students should refer to the course entry for the partner course in their double degree, for the requirements of the other degree.
These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 8 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 8 and Monash Graduate Attributes (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/alignmentofoutcomes.html).
Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that graduates will be able to demonstrate:
- the fundamental areas of legal knowledge, the Australian legal system, and underlying principles and concepts, including international and comparative contexts
- the broader contexts within which legal issues arise
- the principles and values of justice and of ethical practice in lawyers' roles
- Ethics and professional responsibility
- an advanced understanding of approaches to ethical decision-making
- an ability to recognise and reflect upon ethical issues likely to arise in professional contexts and a developing ability to respond to them
- an ability to recognise and reflect upon the professional responsibilities of lawyers in promoting justice and in service to the community
- a developing ability to exercise professional judgement
- Thinking skills
- identify and articulate complex legal issues
- apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate responses to legal issues
- engage in critical analysis and make reasoned choices amongst alternatives
- demonstrate cognitive and creative skills in approaching legal issues and generating appropriate responses and developing new understandings
- Research skills
- the intellectual and practical skills needed to interpret legal conclusions and professional decisions, as well as to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues
- Communication and collaboration
- communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal and non-legal audiences, and collaborate effectively
- learn and work with autonomy, accountability and professionalism and reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback as appropriate to support personal and professional development.
Credit for prior studies
If you have already successfully completed studies in a recognised undergraduate degree at an approved university, you may be eligible for credit for your prior learning in the Bachelor of Laws (Honours), reducing your study time from the normal 4.25 years full-time study. With credit, you may be able to enter the first year of law and be eligible for up to 36 points of credit. This means you may be able to complete the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in three and a half years of full-time study (or part-time equivalent).
Maximum credit allowed
The maximum amount of credit allowable towards the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) single degree is 102 points.
Admission to practice: Disciplinary reports
Students should note that a domestic applicant applying for admission to practise law in Victoria is required by the Admission Rules 2008 to provide to the Board of Examiners:
- a report from the University disclosing any disciplinary action taken against the student during the course (including any finding under the University Discipline Statute that the student has cheated in an assessment)
- an affidavit stating that the applicant has made full written disclosure of "every matter which a reasonable applicant would consider that the Board of Examiners might regard as not being favourable to the applicant". This may include an incident of academic or general misconduct, even if it did not lead to disciplinary action.
The Board of Examiners will consider these matters in assessing whether the applicant is a "fit and proper person to be admitted to the legal profession".
The Law component of this degree is recognised by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB). For further information refer to the Faculty of Law's professional recognition of coursesprofessional recognition of courses (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/undergrad/law-03.html) webpage.
The course is designed to equip you with basic legal knowledge and skills that are required for admission to legal practice, with the advanced skills required for an honours degree and an opportunity to develop specialised knowledge in areas of law of your choice. The basic knowledge is imparted through three broad themes: legal methodology and legal practice, public law and private law. The specialised knowledge and advanced skills are imparted in later year elective units, including a final year project involving intensive research and writing.
Part A. Legal methodology and legal practice
This theme includes the nature of law, and particularly statute law enacted by parliaments and common law developed by courts. It also includes the key concepts, principles and methods of research and reasoning that enable lawyers to identify and interpret law and apply it to relevant facts in order to provide legal advice. It covers the law of procedure and evidence that governs judicial proceedings, alternative methods of resolving legal disputes and the code of ethics that regulates the professional conduct of legal practitioners.
Part B. Public law
Public law includes constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law. It concerns the powers and procedures of the legislative, executive and judicial organs of government and how they are regulated and controlled by 'the rule of law'. It also concerns the legal relationship between government and individuals, including the protection of individual rights.
Part C. Private law
Private law deals with legal relationships between legal persons, including corporations as well as individuals. It includes the study of property rights, contractual rights and obligations, wrongs (called 'torts') such as trespass and the negligent infliction of injury, and the law of equity and trusts.
Part D. Extending specialised knowledge and advanced skills: Law electives
In later years of the course, you will be able to choose from a broad range of elective law units. High achieving students may also include one or two master's units in their final year of study. Elective law units enable you to develop specialised knowledge and advanced skills in areas of law that suit your own interests, skills and career goals. In addition to public and private law, these include international law, commercial law and human rights law. You will have opportunities to study overseas, and to undertake work-based learning, for example, in our legal clinical program and in local and international internships.
Part E. Optional non-law study
This will enable you to further broaden and deepen your knowledge of law or broaden your knowledge in another approved field.
Students complete 204 points, comprising 102 points of core law units and 102 points of electives which may include up to 24 points of non-law units outside the Faculty of Law or the 48 points of non-law units required to be cross credited towards a double degree course.
Knowledge is developed through four broad themes: A. Legal methodology and legal practice, B. Public law, C. Private law and D. Extending specialised knowledge and advanced skills. Units are clustered to reflect the main theme but most units also address the first theme, legal practice to some extent.
The course progression mapcourse progression map (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2017handbooks/maps/map-l3001.pdf) will assist you to plan to meet the course requirements, and guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.
Units are six credit points unless otherwise stated.
Part A. Legal methodology and legal practice (24 points)
Part B. Public law (30 points)
Part C. Private law (48 points)
Part D. Extending expertise: specialist law electives (54, 78 or 102 points)
Students complete between nine and seventeen units from the undergraduate law electiveslaw electives (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/aos/law-electives/), which must include:
- one commercial law elective*
- one law research elective**
Law units begin with the prefix LAW and suitable units can be identified using the browse unitsbrowse units (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/units/search) tool in the current edition of the Handbook.
The level of the unit is indicated by the first number in the unit code; undergraduate units are those that commence with the numbers 1-3.
High achieving students have the opportunity of undertaking a maximum of two master's level electives in the final semester, which can be counted towards a Master of Laws (LLM) degree if they wish to progress to LLM studies.
E. Optional non-law study
If you are completing the single degree course, you may wish to concentrate on your study of law, and take seventeen law elective units, adding either depth or breadth to your specialist knowledge.
Alternatively, if you wish to undertake some non-law study, then you may take up to four non-law units (24 points) in which you are eligible to enrol. Four units is sufficient to complete a minor in a discipline outside law which would be listed on your transcript. When selecting units to comprise a minor you should refer to the lists of minors in the arts, science, commerce, business and information technology comprehensive courses. It is recommended that you seek advice from the student services staff of the faculty offering those units and minors.
Electives from other faculties can also be identified using the browse units tool and indexes in the Handbook. You may need permission from the owning faculty to enrol in some units taught by other faculties.
If you are completing a double degree course, eight units (48 points) required for the partner degree are credited as electives towards the law degree.
Progression to further studies
High achieving students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) single or double degrees have the opportunity of undertaking a maximum of two masters-level electives, which can be counted towards a Master of Laws (LLM) degree if they wish to progress to LLM studies within ten years. Visit the faculty's Master of Laws elective programMaster of Laws elective program (http://www.law.monash.edu.au/current-students/course-unit-information/master-of-laws-elective-program.html) web page for full details.