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LAWS13-115: Contemporary Issues in Law and Society September 2019 [Standard]

General information

Contemporary Issues in Law and Society is an undergraduate elective subject offered by the Faculty of Law. This subject is not a technical law subject. It explores some of the social and contemporary controversies which surround law. The goal is to create cross-disciplinary debate on how to solve contemporary problems such as: the role of law as a social system; the impact of science in an era of human cloning and designer babies; freedom of expression, media regulation and hate speech; government regulation of social media; criminal sanctions and punishment; and gender issues. How do morality, law, politics, science and economics intersect and interact when we try to solve problems or secure progress in society? The plan of topics may be varied if new controversial issues emerge during the course of the semester.


Academic unit:Faculty of Law
Subject code:LAWS13-115
Subject title:Contemporary Issues in Law and Society
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:September 2019
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours
Attendance and learning activities: You should attend all classes. Many lectures build on material covered in previous sessions, and it may be difficult for you to recover if you miss a class. Attendance in tutorials will be monitored and assessed. When other students are presenting, you must attend and contribute to the subsequent discussion; and this material will be examinable. Unexcused failure to attend tutorials will result in a penalty of one mark per tutorial missed.


Prescribed resources: No Prescribed resources. After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?

Anti-requisites: ?

  • CORE11-121 Contemporary Issues in Law and Society

Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Define their own set of ethical and moral principles through research, analytical thinking and reasoning which they can then carry forward to apply to any future life situation.
  2. Obtain a body of knowledge about and critical insight into many of the most topical issues of our time. This will enable them to contribute reasoned perspectives to the major debates on these issues positively and with confidence.
  3. Present material coherently and fluently and to debate the merits of problems with their peers.
  4. Present reasoned and researched arguments in logical, structured written form.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
*Class Participation Class Participation 10% Ongoing 1, 2, 3.
Essay Written assignment 30% Week 8 1, 2, 4.
Presentation 10-15 minute oral presentation 10% To Be Negotiated 1, 2, 3.
Paper-based Examination (Limited Open) Final exam 50% Final Examination Period 1, 2.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Accessibility and Inclusion Support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

Where do our values comes from? What is the impact of the surrounding environment, our family background, our emotions or our reasoning? This has practical implications and 'sets the scene' for the rest of the semester. Reflect on this phrase: compliance motivations - what motives us to comply with standards and rules?

What do we mean by the term 'regulation'? Who regulates? Why regulate? Does it work? We conceptualise what is meant by 'regulation', consider who regulates and why regulation occurs.

Here we introduce the role of the state in society and regulation. What rationales or motivations might trigger state intervention?

Here we consider the various roles of law as a regulatory mechanism. We consider the expressive or symbolic function of law, together with the more obvious functions.

Does sport operate in a law-free zone? Or is it a domain that is particularly resistant to aspects of the law? This topic examines cases where the law has intervened in sport and other cases where private non-state actors have voluntarily self-regulated in sport.

This topic will examine some current issues that impact upon human right. Eg Refugee detention in Australia.

This topic examines some contemporary issues involving science and the law. We may consider reproductive technology and end-of-life decision-making, or autonomous vehicles and AI.

We will either continue our discussions on some of the above topics, or explore new issues of interest.

As we approach the end of the semester, we will review the topics covered, reflect on presentations and papers, and prepare for the examination.

Approved on: Jul 11, 2019. Edition: 2.11
Last updated: Jul 30, 2019.