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LAWS11-110: Australian Legal System


Australian Legal System is a compulsory subject in the Bachelor of Laws program offered by the Faculty of Law. This subject examines the nature and sources of law and the methods of the legal system. The role and function of the primary institutions of law and government are addressed. Particular attention is paid to the Australian federal structure; legislatures and the legislative process; and courts and the judicial system. The common law tradition, the doctrine of precedent, and the principles and rules of statutory interpretation are emphasised. Legal ethics and features of the modern legal profession are also introduced. The subject also covers the skills needed to conduct basic legal research.

Subject details

Code: LAWS11-110
Study areas:
  • Law

Learning outcomes

  1. Identify and critically discuss the historical and social underpinnings of the Australian legal system.
  2. Identify the key institutions and sources of law within the Australian legal system and describe the relationship between them.
  3. Understand and describe the institutional structure of Australian government and its implications for the legal system.
  4. Extract important features from statutes; as well as use, interpret and apply statutory provisions to new situations.
  5. Understand and describe the institutional structure of the Australian court system, jurisdiction and hierarchy.
  6. Extract important features from judgments, reconcile judgments, evaluate the development of legal principles and apply legal principles arising from case law to new situations.
  7. Create a research strategy, utilise legal databases to research primary and secondary materials and critically evaluate the materials obtained.
  8. Use legal citation conventions in the course of legal writing.
  9. Prepare a legal argument, or provide an opinion, and do so clearly, accurately and concisely.

Enrolment requirements



Assumed knowledge:

Assumed knowledge is the minimum level of knowledge of a subject area that students are assumed to have acquired through previous study. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they meet the assumed knowledge expectations of the subject. Students who do not possess this prior knowledge are strongly recommended against enrolling and do so at their own risk. No concessions will be made for students’ lack of prior knowledge.


This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.