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LAWS70-103: Advanced Legal Reasoning, Research and Writing


The goals of this subject are (1) to provide high level instruction to postgraduate students in structuring legal arguments and documents and in writing with concision, cohesion and clarity; and (2) to impart to students the legal research methodologies and key analytical techniques necessary for independent work at postgraduate level. Students will learn how to apply the elements of good writing to present facts and law effectively, to argue from precedent set by earlier court opinions, and to carry out self-directed statutory interpretation. A strong focus will also be placed on legal English and on the techniques of statutory interpretation.

Subject details

Type: Postgraduate Subject
Code: LAWS70-103
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Credit: 10
Study areas:
  • Law

Learning objectives

1. Thorough knowledge of the characteristics of good legal writing. 2. The ability to engage in accurate and precise legal writing, especially the use of correct legal English applicable to the task. 3. Thorough knowledge of the wide range of legal research tools and techniques, together with the ability to critically evaluate those legal research tools and techniques and identify the most appropriate tool or technique in the circumstances. 4. The ability to analyse cases and other materials to extract legally relevant material and incorporate that in written exercises. 5. The ability to critically analyse the results of legal research and to use those results to solve complex problems and to construct persuasive legal and academic arguments. 6. The ability to analyse statutes and correctly apply the principles of statutory interpretation to extract the appropriate legal meaning.

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.

Restrictions: This subject is not available to
  • This subject is not available to students on US Financial Aid.
  • Students on a Student Visa may be restricted from enrolment due to the mode of delivery in the chosen semester. Check the subject outline for further details.

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

Subject outlines