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LAWS70-110: Australian Legal System


This subject examines the basic institutions and methods of the legal system. The main institutions of law and government are addressed: the separation of powers, parliament, the executive, the courts and the legal profession. Particular attention is paid to the history and structure of federation; the constitutions of the States and Commonwealth; legislatures and the legislative process; the development and functioning of the Australian Courts system and structure and roles of the judiciary and the legal profession. The basic methods of the law are examined with respect to the common law tradition, the doctrine of precedent including the concepts of ratio and obiter, the courts of Equity and the interplay between common law and statutes.

Subject details

Type: Postgraduate Subject
Code: LAWS70-110
Faculty: Faculty of Law
Credit: 10
Study areas:
  • Law

Learning objectives

1. Understand the origins, structure and operation of the Australian political and legal system, including the federal system of government, jurisdictions, the legal profession and the practice of the law. 2. Understand the basic elements of Australian Constitutional Law. 3. Understand and approach problems through a study of the Common Law and the doctrine of precedent. 4. Be able to describe what is involved in the legislative process and the creation and passage of Legislation and Regulations. 5. Be able to demonstrate this knowledge in practical application through the use of legal databases, resources and writing conventions by way of writing, research, and advocacy.

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