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LAW3210 Theories of Law

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Law
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Reid Mortensen
Moderator: Nicky Jones

Requisites

Pre-requisite: LAW1202 or LAW5502

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at http://www.usq.edu.au/current-students/support/computing/hardware.

Synopsis

While most law courses submerge students in the technical rules of various aspects of the law, this course places the law in the context of philosophies which critique the basis of those rules. Students will study various bodies of thought that have in the past influenced legal thinking, including legal positivism, natural law, feminist, realist and critical theories of law, and liberal, social and radical political theories. Against the background of classical and modern natural law theories, consideration will also be given to philosophies of virtue and character - particularly as applicable to lawyers.

Objectives

On successful completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. knowledge and understanding of analytical, normative and social theories of law and justice and of virtue ethics
  2. ethical research and inquiry by understanding the relevance of philosophies of character and virtue to the practice of law
  3. academic literacy in logical analysis and reasoning of important analytical, normative and social theories of law and justice and of virtue ethics
  4. written communication of the findings of research and analysis involving important analytical, normative and social theories of law and justice and virtue ethics
  5. cultural literacy in understanding how important analytical, normative and social theories evaluate international law
  6. cultural literacy in understanding how important analytical, normative and social theories of law and justice value diversity
  7. creativity, initiative and enterprise in examining legal and ethical issues in a philosophical context.

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to legal theory 5.00
2. British legal positivism 10.00
3. Germanic legal positivism 10.00
4. American legal realism 10.00
5. Natural law classical and Christian 5.00
6. Natural law - modern 5.00
7. Modern virtue ethics in legal practice 10.00
8. Therapeutic jurisprudence 5.00
9. Social and radical theories of law and justice 20.00
10. Evolutionary theories of law 10.00
11. Liberalism and rights 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/bookweb/subject.cgi?year=2012&sem=01&subject1=LAW3210)

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (https://bookshop.usq.edu.au/contact/)

  • Ratnapala, S 2009, Jurisprudence, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Victoria.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bix, B 2009, Jurisprudence: theory and context, 5th edn, Sweet & Maxwell, London.
  • Crowe, J 2009, Legal theory, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
  • Davies, M 2008, Asking the law question, 3rd edn, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
  • Freeman, MDA 2008, Introduction to jurisprudence, 8th edn, Sweet & Maxwell, London.
  • Wacks, R 2012, Understanding jurisprudence: an introduction to legal theory, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 80.00
Private Study 46.00
Seminars 39.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
COURSE ENGAGEMENT - INDIC EX 0 0 23 Mar 2012
ESSAY 1 40 40 30 Apr 2012
COURSE ENGAGEMENT 20 20 04 Jun 2012
ESSAY 2 40 40 12 Jun 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at http://policy.usq.edu.au.

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments: Students studying this course as part of a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. Students who are not enrolled in either of these programs may use either Harvard (AGPS) or the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at http://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing, or contact the Law librarian. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at http://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at http://www.usq.edu.au/current-students/support/computing/hardware.