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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at http://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
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LAW1201 Legal Process and Research

Semester 2, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Law
Version produced : 23 April 2014

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Caroline Hart
Moderator: Eola Barnett

Requisites

Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BALW or BBLA or BCLA or BLAW or BABL

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.

It is essential that in the first week of semester students access the StudyDesk and make themselves familiar with this resource. Communication throughout the semester for this course relies upon students accessing the News (located on the StudyDesk). Weekly emails will be sent to students to assist with progression through the course materials and the assessment.

Rationale

This course is the foundation course for the Bachelor of Laws programs. It provides students with the introductory skills necessary to then complete remaining law courses. This is a core course in the Bachelor of Laws programs and is mandated by the Legal Practitioners’ Admission Board, Queensland, being a prescribed area of legal knowledge for legal practice.

Synopsis

This course provides students with an introduction to the key skills necessary to undertake their substantive law courses, including how to read and analyse a case and how to interpret a statute. It also includes the development of skills relating to: legal citation, legal research, problem-solving, and legal writing. These skills are explicitly taught and assessed throughout the course. Students will continue to build and develop these skills as they progress through other core courses in the Law program. The course also provides students with discipline specific knowledge relating to Australian legal institutions, sources of law, the passage of statutes through Parliament, and the development of the common law.

Objectives

On completion of this course students will have covered material and assessment to enable the following areas to be developed:

  1. knowledge, including:
    1. fundamental knowledge of the Australian legal system (including knowledge and understanding of the Australian parliamentary and court system, and lawmaking by adjudication and legislation)
    2. knowledge of indigenous perspectives in relation to the Australian legal system
    3. knowledge of the broader contexts within which legal issues arise, including policy development and international treaties
    4. knowledge of the principles and values of justice and of ethical practice in lawyers’ roles, in the context of the suitability requirements for admission to practice
  2. ethics and professional responsibility, including:
    1. a developing ability to recognise, reflect upon and respond to, ethical issues arising in the context of the suitability requirements for admission to practice
    2. service to the community and society
  3. thinking skills, including the ability to identify and articulate legal issues; comprehend legal and other materials; apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate responses to legal issues; engage in critical analysis and make a reasoned choice amongst alternatives; and think creatively in approaching legal issues and generating appropriate responses
  4. statutory interpretation skills, namely a developing ability to interpret statutory instruments
  5. research skills, namely the intellectual and practical skills needed to research sources of law and secondary sources in an ethical manner and to evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues
  6. communication skills, in particular the knowledge and skills to prepare a written case note, and to provide a written case advice in relation to the application of statutory law on a given fact situation.

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to the Australian legal system and legal institutions 5.00
2. The Australian Constitution and the role of the legislature, executive and judiciary 5.00
3. Sources of law - parliament and statute law 5.00
4. Sources of law - courts and judge made law 5.00
5. Introduction to legal research - secondary sources and primary sources 10.00
6. Interpretation of the law - statutory interpretation 30.00
7. Interpretation of the law - precedent 30.00
8. Introduction to legal writing and methods of legal citation 5.00
9. Overview of study skills 5.00

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=2013&sem=02&subject1=LAW1201)

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

  • Australian guide to legal citation, 2010, 3rd edn, Melbourne University Law Review Association, Melbourne, Victoria. (latest edition is essential).
  • Cook, C, Creyke, R, Geddes, R & Hamer, D, Laying down the law, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition is essential); Hall, K & Macken, C, Legislation and statutory interpretation, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (recent edition - the latest edition is not essential); Krever, R, Mastering law studies and law exam techniques, LexisNexis, Chatsworth, New South Wales (recent edition - the latest edition is not essential); and LexisNexis concise Australian legal dictionary (latest edition is preferable). These are available as a package from the USQ Bookshop.
  • Hall, K & Macken, C, Legislation and statutory interpretation, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  • Milne, S & Tucker, K, A practical guide to legal research, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, New South Wales. (latest edition is essential).

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.
  • Hall, K & Macken, C 2012, Legislation and statutory interpretation, 3rd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  • Hinchy, R 2008, The Australian legal system: history, institutions and method, Pearson Education, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.
  • Macken, C 2009, The law student survival guide: 9 steps to law study success, 2nd edn, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
  • Pearce, D & Geddes, R 2011, Statutory interpretation in Australia, 7th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • Vines, P 2009, Law and justice in Australia: foundations of the legal system, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 50.00
Lectures 39.00
Private Study 36.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 10 10 09 Aug 2013 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 35 35 06 Sep 2013 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 3 35 35 21 Oct 2013 (see note 3)
ASSIGNMENT 4 20 20 25 Oct 2013 (see note 4)

NOTES
  1. Online computer test due at 5.00PM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).
  2. Case note and case law research.
  3. Statutory interpretation and statute law research.
  4. Online computer test due at 5.00PM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

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 assessed 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 weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) 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 must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style in their assignments. 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.

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.

  2. It is essential that in the first week of semester students access the StudyDesk and make themselves familiar with this resource. Communication throughout the semester for this course relies upon students accessing the News (located on the StudyDesk). Weekly emails will be sent to students to assist with progression through the course materials and the assessment.