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LAW1201 Legal Process and Research

Semester 2, 2011 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Law

Contents on this page

Staffing

Examiner: Caroline Hart
Moderator: Eola Barnett

Requisites

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

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 <//www.usq.edu.au/current-students/ict/hardware-software>.
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.

Synopsis

This course provides students with an introduction to the key skills necessary to undertake their substantive law courses, including: 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 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. From this, students will develop skills in learning how to read a case, and how to interpret a statute.

Objectives

On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. describe the development of the Australian legal system
  2. define and discuss the fundamental basis of the legal system and sources of law
  3. explain how statute law is made and interpreted
  4. explain how common law is developed by judges
  5. explain and apply the doctrine of precedent
  6. explain and apply the rules of statutory interpretation
  7. demonstrate academic and professional literacy skills through the ability to research and analyse primary, secondary, domestic legal sources in both print and electronic formats
  8. demonstrate ethical research and enquiry skills by applying methods of legal citation
  9. identify and analyse legal issues and illustrate the ability to apply the principles dealt with in this course in a legal context
  10. communicate effectively and clearly in writing the results of legal research and analysis.

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 10.00
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 15.00
6. Interpretation of the law - statutory interpretation 15.00
7. Interpretation of the law - precedent 15.00
8. Introduction to legal writing and methods of legal citation 25.00
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=2011&sem=02&subject1=LAW1201)

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

  • Milne, S & Tucker, K, A practical guide to legal research, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
    (latest edition.)
  • Australian guide to legal citation, 2010, 3rd edn, Melbourne University Law Review Association, Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Cook, C, Creyke, R, Geddes, R & Hamer, D, Laying down the law, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition); Krever, R, Mastering law studies and law exam techniques, LexisNexis, Chatsworth, New South Wales (latest edition); and LexisNexis concise Australian legal dictionary (latest edition). These are available as a package from the USQ Bookshop.

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 2008, Legislation of statutory interpretation, 2nd 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 Objectives assessed Graduate skill Level assessed Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 10 10 12 Aug 2011 1,2 U1,U2 1,1 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 35 35 02 Sep 2011 4,5,7,8,9,10 U1,U3,U4,U8 2,1,1,1 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 3 35 35 21 Oct 2011 3,6,7,8,9,10 U1,U2,U3,U4,U8 2,1,1,1,1 (see note 3)
ASSIGNMENT 4 20 20 28 Oct 2011 1,2,3,4,8 U1,U2,U3 1,1,1 (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).

Graduate qualities and skills

Elements of the following USQ Graduate Skills are associated with the sucessful completion of this course.
Ethical research and enquiry (U1)Introductory (Level 1)
Ethical research and enquiry (U1)Intermediate (Level 2)
Problem solving (U2)Introductory (Level 1)
Academic, professional and digital literacy (U3)Introductory (Level 1)
Written and oral communication (U4)Introductory (Level 1)
Management, planning and organisational skills (U8)Introductory (Level 1)

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/portal/custom/search/category/usq_document_policy_type/Student.1.html.

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 <//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 <//www.usq.edu.au/current-students/ict/hardware-software>.

  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.