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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.
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

LAW5112 Advanced Legal Writing and Research

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Advanced Legal Writing and Res
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 090900 - Law
Grading basis : Graded

Staffing

Examiner: Constance Johnson

Requisites

Pre-requisite or Co-requisite: LAW5111 or Students must be enrolled in the following program: DJUR

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.

Rationale

This course is a foundation course for the Juris Doctor program. It provides students with the introductory skills necessary to then complete remaining law courses. This is a core course in the Juris Doctor program.

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, legal writing, analysis, synthesis, reflection and evaluation. Students will continue to build and develop these skills as they progress through other core courses in the Law program. In this course, fundamental doctrines of the criminal law and elements of criminal procedure are used as the substantive legal basis for developing legal writing and research competencies.

Objectives

Upon the successful completion of this course students should have, at an introductory level:

  1. knowledge, including
    1. advancing knowledge of legal systems and the role of lawyers (with international comparison)
    2. knowledge of relevant language history, and of academic and professional legal writing conventions (including legal citations)
    3. knowledge of fundamental principles of criminal law procedure
    4. knowledge of the broader contexts within which legal issues arise
    5. knowledge of the principles and values of justice and of ethical practice in lawyers’ roles
  2. thinking skills, including a developing ability to identify and articulate legal issues, apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate and creative responses to legal issues, and engage in critical analysis and make a reasoned choice amongst alternatives
  3. research skills, namely the intellectual and practical skills needed to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy material
  4. communication skills, namely effective and appropriate writing skills suited for legal and non-legal audiences
  5. self-management, including a developing ability to learn and work independently, reflect on personal capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback as appropriate to support personal and professional development.

Topics

Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to ethical legal study and law 10.00
2. Introduction to criminal law and process 5.00
3. Writing ‘right’: grammar, plain English, and academic integrity 20.00
4. Introduction to legal research and secondary sources 10.00
5. Case law research 20.00
6. Putting it into practice: context, purpose and writing processes 15.00
7. Statute law research 15.00
8. Researching beyond Australia. 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://omnia.usq.edu.au/textbooks/?year=2019&sem=01&subject1=LAW5112)

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

Corbett-Jarvis, N & Grigg, B 2016, Effective legal writing: a practical guide, 2nd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
(Available as an electronic resource through USQ Library.)
Mann, T (ed.) 2017, Oxford Australian law dictionary, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.
(latest edition - Available as an electronic resource through USQ Library.)
Sanderson, J & Kelly, K 2016, A practical guide to legal research, 4th edn, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
(Available as an electronic resource through USQ Library.)
Yin, K & Desierto, A 2016, Legal problem solving and syllogistic analysis: a guide for foundation law students, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
(Available as an electronic resource through USQ Library.)
Melbourne University Law Review Association & Melbourne Journal of International Law 2018, Australian guide to legal citation, 4th edn, Melbourne University Law Review Association & Melbourne Journal of International Law, Melbourne, Victoria (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.
Bott, B & Talbot-Stokes, R, ‘Nemes and Coss' effective legal research’, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition).
Cook, C, Creyke, R, Geddes, R & Hamer, D, 'Laying down the law', LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition).
Devereux, J & Blake, M, 'Kenny criminal law in Queensland and Western Australia', LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition).
Hutchinson, T, 'Researching and writing in law', Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales (latest edition).
Macken, C, 'Law student survival guide: 9 steps to law study success', Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales (latest edition).
Stuhmcke, A, 'Legal referencing', LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales (latest edition).
Watt, R & Johns, F, 'Concise legal research', Federation Press, Annandale, New South Wales (latest edition).

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 45.00
Directed Study 50.00
Private Study 70.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE QUIZ 10 10 27 Mar 2019 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 20 20 22 Apr 2019 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 2 40 40 27 May 2019
RESEARCH ONLINE TEST 30 30 05 Jun 2019 (see note 3)

Notes
  1. The Online Quiz will open on the date indicated above and remain open for 7 days. Details will be available on StudyDesk.
  2. This assignment requires one or more visits to a local Magistrates Court to observe a criminal matter being tried. Details will be available on StudyDesk, including the availability of alternative assessment in limited circumstances.
  3. The Research Online Test will open on the date indicated above and remain open for 7 days. Details will be available on StudyDesk.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility 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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure http://policy.usq.edu.au/documents.php?id=14749PL (point 4.2.4)

  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 the Juris Doctor must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. 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.