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LAW1111 Australian Legal System

Semester 3, 2021 Online
Short Description: Australian Legal System
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 4
ASCED code : 090999 - Law not elsewhere classified
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 18 April 2021


Examiner: Lisa Sylvester


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BBLA or BBBL or BCLW or BCLA or LLBP or BALW or BABL or BART or BEDU or BSED
Enrolment is not permitted in LAW1111 if LAW1201 or LAW1101 or LAW1500 has been previously completed

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

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.


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 approved by the Legal Practitioners’ Admission Board, Queensland.


This course provides students with an introduction to the key skills necessary to undertake their substantive law courses, including knowledge of Australian legal institutions; sources of law (judge made law and statute law); professional identity and the importance of legal ethics; and how to interpret the law (both case law and statute law). This course also includes the development of skills relating to problem solving within the context of statutory interpretation. 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.


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

  1. Demonstrate [explain and apply] an understanding of a coherent body of knowledge relevant to the Australian legal system and underlying principles and concepts; the broader contexts within which legal issues arise in this area, and of the principles and values of justice and of ethical practice [suitability requirements for admission to practise] (PO1/TLO1).
  2. Demonstrate an ability to recognise and reflect upon (and a developing ability to respond to) ethical issues likely to arise in professional contexts [suitability requirements for admission], an ability to recognise and reflect upon the professional responsibilities of lawyers in promoting justice and in service to the community, and a developing ability to exercise professional judgment (PO2/TLO2).
  3. Identify and articulate legal issues relating to the Australian legal system; [comprehend legal and other materials]; apply legal reasoning to generate appropriate responses to legal issues; and engage in critical analysis and make a reasoned choice amongst alternatives (PO3/TLO3).
  4. Communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal and non-legal audiences (PO5/TLO5).
  5. Explain the legislative process and identify applicable legislation and delegated legislation, general principles of statutory interpretation, understand [explain and apply] and make appropriate use of authorised aids to statutory interpretation, and deploy appropriate techniques in the course of solving interpretative problems [including problems raising special interpretative issues, and give a reasoned opinion as to the appropriate meaning of a legislative provision and as to the correct application of the provision to a given set of facts] (PO7).
  6. Reflect on and articulate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives about the law and the Australian legal system (PO8).


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. Legal ethics - understanding and practising law 10.00
6. Interpretation of the law - statutory interpretation 30.00
7. Interpretation of the law - precedent 30.00
8. Becoming a lawyer 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). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Marinac A, Simpson B, Hart C, Chisholm R, Nielsen J, Brogan M 2020, Learning Law, Cambridge University Press, Victoria, Australia.
(latest edition required.)
Mann, T (ed.), 'Oxford Australian law dictionary', Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria (latest edition).

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 2015, Legislation and statutory interpretation, 4th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
Hinchy, R 2015, The Australian legal system: history, institutions and method, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.
Pearce, D & Geddes, R 2014, Statutory interpretation in Australia, 8th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
Szeto, Sharon and Sylvester, Lisa 2020, eLearn: Statutory Interpretation – An Introduction., LexisNexis Australia, Chatswood, Australia.
(ISBN 9780001562080.)
Vines, P 2013, Law and justice in Australia: foundations of the legal system, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.
Creyke, Robin & Hamer, David, (author.) & O'Mara, Patrick John, (author.) & Smith, Belinda, (author.) & Taylor. Tristan, (author.) Laying down the law, Chatswood, New South wales, LexisNexis Butterworths (latest edition is essential).
Krever, Richard & Barkehall Thomas, Susan, Mastering law studies and law exam techniques, 9th edn, Chatswood, N.S.W. LexisNexis Butterworths (students may use any edition).
Sanson, M, 'Statutory interpretation', Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

Student workload expectations

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 Notes
ONLINE TEST 25 25 10 Dec 2021 1,2,3,6 (see note 1)
VIDEO ASSESSMNT-CASE ANALYSIS 35 35 20 Dec 2021 1,3,4 (see note 2)
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION ESSAY 40 40 28 Jan 2022 1,3,4,5 (see note 3)

  1. The online test is due at 11.59PM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).
  2. Video Assessment is due at 11.59PM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time).
  3. The Statutory Interpretation Essay is due at 11.59PM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time)..

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Online: 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 (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 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

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, or contact the Law librarian.

Other requirements

  1. 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.

Date printed 18 April 2021