Legal Theory

Course code LAWS5030Units 10Level 5000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Law School

LAWS courses are only available to students enrolled in the LLB or LLB / DipLegPrac.

This elective came about as a result of curriculum change in which Jurisprudence became no longer compulsory.

This course is different from the other courses that make up the LLB program. It is designed to facilitate students’ thinking about law in general rather than learning detailed analysis of the legislation and cases consigned to a particular area of law. It will require students critically to consider the nature of law, its role in society, and various perspectives on and critiques of law.

This subject focuses on major theoretical traditions which have influenced the development of the Australian legal system and the broader Western legal tradition. The aim is for some level of depth rather than mere breadth, with an emphasis on analysis of primary theoretical literature and case studies.

Available in 2014

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
Previously offered in 2013, 2011
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate, orally and in writing, a critical understanding of major schools of legal theory which have influenced the development of the Western legal tradition and the Australian legal system.
2. Critically evaluate multiple and contrasting perspectives on law and engage in open-minded academic discussion of them in an applied context.
3. Critically analyse the relationship between law and society from a variety of legal theoretical perspectives.
4. Reflect on the significance of notions of rights and justice to the operation of law.
5. Conduct high-level research, exploring primary and secondary materials, and provide critical analysis of problems and questions.
6. Prepare and present cogent arguments, orally and in writing, and make productive contributions to class discussions.
ContentIntroduction to Legal Theory (1 week)
Module 1 (4 weeks): Legal Positivism (2 weeks); Natural Law Theory and Anti-Positivism (2 weeks)
Module 2 (4 weeks): Rights and the Law (2 weeks); Justice and the Law (2 weeks)
Module 3 (3 weeks): Critical theories of law (2 weeks); Economic theories of law (1 week)
Replacing Course(s)n/a
TransitionThis course is not available to students who have successfully completed LAWS4006
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeLAWS1001A, LAWS1001B, LAWS1002A, LAWS1002B, LAWS2003A, LAWS2003B, LAWS3004A, LAWS3004B, LAWS3005B, LAWS4011
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsSeminar
Assessment Items
ClassContribution to class discussion throughout semester
Examination: Open BookEnd of Semester open book examination - Choice of questions
Essays / Written Assignments3000 word research essay during semester
Contact HoursSeminar: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
Requisite by EnrolmentThis course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws and associated combined degree programs or the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.
Timetables2014 Course Timetables for LAWS5030