The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2018
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Legal system stream examines the nature of the Australian legal system, the constitutional framework and the development of sources of law, including the common law and legislation. The course introduces ethical considerations for the legal profession and develops analytical and interpretative skills. Students develop skills in legal research and in written and oral communication as relevant to the study and practice of law.

Availability2018 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2018

Multi-term sequence

This course is part of a multi-term sequence. Both Part A and Part B must be completed to meet the requirements of the sequence. Part A and Part B must be completed in consecutive terms. Students must complete Part A before completing Part B. Students must complete the sequence within a twelve month period. If students complete Part A but are unable to complete Part B within the timeframe, they must re-enrol in Part A.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Use legal language and terminology, including citations accurately.

2. Read and analyse case law effectively.

3. Identify legal principles and apply these to diverse scenarios

4. Structure and present a coherent and persuasive argument with confidence using legal data (orally and in writing).

5. Write coherently using legal data for different audiences (academic and non-academic).

6. Read and analyse statutes and regulations effectively

7. Reflect critically on one's own learning and the role of legal institutions and actors in the legal system.

8. Identify ethical issues which arise in practice

9. Understand and observe court etiquette

10. Understand and employ a range of self-management and well-being techniques.

11. Orally present and defend arguments in interactive dialogue with the teacher and peers in a style consistent with professional client consultations, mediation, negotiation and court appearances.


Legal System and Method is an introductory first year course which is designed to, and has the objective of establishing a basis and foundation for all other law courses.This course has a number of substantive law components which should not be viewed in isolation. Instruction in the methods and skills employed by lawyers are integrated with the substantive law components to provide an introduction to the Australian Legal System. A sound appreciation of the legal system is not possible without the acquisition of legal skills.The parts of the course are:

A. Legal System components

  1. Overview of the Australian Legal System
  2. legal Institutions and their regulation
  3. Statutory Interpretation
  4. The Australian Constitutional Framework
  5. Common law

 B. Legal Method components

  1. Legal Research
  2. Oral Communication
  3. Legal Writing
  4. Written Communication


The 'A' component of this Multi-Term Sequence Course must be taken prior to enrolment in the 'B' component.

Assessment items

In Term Test: Legal Method Communication Referencing and Writing Exam

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Legal System Legal Institutions Case Study

In Term Test: Legal System Open Book Exam Common Law

Written Assignment: Legal Method Communication; Written Assignment - Simulated Client file

Quiz: Legal System Statutes Quiz

In Term Test: Legal System Statutes Problem Solving Exercise

In Term Test: Legal System Constitutional Framework Commentary

Participation: Attendance at seminars and workshops *

Presentation: Legal Method Communication Moot Submission

Participation: Legal Method Observation of Legal Centre Interview

Written Assignment: Legal Method Legal Centre Reflection

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Participation: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course. - Attendance at all classes (seminars and workshops) will be monitored and records maintained by the Course Coordinator; In order to satisfy the “Attendance” requirement, students must be present at a minimum of 80% of scheduled classes as spelled out in the course outline, unless they are able to demonstrate that their absence falls within the Adverse Circumstances policy; Unless this requirement is met, despite marks awarded in other assessment items, the student will receive a zero mark and an FF grade for the course.

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct

Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face Off Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks starting in week 1