Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Legal History is a course which covers topics in (ancient and modern)* legal history, including aspects of the Roman legal system, the legal framework of slavery in English legal history and law reform movements and legislative action in the 19th century.

* Depending on availability of staff at each offering, the course may cover both ancient and modern legal history or only one of these.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2016.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Locate and use primary and secondary sources of legal history efficiently and effectively;

2. Demonstrate advanced and integrated legal research skills and the capacity to craft sophisticated and persuasive arguments based on a legal history topic provided by your lecturers;

3. Demonstrate integrated and advanced critical reflection on the process of law reform in nineteenth century England, including the role of law reform committees and their reports, social movements and organisations, the Parliament and the executive government;

4. Present arguments orally in the context of class discussion and formal oral presentation in a fashion which is stimulating, informative and valuable to their fellow students.


The topics in this course include the following:

  1. Introduction to Legal history, ancient and modern, and its sources
  2. English Legal history: the law of slavery and its abolition 
  3. English Legal history: the reform in 19th century England 

The Law Reform Stream may be chosen from the following or other analogous topics:

The Married Women’s Property Acts, the regulation of Child Labour and/or compulsory education statutes, poor laws and their reform; contagious diseased legislation, the reform of the legal process and the Judicature Acts, or Lord Shaftesbury’s workplace reforms. (Please see schedule of classes in this outline for more detail.)


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice program.

Assumed knowledge

LAWS6000, LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005

Assessment items

Annotated Bibliography: Annotated Bibiliography

Participation: Participation in legal history research circle classes

Presentation: Oral Presentation

Written Assignment: Final Research Paper