Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


In the 21st Century professionals of all kinds are drawn by their work and study into multidisciplinary contexts. For example, '[s]ocial work, as a profession, exists in a contested domain, within a framework of rights and duties that are defined and constrained by law' (and other things) (Rice, Day and Briskman 2018). Professionals in these fields are involved in supporting clients, and/or having their work products subpoenaed to administrative appeals, guardianship processes, mental health tribunals, alternative and family dispute resolution processes, family consultant reports to the family court, environmental advocacy and refugee advocacy, submissions to royal commissions, commissions of enquiry and/or provision of expert witness or expert testimony, coronial inquiries and criminal proceedings. This course is designed to support 3rd year Social Work students and Social Science students to gain knowledge and skills about the legal system and legal process in ways that will facilitate their more effective professional practice.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2021


  • Semester 2 - 2021

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): LEGL3008. Students who have successfully completed LEGL3008 are not eligible to enrol in LEGL3009.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify the elements of Australia’s legal system that are most relevant to the work of social workers and social science professionals.

2. Analyse the most common activities performed by social workers and social science professionals in Australian Courts and tribunals.

3. Critically investigate the opportunities and challenges associated with the legal framework that regulates the practise of social workers and social science professionals.

4. Apply the relevant legal rules to scenarios that are common in the practice of social workers and social science professionals.


The topics in this course include the following:

  • The Australian Legal System: An Introduction
  • International Law obligations and their impact on the Australian system
  • The Impact of Law on Professional Practice & Interdisciplinary Interactions
  • Understanding Courts and Tribunals
  • Legal Procedures and Evidence
  • Legal Dimensions of Professional Record Keeping
  • Legal Dimensions of specific practice areas: eg Adoption, Child Protection, Family violence, Elder abuse, mental health, homelessness, out of home care, refugees and asylum seekers or social security

Assessment items

Participation: Seminar Participation and online work - 40%

Written Assignment: Written/oral assessment on Courts, Procedure and Evidence - 20%

Written Assignment: Assignment on Specific Practice Area - 40%

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah


Face to Face On Campus 1.45 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

This course adopts the blended learning approach with students having a minimum of 1 hour online prep before the seminar. Students will attend the seminar either face to face at Callaghan or the livestream alternative.