CQUniversity Unit Profile
LAWS11057 Introduction to Law
Introduction to Law
All details in this unit profile for LAWS11057 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

This unit introduces you to the study of law by examining the history out of which our law developed and examining how the law responds to the socio-legal conditions of our time. It provides you with an awareness of the institutions which are created by the law and how those institutions shape the development of the law. You will be introduced to the notion of legal reasoning: distinguishing the 'dicta' and 'obiter' of cases, precedent theory, case analysis, following and distinguishing precedent; as well as distinguishing between primary and delegated legislation. This unit introduces you to legal discourse and the conventions of the discipline which will provide a foundation for study in more advanced units.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 1
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2018

Distance

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Portfolio
Weighting: 20%
2. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%
3. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Student

Feedback

The textbook covered broad concepts but did not give enough information about process and procedure that was required for the take home exam. I felt underprepared for the take home exam although I had completed all readings and tasks required throughout the semester. I would have liked more practical examples and exercises in order to learn the litigation process and court procedures.

Recommendation

Supplement the information contained in the textbook by reference to practical online materials. Set a less onerous examination for students. Provide more tutorial assistance to students, with emphasise on the practical application of legal studies.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Describe and discuss the rule of law, the nature of the Australian legal system and ethical responsibility
  2. Explain how the law is made and developed in Australia
  3. Demonstrate basic skills in legal research and writing using appropriate referencing standards
  4. Develop basic skills in critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.
Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Portfolio - 20%
2 - Written Assessment - 40%
3 - Written Assessment - 40%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Portfolio - 20%
2 - Written Assessment - 40%
3 - Written Assessment - 40%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Learning Law First (2018)

Authors: Marinac et al
Camridge University Press
Port Melbourne Port Melbourne , Victoria , Australia
ISBN: 978-1-316-64279-5
Binding: Paperback

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Wayne Jones Unit Coordinator
w.jones@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
MODULE ONE - FUNDAMENTALS Begin Date: 05 Mar 2018

Module/Topic

Module One consists of three components:

1.  Lawyers and the Law

2. The History of the Law

3. Theories of the Law

Chapter

Learning Law, Chapters 1 and 2

Events and Submissions/Topic

No formal assessment is set, but students should complete the Module Worksheet.

MODULE TWO - LEGISLATION AND STATUTE Begin Date: 19 Mar 2018

Module/Topic

Module two consists of four topics:

1. The Parliament

2. The Legislative Process

3. Finding and Reading Statutes

4. Statutory Interpretation

Chapter

Learning Law, Chapters 3,4,6 and the supplementary online material on Statutory Interpretation

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment One (The Man Who Sued God) is due at the end of Week 4

The Module Worksheet should also be completed.


THE MAN WHO SUED GOD Due: Week 4 Friday (30 Mar 2018) 11:45 pm AEST
MODULE THREE - THE COURTS AND THEIR JUDGMENTS Begin Date: 09 Apr 2018

Module/Topic

Module Three consists of three topics:

1. The Court System

2. Finding and Citing Cases

3. Reading Cases Effectively

Chapter

Learning Law, Chapter 5

Events and Submissions/Topic

No formal assessment is set, but students should complete the Module Worksheet.

MODULE FOUR - THINKING LIKE A LAWYER Begin Date: 30 Apr 2018

Module/Topic

Module Four consists of topics:

1. The IRAC Method of Legal Reasoning

2. Persuasion and Advocacy

3. The Facts and the Evidence

Chapter

Learning Law, Chapters 7-9

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Two (Legal Research Toolkit) is due at the end of Week 10

The Module Worksheet should also be completed.


LEGAL RESEARCH TOOLKIT Due: Week 10 Friday (18 May 2018) 11:45 pm AEST
MODULE FIVE - LAW IN THE REAL WORLD Begin Date: 21 May 2018

Module/Topic

Module Five consists of five topics.  Students must do the first topic but may then choose at least one of the remaining four.

1: The Legal Profession

2: The Law and Indigenous Australians

3: The Law and Women

4: The Law and LGBTI Australians

5: The Law and Religious Australians

Chapter

Learning Law, Chapters 10-11

Events and Submissions/Topic

Preparation for the Take Home Paper will be conducted during these weeks.

Assessment Tasks

1 Portfolio

Assessment Title
THE MAN WHO SUED GOD

Task Description

For this first assessment, you will be required to watch the Australian legal movie The Man Who Sued God (2001), write a reflective argument based on that movie, and make a short video. YOU MUST COMPLETE BOTH TASK A AND TASK B.

The movie can be found on some dodgy online streaming sites, but is readily available on DVD.

For those unfamiliar with the movie, the main star is Billy Connolly, who is widely known for his genuine love of a certain expletive starting with F. It does get used a few times in the movie. Beware.

Your reflective argument should be NO MORE THAN 1000 words long (there is no tolerance of ten percent. Don’t go over 1000 words).

Task A:

The movie The Man Who Sued God canvasses some of the key themes explored in Module One of Introduction to Law. After watching the movie (at least once, but you may wish to watch several times), select one of the six propositions below. In 1500 words, make out a reflective argument EITHER for OR against that proposition. You should refer to materials in the textbook or videos, as well as any independent materials you may wish to use.

Task B:

Pretend you are a newsreader for a major city newsroom. Using your webcam or phone, record a short video (No less than two minutes, no more than five) to be broadcast on the night that the case ended, in which you give a short summary of the case, and its meaning for the law and justice.

The propositions are:

1. The rule of law protects ordinary people against more powerful interests.

2. Lawyers can make a contribution to justice by being ethical and hardworking.

3. The laws of religion (or laws of God) are distinct from the laws of the land, and the two should not be intermingled.

4. Sometimes an argument which is sound in principle will be bad in law.

5. Women are under-represented in our society’s structures of power.

6. The “court of public opinion” is as just as the court of law; and sometimes quicker and more effective.

Further guidance (Task A):

Your reflective argument may follow any logical sequence you wish, however one logical sequence might be as follows:

1. Introduction, stating the proposition, whether you support it or oppose it, and why. [150 words]

2. An outline of the key concepts relevant to your argument (justice, rule of law, natural law, etc) [250 words]

3. An application of those key concepts to the specific scenes of the movie, with specific examples from the movie to highlight your point. [250 words]

4. A brief consideration of the opposing argument, and why that argument is less convincing [200 words]

5. A summary of your argument, concluding with your position on the proposition. [150 words]

Further guidance (Task B):

This isn’t Hollywood, and you’re not going to be marked on the production values of your piece. The idea is for you to be able to summarise and repackage the key themes of the case, and for you to have your very first go at presenting orally. This is something you will be doing throughout your degree, so let’s practice the skill early!


Assessment Due Date

Week 4 Friday (30 Mar 2018) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 6 Friday (20 Apr 2018)


Weighting
20%

Assessment Criteria

1.  The student must demonstrate an understanding of key legal concepts discussed in Module 1.

2.  The student must show an ability to apply those legal concepts to the fact scenario of the movie.

3.  The student must construct an effective argument for or against a given proposition.

4.  The student must demonstrate skills of written communication.

5.  The student must demonstrate skills or oral communication.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submit your written piece via Moodle, with the link to your Youtube presentation on the cover page of your written piece.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Describe and discuss the rule of law, the nature of the Australian legal system and ethical responsibility
  • Develop basic skills in critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
LEGAL RESEARCH TOOLKIT

Task Description

Create a legal problem solving "toolkit" as directed by your unit coordinator. This tool kit adopts material you are introduced to in the first half of the course and is meant to be of continuing use to you as you proceed through the degree program. Some of the steps you should consider for your model would include these:

• Gathering and identifying the relevant facts,

• Strategies for identifying the legal issues,

• Processes for researching the most relevant and up to date law,

• Applying the law to the facts,

• Communicating your advice in the way most appropriate for your client.

Once you have assembled your model you are required to explain it in a recorded presentation which you then upload to You Tube. Communicating how your model works is an important part of the assessment so consider using diagrams, flow charts and slide shows as appropriate if it helps you articulate your thoughts.


Assessment Due Date

Week 10 Friday (18 May 2018) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 12 Friday (1 June 2018)


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

1. The student must demonstrate an awareness of, and ability to use, key research tools described in the unit.

2. The student must demonstrate a sound grasp of basic legal research methodology

3. The student must demonstrate skills of written communication.

4. The student must demonstrate skills or oral communication.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Submit your written piece via Moodle, with the link to your Youtube presentation on the cover page of your written piece.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Describe and discuss the rule of law, the nature of the Australian legal system and ethical responsibility
  • Explain how the law is made and developed in Australia
  • Demonstrate basic skills in legal research and writing using appropriate referencing standards
  • Develop basic skills in critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence

3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
TAKE HOME PAPER

Task Description

The final take home examination paper is released on 14 June at 11.45PM. You have 48 hours to respond however the exercise does not require this length of time to complete.

It is still essentially a three hour examination which you may complete at home and at your own pace any time during the 48 hour period. This also allows you to use your own computer to research your responses and type your answers for submission online.

Questions are drawn from the material we discuss during the course. One is a problem question which you are required to respond to using the legal problem solving tool kit which you completed as your second assessment. More information about the format of the paper and suggested areas for revision will be provided after week 10.

Your answers are to be uploaded to Moodle in a word document any time before the deadline (within 48 hours of release). No extensions are possible as examination rules apply. In the case of illness, injury or some exceptional circumstance which stops you completing on time you will need to apply to be considered for a deferred examination.


Assessment Due Date

Exam Week Friday (15 June 2018) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

1.  Students must demonstrate adequate mastery of the substantive legal knowledge taught in the course.

2.  Students must deploy legal research skills taught in the course.

3.  Students must show sounds skills of written communication.

4.  Students must show the capacity to manage time and workloads under pressure.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Describe and discuss the rule of law, the nature of the Australian legal system and ethical responsibility
  • Explain how the law is made and developed in Australia
  • Demonstrate basic skills in legal research and writing using appropriate referencing standards
  • Develop basic skills in critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Ethical practice

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?