CQUniversity Unit Profile
LAWS13016 Theories of Law and Justice
Theories of Law and Justice
All details in this unit profile for LAWS13016 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

Unlike prior units which focus on law as it is - 'black-letter' law - this capstone unit considers more theoretical, analytical, doctrinal and philosophical aspects of the entire law enterprise - a specialised societal subsystem. This unit canvasses several philosophical doctrines including: natural law, legal positivism, sociological context of law and economic analyses of the law. These and related topics are explored in this unit to enable you to integrate legal knowledge into the broad inter-disciplinary mainstream and equip you with enhanced practical legal reasoning skills.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 3
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

48 credit points of LAW units

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 2 - 2021

Online

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. Take Home Exam
Weighting: 40%
2. Critical Review
Weighting: 20%
3. Research Assignment
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 Email

Feedback

Clarity of what is expected in terms of assessment tasks.

Recommendation

Additional marking rubrics and guides as well as past student exemplars have been made available.

Feedback from Email

Feedback

Students have been appreciative of 'the design and delivery of the unit as an outstanding example of teaching standards.'

Recommendation

Additions to design and delivery to improve existing content material will take place.

Feedback from Email

Feedback

Students have remarked at their surprise at witnessing a shift of their thinking where they have now come to believe in the value of legal philosophy for the practical legal space.

Recommendation

Mention of the practical relevance of Theories of Law and Justice will be scaffolded into zoom discussions, assessment tasks and learning material in future offerings of this unit.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Identify and discuss various legal theories in light of their developments over ancient and modern times, giving consideration for the contemporary political and legal implications
  2. Demonstrate sound knowledge of the main theories of law, intrinsic disputes, core doctrines, common themes, main principles, premises and presuppositions canvassed in the unit and explain their ongoing relevance to contemporary legal systems
  3. Critically analyse the various theories of law by drawing on the relevant primary and secondary sources as well as prescribed reading and historic knowledge
  4. Develop a research question and undertake a suitable research project on one or more of the specific theories of law examined in this unit, drawing out the nuances between the theories and considering the logical implications by reference to reputable scholarly texts and knowledge learnt in this unit
  5. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills pertaining to critical reasoning: presenting logically coherent arguments in the relevant rhetorical styles: deductive reasoning, descriptive and normative reasoning, ethical reasoning and legal reasoning.
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 5
1 - Critical Review - 20%
2 - Take Home Exam - 40%
3 - Research Assignment - 40%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
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 - Critical Review - 20%
2 - Take Home Exam - 40%
3 - Research Assignment - 40%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Legal Theory 3 (2018)

Authors: Jonathan Crowe
Law Book Co of Australasia
Sydney Sydney , NSW , AU
ISBN: 9780455240671
Binding: eBook
Supplementary

Jurisprudence 2 (2013)

Authors: Suri Ratnapala
Cambridge University Press
Melbourne Melbourne , VIC , Australia
ISBN: 9781107612570
Binding: eBook

Additional Textbook Information

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Students must have access to stable and quality internet and be able and willing to access the Zoom app using both video and audio
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 4th ed

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Constance Lee Unit Coordinator
c.y.lee@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Topic 1: Philosophy of Law Begin Date: 12 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

Introduction to Legal Theory: What is Philosophy of Law?

Chapter

Chs 1 & 2; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

Lon Fuller "The Case of the Speluncean Explorers" (1949) 62 Harvard L Rev 616-645.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions.

Note: Tutorial Questions available on Moodle at commencement of the unit

Topic 2: Morality and Law Begin Date: 19 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

Morality and the Law: Are there any Objective Values?

Chapter

Chapter 10; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018) 


Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions. 

Topic 3: Natural Law Theory I Begin Date: 26 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

Natural Law Theory I: Law and the Good Life

Chapter

Chapter 3; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

Jonathan Crowe and Constance Youngwon Lee, 'The Natural Law Outlook' Ch 1 in Jonathan Crowe and Constance Youngwon Lee (eds), Research Handbook on Natural Law Theory (Edward Elgar, 2019)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions. 

Topic 4: Legal Positivism I Begin Date: 02 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Legal Positivism I: Law and Social Norms

Chapter

Chapter 4; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

H.L.A Hart, The Concept of Law (2nd ed, 1994, or 3rd ed, 2014).

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions.

Assessment 1 opens Thursday, 5 August 2021 at 10 AM.

Topic 5: Legal Positivism II Begin Date: 09 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Legal Positivism II: Law and Social Norms  

Chapter

Chapter 4; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions.

Essay Question(s) posted for Assessment 3.

Vacation Week Begin Date: 16 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

No zoom tutorial sessions this week.

Topic 6: Natural Law Theory II Begin Date: 23 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Natural Law Theory II: Law and Practical Reason

Chapter

Chapter 5; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

Chs 6 & 7; Suri Ratnapala, Jurisprudence (2nd ed, CUP, 2013)

Constance Youngwon Lee, 'Calvinist Natural Law and Constitutionalism' (2016) 39 Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 1

Constance Youngwon Lee, 'John Calvin's Natural Law Theory' Ch 6 in Jonathan Crowe and Constance Youngwon Lee (eds), Research Handbook on Natural Law Theory (Edward Elgar, 2019) 

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions.

Topic 7: Liberalism and the Law Begin Date: 30 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Liberalism and Law: Evolutionary Jurisprudence

Chapter

Chapter 6; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

Chapter 12; Suri Ratnapala Jurisprudence (2nd ed, CUP, 2013)

Jonathan Crowe and Constance Youngwon Lee, 'Law as Memory' (2015) 26(3) Law and Critique 251

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions.


Topic 8: Postmodern Critiques of Law Begin Date: 06 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Postmodern Critiques of Law: Beyond Objective Truth

Chapter

Chapter 7; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

Constance Youngwon Lee and Jonathan Crowe, 'The Deafening SIlence of the 'Comfort Women:' A Response Based on Lyotard and Irigaray' (2015) 2(2) Asian Journal of Law and Society 339-356

R. Terdiman, 'The Force of Law: Toward a Sociology of the Juridical Field' (translator's introduction to the theory of Pierre Bordieu) (1987) Hastings Law Journal 38(5)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial session (guest lecture).


TAKE HOME PAPER Due: Week 8 Thursday (9 Sept 2021) 10:00 pm AEST
Topic 9: Feminist Critiques of Law Begin Date: 13 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Feminist Critiques of Law: Women and the Law

Chapter

Chapter 7; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

Chapter 6; Margaret Davies, Asking the Law Question (Thomson Reuters, 2008)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions.

Topic 10: Jural Relations Begin Date: 20 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Jural Relations: Legal rights and duties

Chapter

Chapter 8; Jonathan Crowe, Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2018)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Weekly online tutorial sessions.

Assessment 2 (CVR) due on Thursday, 23 September 2021 at 10 PM.  


Critical Virtual Response (CVR) Due: Week 10 Thursday (23 Sept 2021) 10:00 pm AEST
Week 11: Revision and Feedback Begin Date: 27 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Zoom tutorial feedback session. 

Week 13: Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 11 Oct 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment 3 (Research Essay) due on Friday, 15 October 2021 at 10 PM.

Assessment Tasks

1 Take Home Exam

Assessment Title
TAKE HOME PAPER

Task Description

A written assessment in the form of a take home paper posted on Thursday, 2 September 2021 at 10 AM (AEST) available for just one (1) week until Thursday, 9 September 2021 10 PM (AEST), to be completed and submitted within 6 hours between the time the student first opens the exam and the time the student posts her or his answer. This is so as to allow students the flexibility to opt for the most suitable 6 hour window to complete the assessment task in the period.  If not completed after 6 hours of opening, whatever is on the online response section will be automatically submitted at the end of that time. The paper contains two (2) compulsory questions each worth 20%. Word limit for each answer for each of the questions is 750 words, excluding references. References are not required, except to avoid plagiarism. The paper questions will test your knowledge of Topics 1 – 6 of the unit.

- Answers are posted in the relevant section in Moodle.

- Length of each answer should not exceed 750 words (with 10% leeway).

- Weighting of 40% for the unit (20% for each question).


Assessment Due Date

Week 8 Thursday (9 Sept 2021) 10:00 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Grades will be returned to students in a timely manner approximately 2 weeks after submission.


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the main theories of law and justice canvassed in the unit so far.

2. Demonstrate an ability to formulate and express your own point of view about the theories of law and justice canvassed in the unit so far.

3. Apply appropriate and professional written language skills.

4. Demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking skills in response to each of the questions.

Rubrics for marking

The rubrics apply to each of the two questions.

The benchmark for each criterion includes each of the benchmark levels before it. For example to achieve a distinction you also need to meet the criteria for a credit and pass.

Students must achieve ALL the minimum benchmark criteria at a particular grade level to be awarded an overall final grade at that level. Marks are not divided among each individual criterion, but are benchmarked to minimum standards.

Pass 

Fair understanding of the fundamental concepts being examined by the question. Identifies the topic relevant to the question and provides a coherent answer to the question. Basic understanding of the topic and basic confidence with the jurisprudential materials. Some deficiencies in written language skills.

Credit 

Solid understanding of the fundamental concepts being examined by the question. Good presentation and moderate written language skills. Demonstrates some understanding of the topic and some confidence with the jurisprudential materials. Provides an accurate but incomplete answer to the question. Demonstrates some critical thinking.

Distinction 

Sophisticated understanding of the fundamental concepts being examined by the question. Superior presentation and written language skills. Demonstrates good understanding of the topic and confidence with the jurisprudential materials. Demonstrates critical thinking. Demonstrates a willingness and ability to form and express own point of view, supported by relevant materials. Provides a relatively complete answer to the question.

High Distinction 

Nuanced understanding of the fundamental concepts being examined by the question. Demonstrates superior understanding of the topic, superior confidence with the jurisprudential materials and strong critical thinking. Demonstrates clearly a willingness and ability to form and express own point of view, supported by relevant materials together with an ability to think for oneself, supported with discussion of key theorists. Provides a complete answer to the question.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Follow instructions on Moodle. Assessments must be completed online.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Identify and discuss various legal theories in light of their developments over ancient and modern times, giving consideration for the contemporary political and legal implications
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge of the main theories of law, intrinsic disputes, core doctrines, common themes, main principles, premises and presuppositions canvassed in the unit and explain their ongoing relevance to contemporary legal systems
  • Develop a research question and undertake a suitable research project on one or more of the specific theories of law examined in this unit, drawing out the nuances between the theories and considering the logical implications by reference to reputable scholarly texts and knowledge learnt in this unit
  • Demonstrate appropriate communication skills pertaining to critical reasoning: presenting logically coherent arguments in the relevant rhetorical styles: deductive reasoning, descriptive and normative reasoning, ethical reasoning and legal reasoning.


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

2 Critical Review

Assessment Title
Critical Virtual Response (CVR)

Task Description

Since ancient times, the philosophy of law and the discipline of philosophy more broadly have involved a few fundamental skills i.e. rhetorical, critical thinking and communication skills. In this second assessment, your task will be to make an oral submission in the form of a recorded presentation demonstrating your critical response to one of the three (3) readings decided by the unit coordinator. These suggested readings will be made available at the commencement of the term.

Your presentation should offer a brief introductory overview (and literature review) of the philosophy which is the subject of one (1) of the readings. In the process, you should aim to showcase your critical thinking abilities by evaluating the reading by reference to secondary material (critiques by other authors of the reading) and presenting your conclusions in a logical consistent manner after personal reflection.

A sample written script for the presentation will be made available on the Moodle site for this unit to give you further support.

Please note the following details:

- As a guide, the length of the recording should be 5 minutes or so. The examiner will stop listening after 5 minutes 30 seconds.

- A written script should be provided including a link to the presentation.

- List of references should form the last page or two at the end of the written script. This should be compliant with AGLC4.

- Recording created via zoom and uploaded to YouTube as 'unlisted.' The web link address to the recording must be submitted with a written version of the script (Word Doc). This will allow only the unit coordinator to view your presentation.

- Please save/upload your file in Word format (.doc or .docx).

Further details are provided in the Moodle site for this unit.


Assessment Due Date

Week 10 Thursday (23 Sept 2021) 10:00 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Grades will be returned to students in a timely manner approximately 2 weeks after submission.


Weighting
20%

Assessment Criteria

1. Demonstrate sound knowledge of the theories of law canvassed in the unit so far.

2. Demonstrate an ability to formulate and express orally your own point of view about any of the discussion topics relating to your reading of choice.

3. Demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking skills in response to one of the designated readings.

4. Maintain professional voice and tone in presentation of your philosophical viewpoints.

Rubrics for marking

0-12 marks for preparing and making an oral presentation of approximately 5 minutes duration relevant to the reading you have chosen from those designated by the unit co-ordinator. High quality literature review of the selected reading.

0 marks for non-submission

1-3 marks minimal content

4-6 marks good content

7-9 marks very good content

10-12 marks excellent content including original ideas

PLUS 0-8 marks for critical reasoning and reflection

Please refer to the rubric on Moodle site for this unit. 


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Please ensure (1) Written script (Word document) containing (2) YouTube Link to presentation is submitted.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Identify and discuss various legal theories in light of their developments over ancient and modern times, giving consideration for the contemporary political and legal implications
  • Critically analyse the various theories of law by drawing on the relevant primary and secondary sources as well as prescribed reading and historic knowledge


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking

3 Research Assignment

Assessment Title
Research Essay

Task Description

Each student must prepare a written assessment in the form of a Research Essay in response to one of the essay questions set by the unit co-ordinator on Topics 1 to 10. These essay questions will be posted on the Moodle site for this unit in the Assessment 3 Folder by end of Week 5.

Maximum word count is 2,500 words, excluding references.

Assessment 3 is due at 10 PM on Friday, 15 October 2021 (Week 13).

Important Details:

- 2,500 words in length (excluding footnotes and reference list)

- Footnotes and Reference List to be provided (must be compliant with AGLC4). Do not put matters of substance into footnotes.

- Weighting of 40% for the unit.


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Friday (15 Oct 2021) 10:00 pm AEST

Deductions of 5% to apply for each day after this submission date. Extension requests must be made prior to submission due date through Moodle.


Return Date to Students

Grades will be released on Certification of grades date.


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

1. Demonstrate an ability to formulate and express your own point of view on the topic you have chosen.

2. Demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking skills in response to the topic you have chosen, in particular in relating your research assignment to aspects of the main theories of law and justice canvassed in the unit.

3. Demonstrate an ability to engage in relevant research.

4. Apply appropriate and professional written language skills.

Rubrics for marking

The benchmark for each criterion includes each of the benchmark levels before it. For example to achieve a distinction you also need to meet the criteria for a credit and pass.

Students must achieve ALL the minimum benchmark criteria at a particular grade level to be awarded an overall final grade at that level. Marks are not divided among each individual criterion, but are benchmarked to minimum standards.

Pass 20 - 25

Identifies a theme relevant to the discussion topic and addresses that theme with reference to at least one aspect of the main theories of jurisprudence canvassed in the unit. Basic understanding of the topic and basic confidence with the jurisprudential materials. Some deficiencies in written language skills. Some research.

Credit 26 - 29

Good presentation and moderate written language skills. Evidence of research planning. Moderate development of the theme. Demonstrates some understanding of the topic and some confidence with the jurisprudential materials

Distinction 30 - 33

Excellent presentation and written language skills. Good and interesting development of the topic supported by relevant research. Demonstrates great understanding of the topic and confidence with the jurisprudential materials. Demonstrates excellent critical thinking. Demonstrates a willingness and ability to form and express own point of view, supported by relevant materials.

High Distinction 34 - 40

Very high standard of presentation and written language skills comparable to jurisprudential articles referred to in the unit. Superior understanding of the topic and superior confidence with the jurisprudential materials. Demonstrates superior critical thinking. Demonstrates a clear ability to think for oneself. Superior research which is supported by relevant materials.


Referencing Style

Submission

No submission method provided.


Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge of the main theories of law, intrinsic disputes, core doctrines, common themes, main principles, premises and presuppositions canvassed in the unit and explain their ongoing relevance to contemporary legal systems
  • Critically analyse the various theories of law by drawing on the relevant primary and secondary sources as well as prescribed reading and historic knowledge
  • Develop a research question and undertake a suitable research project on one or more of the specific theories of law examined in this unit, drawing out the nuances between the theories and considering the logical implications by reference to reputable scholarly texts and knowledge learnt in this unit
  • Demonstrate appropriate communication skills pertaining to critical reasoning: presenting logically coherent arguments in the relevant rhetorical styles: deductive reasoning, descriptive and normative reasoning, ethical reasoning and legal reasoning.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Technology Competence
  • 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?