CQUniversity Unit Profile

In Progress

Please note that this Unit Profile is still in progress. The content below is subject to change.
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


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.


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 - 2022


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. Critical Review
Weighting: 20%
2. Take Home Exam
Weighting: 40%
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.

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
10 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Critical Review - 20%
2 - Take Home Exam - 40%
3 - Research Assignment - 40%
Textbooks and Resources



Legal Theory

Edition: 3 (2018)
Authors: Jonathan Crowe
Lawbook Co of Australia
Sydney Sydney , NSW , Australia
ISBN: 9780455240671
Binding: Paperback


Edition: 2 (2013)
Authors: Suri Ratnapala
Cambridge University Press
Melbourne Melbourne , VIC , Australia
ISBN: 9781107612570
Binding: Paperback

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
Academic Integrity Statement

Information for Academic Integrity Statement has not been released yet.

This unit profile has not yet been finalised.