LAWS11057 - Introduction to Law

General Information

Unit Synopsis

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.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the 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).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Term 3 - 2023 Profile
Term 1 - 2024 Profile
Term 2 - 2024 Profile
Term 3 - 2024 Profile

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).

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.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 20%
2. Learning logs / diaries / Journal / log books 20%
3. Written Assessment 60%

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

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 52.94% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 16.19% response rate.

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.

Source: Student feedback and self-reflection
Integrate additional IRAC content
As problem-solving skills are key to both the capstone assessment in this unit, and students' progression in legal education and careers, provide additional support regarding, and examples of, IRAC problem-solving methods.
Action Taken
Further materials on IRAC and alternative problem solving methods were integrated into the lesson materials. Students are provided with several opportunities to use their problem solving skills in forum activities as well as weekly workshops.
Source: Student feedback and self-reflection
Reduce quiz access requirements
To enhance flexibility in learning, and support all learners in the unit, remove requirement to post in Moodle Forums before accessing quizzes
Action Taken
The requirement to post in the Moodle forum has been removed.
Source: Reflection of the teaching team, student feedback
Week 4, which looks at legislation and statutory interpretation, and week 5, which looks at the court hierarchy and the doctrine of precedent, are very dense.
Move some of the content in week 1 to an 'orientation' tile or provide the content via a video/guide as part of the unit overview. This will allow for foundational information from weeks 4 and 5 (the structure of the legal system, what law is, the court hierarchy, and the legislative process) to be explored at a foundational level in week 1, which will reduce the amount of content in weeks 4 and 5.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback
Students should have significantly more time to complete the problem solving assessment, which is conducted as a take home paper.
A take home paper must be retained for compliance with accreditation requirements. The nature of this assessment, a problem solving exercise, should be retained as it assesses students' problem solving skills and knowledge of statutory interpretation and precedent using primary sources. However, students should be given a minimum of 7 days to review the legislative provisions and cases that will be the subject of the take home paper assessment so that they do not need to complete any reading in the time permitted for the take home paper.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the Australian legal system, rules of law, precedent, and how law is made and developed in Australia.
  2. Apply the principles of statutory interpretation, case analysis, and professional ethical responsibility.
  3. Conduct legal research and communicate effectively orally and in writing, using appropriate referencing.
  4. Develop basic skills and techniques in legal problem solving, critical analysis, legal reasoning, and reflection.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Learning logs / diaries / Journal / log books
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
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
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10