LAWS14001 - Advanced Legal Research A
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for LAWS14001 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.

Overview

As a legal professional you will be required to solve complex legal problems through the application of high level legal research skills in reviewing, analysing, synthesising and consolidating knowledge. Building on the skills you have acquired in your undergraduate study, in this unit you will develop additional capabilities in the use of research technology, managing complex projects, selecting appropriate research methodologies and working within a research community of peers.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 4
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 3
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite:

Enrolment in CH75 Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

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).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Mixed Mode

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

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

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Portfolio 70%
2. Practical Assessment 30%

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 Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Analyse a complex legal problem by developing and implementing appropriate legal research methodologies
  2. Design a research proposal and manage ethical issues arising from the research
  3. Consolidate information pertaining to an advanced legal research topic through a critical review of authorities, literature analysis and the management of this information in a research database
  4. Work responsibly on an advanced legal research project and account for your own learning practices
  5. Engage in peer review and feedback processes within a research community.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Portfolio
2 - Practical Assessment

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
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          

Textbook Information

There are no required textbooks.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorScott Beattie (s.beattie@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Legal research and evidence based problem solving

The Australian Guide to Legal Citation (Melbourne University Law Review Association, 3rd ed, 2010)

Terry Hutchinson and Nigel Duncan, ‘Defining what we do: Doctrinal legal research’, (2012) Deakin Law Review, 17(1), 83-119

Week 2 13-03-2017

Context of legal problem solving

Scott Beattie, The Law Workbook (3rd ed) (The Federation Press 2010), Chapter 10 ‘Law reform’

Desmond Manderson and Richard Mohr, ‘From oxymoron to intersection: An epidemiology of legal research’ (2002) 6(1) Law Text Culture, 159
Week 3 20-03-2017 Analysing a legal problem

Legal Writing Institute, The Second Draft, (1995) 10(1)

Week 4 27-03-2017

Project management in legal research

Elizabeth Gritter, Time Management Tips for Dissertation Writing, (2011)

http://www.stcloudstate.edu/elhe/_files/documents/dissertation/time-management-tips.pdf

Week 5 03-04-2017

Ethical and professional research

David B Resnick, ‘What is ethics in research and why is it important’ (Dec 1 2015), https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/resources/bioethics/whatis/

Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Focus on rules

Michelle Sanson, David Worswick and Thalia Anthony, Connecting with Law (Oxford University Press 2009), Chapter 10 ‘Statutory interpretation: How do courts interpret legislation’

Week 7 24-04-2017

Focus on precedents

R Hincy, The Australian Legal System: History, Institutions and Method (Lawbook Co 2015), Chapter 10 ‘Following and distinguishing precedent’

Week 8 01-05-2017

Focus on theory

Hanoch Dagan and Roy Krietnar, ‘ The character of legal theory’ 96 Cornell Law Review 670-691

Kylie Burns and Terry Hutchinson, ‘The impact of “empirical facts” on legal scholarship and legal research training’ (2009) The Law Teacher, 43(2), 153-178

Week 9 08-05-2017

Focus on data

Wing Hong Chui, ‘Quantitative Legal Research’ in Mike McConville and Wing Hong Chui (eds), Research Methods for Law (Edinburgh University Press, 2007)

Week 10 15-05-2017

Presentation of legal research

Jordan Furlong, 9 steps to a presentation that won’t leave your audience hating you (2013) http://www.stemlegal.com/strategyblog/2013/9-steps-to-a-presentation-that-wont-leave-your-audience-hating-you/

Week 11 22-05-2017 Feedback and legal writing

Victoria Law Foundation, Better Information Handbook (2011) http://www.victorialawfoundation.org.au/sites/default/files/resources/Better_Information_Handbook.pdf

Week 12 29-05-2017

Research as professional practice

Giada di Stephano et al, ‘Making experience count: The role of reflection in individual learning’ (2016) https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2414478

Research Skills Portfolio Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 10:52 AM AEST
Peer engagement Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 10:55 AM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Portfolio

Assessment Title Research Skills Portfolio
Task Description

Throughout this term you will be working on weekly projects that assist you in the development of your dissertation. At the end of the term you will assemble these artefacts into a portfolio for submission, along with a one page reflection on what you have learned this term. The reflection is itself the subject of the final module in this unit and detailed guidelines are included there.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 10:52 AM AEST
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
Weighting 70%
Assessment Criteria
  • Design and use of research methodologies
  • Applied knowledge of legal and interdisciplinary contexts
  • Ability to set goals and self evaluate
  • Critical reflection on learning
  • Professional presentation

The full rubric will be available on the unit site.

Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Analyse a complex legal problem by developing and implementing appropriate legal research methodologies

2. Design a research proposal and manage ethical issues arising from the research

3. Consolidate information pertaining to an advanced legal research topic through a critical review of authorities, literature analysis and the management of this information in a research database

4. Work responsibly on an advanced legal research project and account for your own learning practices

5. Engage in peer review and feedback processes within a research community.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership



2 Practical Assessment

Assessment Title Peer engagement
Task Description

Working in research involves development of strong, supportive relationships with your peers in the research community. In this unit you will have the opportunity to engage with your peers and provide feedback to them synchronously (through the Zoom workshops) and asynchronously (through the Perusall social learning platform). In addition, one of the portfolio projects requires you to provide peer feedback on another student’s dissertation work. For this assessment item you will submit a copy of the peer feedback that you wrote and a reflective piece of no longer than one page discussing the successes and hurdles which occurred this term. In addition, Perusall creates an aggregated record of your contribution to the online research community which you and the unit coordinator can review.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 10:55 AM AEST
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria
  • Understanding of research methods, theories and ethical context
  • Practical application of research skills
  • Regular contribution either or both modes
  • Effective and appropriate peer feedback
  • Professional presentation

Full rubric is available on the unit site.

Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Analyse a complex legal problem by developing and implementing appropriate legal research methodologies

2. Design a research proposal and manage ethical issues arising from the research

3. Consolidate information pertaining to an advanced legal research topic through a critical review of authorities, literature analysis and the management of this information in a research database

4. Work responsibly on an advanced legal research project and account for your own learning practices

5. Engage in peer review and feedback processes within a research community.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership




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