LAWS11057 - Introduction to Law
Term 1 - 2017


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.

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 3
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

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
  • Distance

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 20%
2. Written Assessment 40%
3. Written Assessment 40%

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.

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 Source Recommendation
Students require more timely feedback Student survey Extend the dates for return of assignments to 3 weeks where possible to allow more feedback to be provided. Additional markers appointed where possible.
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 Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Portfolio    
2 - Written Assessment
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  
7. Cross Cultural Competence      
8. Ethical practice    

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
1 - Portfolio    
2 - Written Assessment      
3 - Written Assessment      

Prescribed Textbooks

The New Lawyer
Author/s: Nickolas James & Rachael Field Year: 2013
Edition: 1st Publisher: Wiley & Sons
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • Internet
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Web camera, headphones and microphone are essential.
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 CoordinatorWayne Jones (w.jones@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

Introduction - Discuss the life of a lawyer, some legal concepts and legal history in Australia.

The New Lawyer, Chapters 1, 2 & 3

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Week 2 13-03-2017

The Australian Legal System

The New Lawyer, Chapter 4

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Week 3 20-03-2017

Sources of Law in Australia

The New Lawyer, Chapter 5

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Week 4 27-03-2017

Legal thinking skills

The New Lawyer, Chapter 8

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Professional Portfolio Due Friday (31 Mar 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Week 5 03-04-2017

Research skills

The New Lawyer, Chapter 6

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

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

Communicating as a lawyer

The New Lawyer, Chapter 9

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Week 7 24-04-2017

Interpreting the Law

The New Lawyer, Chapter 7

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Week 8 01-05-2017

Theories of Law & Justice

The New Lawyer, Chapter 11

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Week 9 08-05-2017

Access to Justice

The New Lawyer, Chapter 12

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Legal Problem Solving Toolkit Due Friday (12 May 17) 05:00 PM AEST
Week 10 15-05-2017

Professional Ethical Behaviour

The New Lawyer, Chapter 13

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Week 11 22-05-2017

Self Management

The New Lawyer, Chapter 10

Weekly online lecture & tutorial activities

Week 12 29-05-2017

Review week

Materials provided.

Self guided review of the course materials.

Written Assessment - Final Take Home Paper Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 09:00 AM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Portfolio

Assessment Title Professional Portfolio
Task Description

You will create an online professional portfolio as directed by your unit coordinator. This portfolio will follow you through the degree program and will include:

  • A statement of your career aspirations and reasons for your interest in law,
  • Relevant work and education history (you may update this as you complete more units in your degree),
  • Evidence of any characteristics, skills and achievements useful to your professional practice including links to any supporting documents or evidence,
  • A reflective statement regarding the rules of professional responsibility applicable to a law student and a practicing lawyer,
  • A reflective statement of the rules around professional communication applicable to a law student and a practicing lawyer,
  • A statement regarding your plans for community engagement and professional development as you progress through your studies.

Your portfolio must include at least one link to a short You Tube video in which you provide an overview of your portfolio.

Before starting this exercise you will be required to read and reflect on the admission rules for your State together with the CQU Student Charter and at least one case (provided) on the law regarding professional standards for admission.

This assessment item is the labour equivalent of a 1500 word written essay.

Assessment Due Date Week 4 Friday (31-Mar-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 6 Friday (21-Apr-2017)
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria
  • Complete all requirements of the task.
  • Professional presentation of your work.
  • Inclusion of evidence of your claimed skills and achievements.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the relevant law and standards evidenced in professional statements on communication and professional standard.
  • Effective use of technology to create the portfolio online including embedding at least one video.
Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

The assessment is due online on Friday evening by 05:00 PM. If you are late with your assessment piece, you will lose 5% per day for late submission.

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

1. Describe and discuss the rule of law, the nature of the Australian legal system and ethical responsibility

4. Develop basic skills in critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.

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

1. Communication

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Legal Problem Solving 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.

This assessment item is the labour equivalent of a 2000 word written essay.

Further details of this task will be available on the Moodle site along with ideas, hints and tips.

Assessment Due Date Week 9 Friday (12-May-2017) 05:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 12 Monday (29-May-2017)
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria
  • Complete all of the required elements of the task, (model, guides and presentation).
  • Clear and logical explanation of your thinking skills and your overall approach to problem solving.
  • Evidence of your understanding of how to identify and then the research relevant law.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how to apply the law and communicate useful and ethical advice to a client.
  • Professional presentation of your work including good use of technology.
Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

The assessment is due on a Friday evening by 05:00PM. If you are late with your assessment piece, you will lose 5% per day for late submission.

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

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.

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

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence



3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Written Assessment - Final Take Home Paper
Task Description

The final take home examination paper is released in Week 12 on Wednesday morning at 09:00am. 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 Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 09:00 AM AEST
Return Date to Students Normal examination conditions apply, the final take home paper is not returned to students. General feedback is provided to the whole class in the form of an answer guide after the due date in accordance with University assessment policy.
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria
  • Identified and discussed relevant factual issue.
  • Identified and discussed relevant legal issues.
  • Identified and discussed relevant law including cases and legislation if applicable.
  • Application of your legal problem solving toolkit (where applicable).
  • Demonstrated logical critical analysis or creative thinking in written response (where applicable).
  • Professionally written and presented.
Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Uploaded to Moodle, no extensions are possible as exam conditions apply.

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

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.

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

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

8. Ethical practice




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