Foundations of Law (LAWS5000)


This unit of study provides a foundation core for the study of law. We aim to provide a practical overview of the Australian legal system, an introduction to the skills of legal reasoning and analysis which are necessary to complete your law degree, and an opportunity for critical engagement in debate about the role of law in our lives. The course will introduce students to issues such as: (i) legal institutions and the separation of powers; (ii) the development of judge made and statute law, with a particular focus on English and Australian legal history; (iii) other sources of law, including customary law, constitutional law, and international law (iv) the relationship between courts and parliament; (v) the role and function of courts, tribunals and other forms of dispute resolution; (vi) understanding and interrogating principles of judicial reasoning and statutory interpretation; (vii) how to read cases and interpret statutes; (viii) the relationship between law, government, and politics; (ix) the rule of law; (x) human rights in Australian law. The course focus may be subject to change.

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Further unit of study information


The unit is taught on an intensive basis over four weeks. The course will include both lectures and seminar-style classes. Active class participation based on pre-reading is an essential aspect of the unit, particularly in the seminars. The aim of this is


Class participation (10%), Group work (10%), 1 x class test (20%) and 1 x final exam (60%). Legal Research: Compulsory attendance, eLearning quizzes (10%), and in-class exam (90%). The legal research component is assessed on a pass/fail basis and student

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Unit of study rules


LAWS1006, LAWS1000

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Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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