Topics in Legal History (LAWS5192)


Knowledge of legal history is fundamental to a proper understanding of the common law, grounded as it is in precedent. This unit of study seeks to provide students with an overview of the historical development of English law, focusing particularly on aspects of private law. Topics covered may include: the origins of the common law; the traditional structure of courts and writs; the development of trial and evidence; possession and ownership; real property (from 1066 to Mabo); trespass, actions on the case, assumpsit, contract and tort; and leading jurists in the history of Anglo-Australian law. Lectures will be given by a range of distinguished current and former judges, academics and barristers.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


6 x 7-hr seminars/week for 6 weeks


2,500wd essay (50%) and 1.5 hr closed book exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules



Study this unit outside a degree

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.

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.