Jurisprudence

Jurisprudence

Exemption from core units of study should not be assumed to be automatic. Formal approval must be obtained from the University of Sydney Law School prior to enrolment.
Master of Jurisprudence
For the award of the Master of Jurisprudence, students must complete 48 credit points of units of study, comprising:
(i) 12 credit points of core units of study; and
(ii) 36 credit points of elective units of study.
Graduate Diploma in Jurisprudence
For the award of the Graduate Diploma in Jurisprudence, students must complete 24 credit points of units of study.

Core

The following units are only available to students undertaking the Master of Jurisprudence
JURS6034 Jurisprudence Research Project A

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Supervised by an appointed Sydney Law School academic staff member Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: JURS6035 Assessment: 15,000 to 20,000wd research project (100%) due on 15 June (Semester 1) or 15 November (Semester 2) of the final semester in which a student is enrolled in the research project Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: This unit is compulsory for MJur students. Applications close on 30 November (Semester 1) and 30 May (Semester 2). Applications should only be lodged after the completion of at least 24 credit points. Late applications may be accepted from those with incomplete results. Students must complete both JURS6034 and JURS6035 within one or over two semesters. For further information, please visit https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/4533/pages/postgraduate-coursework-research-projects#research-projects or contact E: law.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au
The goal of this compulsory (capstone) unit of study is to provide Master of Jurisprudence students with an opportunity to pursue advanced research in an area of their choosing, under the limited supervision of a School member.
JURS6035 Jurisprudence Research Project B

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Supervised by an appointed Sydney Law School academic staff member Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Corequisites: JURS6034 Assessment: 15,000 to 20,000wd research project (100%) due on 15 June (Semester 1) or 15 November (Semester 2) of the final semester in which a student is enrolled in the research project Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: This unit is compulsory for MJur students. Applications close on 30 November (Semester 1) and 30 May (Semester 2). Applications should only be lodged after the completion of at least 24 credit points. Late applications may be accepted from those with incomplete results. Students must complete both JURS6034 and JURS6035 within one or over two semesters. For further information, please visit https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/4533/pages/postgraduate-coursework-research-projects#research-projects or contact E: law.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au
Please refer to JURS6034 Jurisprudence Research Project A.

Electives

JURS6018 Constitutional Theory

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Wojciech Sadurski Session: Intensive September Classes: Aug 21, 22 & Sep 4, 5 (9-5) Assessment: Options: (i) class participation (20%), oral presentation (20%) and 4500wd essay (60%) or (ii) 2 x oral presentations (20% each) and 3000wd essay (40%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit will address the role that constitutionalism is expected to play in a democratic state, and will explore various constitutional theories. The main focus will be on theoretical attempts at reconciling commitments to constitutionalism with emphasis on democratic participation: Is it paradoxical that a state governed by majority rules withdraws certain areas from collective decision-making? Various theories of constitutionalism, of constitutional interpretation, and of constitutional judicial review will be explored. The unit will also discuss the question of constitutional charters of rights, different models of judicial review, separation of powers, direct democracy and the functions of constitutions in transitions to democratic systems. The unit will follow a seminar format with the emphasis on class discussion of unit materials. First two days will be focused on the instructor's lectures while two remaining days on students' presentations.
JURS6019 Freedom of Speech

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Wojciech Sadurski Session: Intensive September Classes: Aug 14, 15 & Sep 11, 12 (9-5) Assessment: class participation (20%), class presentation (20%) and 5000wd essay (60%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
Freedom of speech is among the most hotly discussed constitutional rights in a liberal democratic state. This unit of study will aimed at clarifying some of the fundamental conceptual and normative foundations of that freedoms, always against the background of specific legal rules, cases and controversies in Australia and around the world. It will consider such issues as the fundamental justifications (rationales) for freedom of speech, the idea of 'content neutrality' and 'viewpoint neutrality' of speech restrictions, the distinction between speech and conduct, etc. It will also look, more specifically, at such controversial issues as restrictions on racial vilification, obscenity, political communication, freedom of speech in cyberspace, and defaming speech. The last part of the unit of study will focus on relationship between freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
LAWS6187 Functional Analysis of Law and Soc Control

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof Alex Ziegert Session: Intensive April Classes: Mar 20, 21 & 27, 28 (9-5) Assessment: 1000wd research note (30%) and 7000wd essay (70%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-people.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
This unit examines the largely diffuse concepts of social control and the functions of law and proposes a more specific approach to legal theory which incorporates the latest findings of socio-legal research on the social effects of law. As a result of this discussion, a more specific concept of social control and an explanatory assessment of the social effects of law, including its political use, are presented with their theoretical implications for legal and political systems and applied, as examples, to historically and societally varied situations.
LAWS6308 Philosophy of Law

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Wojciech Sadurski Session: Intensive August Classes: Jul 23-29 Assessment: Pre-class reaction note (20%), class participation (20%) and take-home exam (60%). Attendance at all classes is compulsory. Students will not be eligible to submit their exam unless they have attended all classes (except in the case of serious illness or misadventure). Practical field work: Sydney Law School in Europe Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Students cannot enrol directly into this unit in Sydney Student. Enrolment instructions will be provided upon successful registration. See https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/4533/pages/experiential-learning-offshore-study. Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php.
The main objective of this unit is to provide a critical understanding of the fundamental principles of legal theory and philosophy of law. The unit will discuss, in particular, the concept of law, the notions of obligation, authority, and legitimacy of law; the main theories of legal interpretation; the special role of the concept of "rights" in legal theory, and the principles determining the moral limits of legal coercion.
LAWS6836 Precedent, Interpretation and Probability

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Adj Prof Christopher Birch Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2-hr lecture/week Assessment: structured class presentation (20%) and 7000wd essay (80%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) evening
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/our-visitors.html. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
The unit will examine a number of contemporary debates regarding the nature of legal reasoning. The unit will examine the status of the modern doctrine of precedent and the current state of the Hart/Dworkin/Fish debate in regard to the nature of precedential reasoning. The unit will examine contemporary semantic theory and philosophy of language, and the contribution those fields can make to a proper understanding of the interpretation of legal texts. The unit will also examine the relationship between legal reasoning and moral reasoning and the new legal positivism of writers such as Goldsworthy and Shapiro. In a final segment, the unit will examine legal reasoning in regard to matters of fact, and the current debate as to whether legal fact finding can be modelled using Bayes' theorem and probability theory.
LAWS6338 The Nature of the Common Law

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Michael Sevel Session: Intensive June Classes: May 22, 23 & 29, 30 (9-5) Assessment: Option 1: assignment (20%) and 7000wd essay (80%) or Option 2: 8000wd essay (100%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
The common law is an essential part of the Australian legal system, as well as many others around the world. This unit of study examines the nature of the common law from the point of view of jurisprudence. We will begin with a survey of the classic Common Law Theories developed in England during the seventeenth century; from there, a variety of problems surrounding the common law which these theories made salient, and which still puzzle us today, will be examined. Topics include: the nature and authority of precedent, the distinctiveness of legal reasoning, the nature and questions surrounding the validity of customary law, the relation between the common law and the ideal of the rule of law, among others.
LAWS6316 Theories of the Judiciary

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Michael Sevel Session: Intensive June Classes: May 8, 9 & 15, 16 (9-5) Assessment: class presentation (20%) and 7500wd essay (80%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
Note: Academic Profile https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/list.php. The unit is also available on a Continuing Professional Development basis https://sydney.edu.au/law/study-law/continuing-professional-development.html
The judge has long been an important legal actor in common law countries, but over the past several decades, there has been a rise in judicial power globally, with the proliferation of constitutional courts and the strengthening of judiciaries in countries around the world. This seminar will consider views in jurisprudence which examines the judge, the activity of judging, and the proper role of the judiciary within a legal system and a just society more generally. Among the goals of the seminar are to determine the nature of judicial obligation, how judges ought to decide cases, the arguments for and against judicial review, the role of the judiciary in establishing and maintaining the rule of law, and the relation between the business of courts, politics, and morality.
Electives from other faculties
The following elective is available from the Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
HRTD6906 The Philosophy of Human Rights

This unit of study is not available in 2020

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x2hr lecture/week Prohibitions: PHIL7607 Assessment: 1x1500wd Take-home exam (35%) and 1x3500wd Essay (65%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit addresses central themes from the history and philosophy of human rights. Topics may include the relationship between human rights and religion, natural law, moral and aesthetic justifications of human rights, claims and challenges to universality of the part of human rights, and tensions between human rights and state sovereignty. Thinkers may include Saint Paul, Kant, Burke, Tocqueville, Arendt, Schmitt, and Rawls.