Subject descriptions


01 Legal Institutions

The course introduces students to the origins, history and present operation of the institutions which make up the Australian legal system, to the sources of law, and to the Commonwealth and New South Wales constitutions.

02 Criminal Law and Procedure

This course provides the student with an understanding of the general principles of criminal law, together with a detailed knowledge of the application of these principles in respect of major crimes and defences.

03 Torts

A tort is a civil wrong which results in physical or psychiatric injury, property damage or financial loss to another or by which another's legal rights are infringed.

04 Contracts

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the basic principles of contract law. The course covers the elements of formation of contracts, contractual capacity, terms of a contract, matters affecting consent to a contract, discharge of contracts, remedies, illegality and privity of contract.

05 Real Property

Real Property is concerned with the law relating to interests in land.

06 Australian Constitutional Law

Australian constitutional law is a branch of public law which focuses upon the primary source of that law in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp).

07 Equity

Equity, which includes the law of trusts, begins with a study of the historical origins and development of the equitable jurisdiction and then moves on to consider equitable doctrines.

08 Commercial Transactions

This course is about buying and selling personal property, and some aspects of securities over and payments for personal property.

09 Administrative Law

Administrative law is a branch of public law which is concerned with the legal control of decisions and actions of governmental agencies and officials, and those of non-governmental bodies which affect the public.

10 Law of Associations

Law of Associations is a description of some of the laws which regulate associations of individuals.

11 Evidence

The Evidence course is devoted to an examination of the rules governing the presentation of evidence in common law trials, both civil and criminal. The central focus of the course is on the provisions of the Evidence Act 1995.

The matters considered include the manner and form in which evidence can be presented to the court, the matters which are susceptible of proof as defined by the inclusionary and exclusionary rules, and the tests to be applied in determining whether sufficient evidence has been introduced.

12 Taxation and Revenue Law

The Taxation and Revenue Law course is an overview of the Income Tax Assessment Act and related legislation.

13 Succession

The law of succession is concerned with the law of wills and the administration of deceased estates.

14 Conveyancing

Conveyancing practice requires an understanding of Real Property and Planning Law. The course is designed to provide the theoretical and practical foundations of conveyancing practice. Particular emphasis is placed on the structure of the current edition of the Contract for Sale of Land.

15 Practice and Procedure

The subject of Practice and Procedure deals with the day to day practicalities of civil litigation in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

17 Legal Ethics

The objectives of the course are to give the student a sound background of the statute, common law and rules and regulations which govern professional practice as a barrister or solicitor; and to provide guidance as to what can go wrong, how to recognise a problem, and what help is available, and what may occur where there has been an ethical breach.

24 Jurisprudence

This course in jurisprudence will apply the concepts and techniques of philosophical analysis to an examination of the nature of law and issues surrounding legal reasoning, and the relationship between law, morals and theories of justice.

Elective subjects

16 Insolvency

The course covers both personal insolvency and corporate insolvency. The first half of the course is personal insolvency, governed by the Bankruptcy Act.

The second half of the course covers corporate insolvency, governed by the Corporations Act.

18 Conflict of Laws

Conflict of laws, or private international law, is the part of private law concerned with legal questions which contain a foreign element.

The course objective is to give you an opportunity to gain an appreciation and understanding of the transnational dimension of private law and the fact that many legal questions which arise in everyday life are not confined within one legal system.

19 Family Law

This course is designed to provide students with a general yet comprehensive introduction to family law in Australia.

20 Local Government and Planning

The Local Government and Planning course examines the bodies of law which regulate the establishment, status, powers, operation and accountability of local councils and the environmental and planning laws which regulate the use of land.

The overall aim of the local government and planning course is to enable students through lectures, study and practical course exercises to explore and understand the wide variety of laws under which councils operate as regulators and providers of vital services to their communities.

21 Industrial Law

The Industrial Law course is a general introduction to industrial law, having the primary objective of introducing students to the system of conciliation and arbitration which operates in Australia, and the common law duties imposed on both employers and employees.

22 Intellectual Property

The law of intellectual property encompasses the areas of copyright, design, circuit layouts, patent, plant variety rights, confidentiality information, business reputation and trade marks. The course provides a general introduction to intellectual property outlining for each category of protection how the rights arise, the nature of the rights, ownership and exploitation as well as infringement and remedies.

23 Public International Law

Public international law is the regime of legal rules which primarily seeks to regulate relations between sovereign states. This course is a general introduction to the sources and techniques of public international law with the objective of imparting to you an appreciation and understanding of the role of legal rules in regulating the conduct of states and individuals in international society.

25 Competition and Consumer Law

The Competition and Consumer Act (2011), incorporating the Australian Consumer Law, has a significant impact on every aspect of commerce and consumerism in Australia. The course complements the other commercial subjects by covering the restrictive trade practices (e.g. misuse of market power, exclusive dealing, resale price maintenance, cartels etc), deceptive trade practices (unconscionable conduct, misleading and deceptive conduct), product liability, enforcement and remedies (damages and other orders etc.) provisions of the Act.

26 Understanding Legal Language and Legislation

This elective focuses on the core skill of statutory interpretation, and allows students to develop and build their understanding of how to interpret legislation. As legislation needs to be read in context, and as understanding legislation requires a thorough knowledge of the grammatical tools employed by the legislative drafter, completion of the Language Skills opt in course (see below) is strongly recommended. Students who have not already completed the course, may do it at the same time as this elective. The course also includes an opportunity for students to refresh their legal research skills. In hands on classes students will learn how to find extrinsic materials, and consider their use; research the changing history of legislation and consider why this is important in statutory interpretation; and learn how to use research tools to locate words, phrases and sections which have been the subject of prior judicial consideration. The course will examine the common law and statutory principles of interpretation, and practice the application of these skills.

Development of Legal Skills

Successful completion of the required subjects will give you the knowledge you need to be a successful legal practitioner, but it is also important to build a strong base of relevant legal skills. Skill development is a process which occurs over the course of studies and often occurs at different times for different students.

To assist students to become proficient in these areas, Legal Institutions, the first course undertaken by students, has been deliberately structured to introduce students to the necessary skills of legal problem solving and legal referencing. As well, a package of self-guided tutorials is available on the Webcampus for students to work through at their own pace. These tutorials focus on the acquisition of general skills introduced in the Legal Institutions course.

To assist students to address individual needs which arise in later subjects, the Law Extension Committee also offers a number of opt in sessions, allowing students to develop their skills as required. These sessions are all offered from 12 noon to 4 pm on the Friday afternoon preceding each weekend school. This allows country students to plan to arrive early, and city students to make arrangements as required.

Included in these Development of Legal Skills sessions are classes in Latin legal terminology and in language skills. An understanding of Latin legal terminology is useful in reading legislation which in the past was written using Latin words, phrases and sentences. This elective provides an overview of Latin legal terms with an elementary explanation of the structure of the Latin language and its historical importance in law. As Latin is an inflected language, explanation will be given of its declensions and conjugations. Legal prepositional phrases will also be explained. Reference will be made to important examples of Latin still in use which were first used by classical authors.

The Language Skills class is designed for students who would like to develop their ability to express themselves in clear, grammatical English. It is for students who would like to improve their written expression in English by constructing phrases, clauses and sentences more accurately and effectively and is not designed as a course for non-English speakers.