Legal Theory

10 Units

This course is designed to facilitate students’ thinking about the law rather than learning detailed analysis of the legislation and cases consigned to a particular area of law. It requires students to critically consider the nature of law, its role in society, and various perspectives and critiques on law. Legal Theory focuses on major theoretical traditions which have influenced the development of our legal system. Students will develop an integrated understanding of complex jurisprudential concepts, through the critical analysis of primary theoretical literature and case studies.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School
Availability Semester 1 - 2015 (Callaghan Campus)

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of major schools of legal theory which have influenced the development of the Australian legal system.
  2. Critically evaluate multiple and conflicting perspectives on law and engage in open-minded academic discussion of them in an applied context.
  3. Develop an autonomous and reflective perspective on the relationship between law and society.
  4. Conduct high-level research, exploring primary and secondary materials, in order to justify and interpret theoretical propositions.
  5. Prepare and present arguments, orally and in writing, that are persuasive for a legal audience.

Topics in this course include:

Module 1 1. Introduction to legal theory 2. Positivism 3. The Hart/Fuller debate Module 2 1. Introduction to natural law 2. Natural law 3. Contemporary rights theory Module 3 1. Introduction to critical theories 2. Critical race theory and feminist legal theories 3. Law and Economics

Replacing Course(s) n/a
Transition n/a
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005.
Modes of Delivery Internal Mode
Teaching Methods Seminar
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Research Essay
  • Group/tutorial participation and contribution - Students will receive a participation mark which will be assessed on the basis of the following: a. Evidence that the prescribed readings have been completed; b. Active engagement and willingness to participate in seminar discussion and activities, responses, questions or other contributions that indicate a comprehension of the relevant material and thoughtful and intelligent consideration of the issues it raises; c. Responses, questions or other considerations that indicate an awareness of the broader legal and policy issues.
  • Presentations - Individual - The presentation will be done in class
Contact Hours
  • Seminar: for 3 hour(s) per Week for 12 weeks
Compulsory Components
  • Requisite by Enrolment: Enrolment in this course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for LAWS6023

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