10 Units

This course is different from the other courses that make up the JD program. It is designed to facilitate students’ thinking about law in general rather than learning detailed analysis of the legislation and cases consigned to a particular area of law. It will require students to critically consider the nature of law, its role in society, and various perspectives on and critiques of law.

This subject focuses on major theoretical traditions which have influenced the development of the Australian legal system and the boarder Western legal tradition. The aim is for some level of depth rather than mere breadth, with an emphasis on analysis of primary theoretical literature and case studies.

Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
School Newcastle Law School
Availability Semester 1 - 2018 (Newcastle City Precinct)
Learning Outcomes

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
  • This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice program.
Assumed Knowledge LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005.
Assessment Items
  • Essay: Research Essay
  • Participation: Group/tutorial participation and contribution
  • Presentation: Presentations - Individual

Contact Hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Timetable 2017 Course Timetables for LAWS6023
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