LAW 2507 - Australian Legal History

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course will examine the historical background of the Australian legal system and interrogate the influence of history on the evolution of Australian law and legal institutions. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions. The course will draw from the following topics: the development and evolution of British legal institutions with a particular focus on the role of courts and lawyers, the legal and philosophical foundations of the British empire, the juridical status of Australian settlement, the status of the Aboriginal people under European law, frontier law and other original Australian developments, the move to independent legal institutions and the juridical nature of constitution making in Australia. The course will also introduce students to the sources of legal history generally and Australian legal history in particular, as well as basic historical methodology.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 2507
    Course Australian Legal History
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Prerequisites LAW 1501, LAW 2501
    Incompatible LAW 2006
    Assumed Knowledge LAW 1502, LAW 1503, LAW 1504 & LAW 1505
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description This course will examine the historical background of the Australian legal system and interrogate the influence of history on the evolution of Australian law and legal institutions. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions. The course will draw from the following topics: the development and evolution of British legal institutions with a particular focus on the role of courts and lawyers, the legal and philosophical foundations of the British empire, the juridical status of Australian settlement, the status of the Aboriginal people under European law, frontier law and other original Australian developments, the move to independent legal institutions and the juridical nature of constitution making in Australia. The course will also introduce students to the sources of legal history generally and Australian legal history in particular, as well as basic historical methodology.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Matthew Stubbs

    Course Coordinator: Dr Matthew Stubbs

    Lecturers:

    Professor Emeritus Wilfrid Prest

    Professor Richard Boast

    Dr Adam Webster
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand the basic principles of Australia’s legal system, including the history and development of the law in Britain and Australia
    2 Develop the capacity to analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources and experiences
    3 Be aware of the incompleteness of law and the continuous state of development of legal principles
    4 Appreciate the evolution of the roles of lawyers and judges, and the ethical dimensions of the development of law and legal systems
    5 Refine critical thinking and problem solving skills
    6 Develop skills to independently undertake historical legal research at a high level
    7 Demonstrate good inter-personal and communication skills in both written and oral communication
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,3,4,6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,5,6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1,2,3,4,5,6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2,5,7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 6,7
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,3,4,5,6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1,2,3,4,7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2,3,4,7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students will need to purchase a Course Reader from the Image and Copy Centre.
    Recommended Resources
    There is an extraordinary array of legal (and general) history material available. The following are just a few of the books you may find of assistance:
    • J H Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History (Butterworths, 4th ed, 2002)
    • Bruce Kercher, An Unruly Child: A History of Law in Australia (Allen and Unwin, 1995)
    • Alex Castles, An Australian Legal History (LawBook Co, 1982)
    • David Lemmings (ed), The British and their Laws in the Eighteenth Century (Boydell Press, 2005)
    • Diane Kirkby and Catharine Colebourne (eds), Law, History, Colonialism: the Reach of Empire (Manchester University Press, 2001)
    • James Oldham, English Common Law in the Age of Mansfield (University of North Carolina Press, 2004)
    • Wilfrid Prest, William Blackstone: Law and Letters in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2008)
    • Stuart Macintyre, A Concise History of Australia (Cambridge University Press, 3rd ed, 2009)
    • Paul Langford, Eighteenth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2000)
    • Wilfrid Prest, Albion Ascendant: English History 1660-1815 (Oxford University Press, 1998)
    • Graeme Davison, John Hirst and Stuart Macintyre, The Oxford Companion to Australian History (Rev ed, 2001)
    • Carol Fort, Wilfrid Prest and Kerrie Round (eds), The Wakefield Companion to South Australian History (2001)
    Online Learning
    Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with announcements, materials and learning resources throughout the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught in a series of 3-hour lectures at which students will be required to discuss, debate and defend their analysis of the relevant material set in the course readings.

    There is no attendance requirement (except for your group presentation). The majority of the class time will be recorded and made available on MyUni. However, the classes will be interactive in nature, and little (or none) of the interactive discussion will be captured on the recording, so you should plan to attend the classes rather than watch bits of them after the event.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact time: attend a 3 hour lecture each week. This amounts to 36 hours of formal class time across the semester.

    Preparation time: In addition to attending formal classes it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for classes and to complete the course assignments. The University expects full time students (those undertaking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Australian Legal History
    Week Primary Teacher Topic
    1 WP Legal History: Methodology and Approaches
    2 WP Origins of the English legal system
    3 WP Blackstone and Bentham
    4 WP Crime and the Old Bailey
    5 RB Aboriginal Legal Systems in Australia and New Zealand, and the Arrival of Settler Law
    6 RB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Maori Peoples and the Law in Comparative Perspective
    7 WP Empire: Colonial Legal History in Comparative Perspective
    8 MS Convicts and Responsible Government in Australia
    9 MS Federation from a South Australian Perspective
    10 MS/AW The Australian Judiciary and Legal Profession
    11 AW Uses of History in Law
    12 AW Legal Regulation of Water in Australia
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no additional requirements for completion of this course other than described elsewhere in this document.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Item % of Final Mark Due Date Redeemable by Essay?
    Group Presentation on Assigned Reading 15% (group assessment) Various weeks as assigned Yes, UNLESS student fails to make a reasonable contribution to their group
    3 Online Quizzes 5% each, total 15% Tuesday 26 August 3am-9pm (week 5 - for content of weeks 1-4), Tuesday 7 October 3am-9pm (week 9 - for content of weeks 5-8), Tuesday 4 November 3am-9pm (swot vac week - for content of weeks 9-12) No
    Research Essay 3,500 words 70% (or 85%) Monday 3 November, 2pm (swot vac week) N/A
    Extra Credit: Writing Multiple Choice Questions on the Discussion Board (Optional) Up to 3% extra credit (in addition to the 100% of compulsory assessment specified above) Any time before Monday 3 November, 2pm. N/A
    Assessment Detail
    Specific instructions for each item of assessment will be posted on MyUni.

    The following information relates to the optional extra-credit assessment:

    Extra credit: Writing Multiple-Choice Questions on the Discussion Board (Up to 3% extra credit, Optional)

    Students have the opportunity, which is entirely optional, to write and post multiple-choice questions in a special forum on the Discussion Board.

    This is a useful exercise for the students who choose to undertake it, because writing questions based on the course material is a great learning exercise to ensure you have a good understanding of the content. It is also helpful for other students in the course, who can self-test using the submitted questions to track their own progress. The questions will also help students to prepare for the online quiz assessments in this course.

    Students who choose to contribute questions will be assessed (on the basis of peer ratings submitted by other students, and review by course staff) for up to 3% extra credit for their submissions (that is, up to an additional 3 marks added to what would otherwise be their result in the course). Quality, and not quantity, will be rewarded – each student may submit no more than 3 questions throughout the course.
    Submission
    Students will be expected to comply with the submission requirements indicated in the instructions for each item of assessment posted on MyUni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support

    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    Practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/

  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    https://unified.adelaide.edu.au/group/law-school/policies-and-procedures

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide 2014, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.

  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.