LAW 2526 - Legal Theory
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code LAW 2526 Course Legal Theory Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Law (LLB) Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites LAW 1501 Incompatible LAW 2064 Course Description Hannah Arendt has plausibly been characterized as one of the great outsiders of twentieth-century political philosophy: strikingly original and disturbingly unorthodox. This course examines Arendt's writing on legality, responsibility and ethics through a close reading of her book 'Eichmann n Jerusalem'. After the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, Arendt embarked on a series of reflections about how to make judgements and exercise responsibility without recourse to existing law, especially when existing law is itself criminal. Although sometimes she understands judgment as a social act - an act performed in common - other times she seeks recourse to an idea of sovereign mind. What kind of "act" is judgment? And how do we understand those acts that make us criminals in light of one law, but dissenters from a criminal law in another? How do we account for lawless law? This course is designed to enrich students ability to think critically and write about ideas of subjective and objective judgment. We will also prepare for the future political problems that face the ever changing political world of today as we examine the historical buildup to current ideas on sovereignty, nationality, law and ethics.
Course Coordinator: Dr Peter BurdonName: Dr. Peter Burdon
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesThis course is designed to provide an opportunity for in-depth and focused examination of legal theory. The subject is also multidisciplinary, and will provide expertise in history, philosophy, politics and current affairs.
(1) The course aims to increase student research and writing skills, and to deepen their knowledge in a substantive area of law.
(2) Students will develop an understanding of the concept of original research, learn how to construct a theme for a research project, and how to refine the theme, develop an outline, and write a major research paper.
(3) The course provides students with the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills.
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. 1-2 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-3 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-2 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-2 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 3 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-3 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3
For this course students are required to have a copy of: Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem (Penguin Classics, 2006). This book will be available from Unibooks.
Additional resources will be provided free of charge via Myuni.
Recommended ResourcesA list of recommended readings will be made available through My Uni. My Uni will also feature a page of links to useful internet resources and news articles. These will be particularly helpful in locating material on contemporary legal and political issues that are relevant to the course.
Online LearningThe course is supported by the ‘Legal Theory’ MyUni website. The website contains links to the following resources:
- Course information, including the Course Profile and the seminar and lecture guide.
- Course materials – such as items of assessment, lecture PowerPoint slides, and other course materials which will be posted from time to time.
- Lectures – audio streaming of lectures and video streaming of lecture slides will be posted (where available) under the Course Materials link as soon as possible after each lecture.
- Discussion Board – This is available for students to discuss the course amongst themselves and to communicate with the course coordinator in relation to administrative or substantive questions about the course.
- Grade book – where students’ grades will be entered for each assignment.
- MyUni will also be used to post announcements, and assignment tasks. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course. Students should also regularly check their email.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course is taught through a one hour lecture and a two hour discussion tutorial each week. Lectures and tutorials commence in the first week of semester one. Both the lecture and seminar will take place in the same venue with a break at each hour or as required.
The lectures will provide an introduction to the issue we are dealing with that week. Sometimes the lecture will consist of a close reading of the materials for the week: at others it will range more broadly and may include extracts from a documentary. Although it is a lecture, it will be run, in part, in seminar mode: ie the lecturer will be asking questions and inviting comments along the way.
It is essential that participants have done the week’s reading before attending the lecture/seminar. Doing the readings before class will help to introduce you to the concepts and concerns for the week, and the lecture will then help to clarify these further. The seminar is your opportunity to discuss the materials with your colleagues, to examine the issues that you find most interesting, and explore the concepts you are having the most difficulty with. To this end, I intend to facilitate a wide-ranging exploration of the week’s material and be directed by the interests and concerns of the class.
It is recommended that you take notes as you do your readings. This will help you clarify issues as you go along. You might want to take notes on what you think the argument being made is; whether you find the argument plausible and why; and how the argument might relate to current political events. Not everything in an article is central to the argument, so a crucial part of taking notes is identifying what you think are the central arguments. It is a good idea to write down one particular question that is the most pressing or interesting for you: it could, for example, be something that bothers you about the author's analysis, a concept or argument that you think needs clarification. This will help you contribute to the tutorials and make them a lively and interesting learning experience.
Lectures will be audio-streamed (technology permitting) and PowerPoint slides supporting the lecture will be available prior to the lecture
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.In taking this course students are expected to attend 12 hours of lectures and 24 hours of seminars. To get the most from this course, it is essential that students spend time doing the readings, taking notes and thinking about the issues. Students should expect to spend 6-7 hours per week doing this. Approximately 10-15 hours should be spent on the research proposal and 30-50 hours should be spent on the research essay.
Learning Activities SummaryProvisional Topics
Week One: The House of the Accused
Week Two: The Accused: Who Was Adolf Eichmann?
Week Three: The First, Second and Final Solution.
Week Four: The Wannsee Conference
Week Five: Duties of a Law Abiding Citizen
Week Six: The Deportation Chapters Pt 1
Week Seven: The Deportation Chapters Pt 2
Week Eight: Evidence and Witnesses
Week Nine: Judgement and Execution
Week Ten: The Banality of Evil?
Week Eleven: Evaluation
Week Twelve: Contemporary Significance
Specific Course RequirementsThe University’s policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following five principles: 1) assessment must encourage and reinforce learning; 2) assessment must measure achievement of the stated learning objectives; 3) assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance; 4) assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned; and 5) assessment must maintain academic standards (see: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/700/).
Please note that all requests for extension must be submitted formally through Unified:
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryThis course contains four pieces of assessment:
Assessment Type % of Final Mark Due Date Class Participation 10 Research Presentation 10 Scheduled in consultation with co-ordinator Research Proposal 20 Friday, 10 April, 2pm Research Paper 50 Friday, 12 June, 2pm
Assessment DetailClass Participation (10%)
The class participation mark is comprised of attendance, level of preparation and contribution to small and large group discussions. There is no minimum attendance requirement but a significant lapse in attendance will adversly impact this grade.
Research Presentation (10%, 5 minutes)
Beginning in week four students will be scheduled to give a 5-minute presentation on their research topic. This presentation should provide an overview of the specific research question, the crisis which is being addressed and why the topic is important for investigation. Where possible, the presentation should be interactive and perhaps make use of the AV equipment and handouts. At the conclusion of the presentation, there will be a brief Q/A session where classmates will have the opportunity to ask questions about the research topic and offer suggestions for the project.
Research Proposal (30%, 1000 words)
This is a proposal for your research paper. It should be no more than 1000 words and should include a specific research question; discussion of the research topic; a preliminary list of research resources, including a description (annotated bibliography) of at least 8 relevant articles, cases or books. The essay proposal submitted will be marked for a total of 30% of the students grade.
Essay proposals will also be separately considered by the course coordinator for approval as the topic which will form the basis of the major research essay component of the assessment. It is each student’s responsibility to develop an acceptable research topic. This may require reworking of the submitted essay proposal. Students are encouraged to consider potential research topics and to discuss these topics with the course coordinator (in person, by telephone discussion or via email communication) early in the course, so as to avoid problems.
Research Paper (50%, 4000 words)
For the major essay, students will undertake a substantial amount of independent research that follows on from their research proposal and presentation. The research essay will be no more that 4,000 words long (excluding title page information and bibliography). Words are calculated including all footnotes or other references and all headings within the text. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count. Because research topics will usually have been discussed with individual students before approval, in practice this will not be an anonymous assessment. Please use the AGLC 3rd for style and referencing.
The skills that are of central importance for this essay include: The ability to provide argument and critical thinking skills; The ability to fairly reconstruct a position and argument in regard to a particular issue; and the ability to express your own thoughts and reason and argue about the material that you are addressing (this is your argument or considered judgment).
SubmissionYour research proposal and essay must be submitted electronically to Turnitin, a software program that checks for plagiarism. Instructions on submitting your essay to Turnitin will be distributed on MyUni.
Late Submission: 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised accordingly.
Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
Extensions beyond the due date are generally only granted in the case of serious and unforeseen incapacity. If you require an extension, you will need to use the on-line application form available on the law school website (https://unified.adelaide.edu.au/group/law-school/forms-and-downloads) as soon as you are aware of the need for an extension, and before the due date of the assignment. The course coordinator will reply by email, determining whether an extension is warranted, what evidence is required to verify the student’s incapacity, and the length of the extension. Evidence of the incapacity must be submitted with the assignment, and must be consistent with details in the email requesting the extension.
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.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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.
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and speaking skills
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- International Student Support
- AUU Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
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.