LAW 3534B - Law Reform Part B

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course will examine theories, practices and processes for achieving reform of the law. The course will operate in conjunction with the South Australian Law Reform Institute and students will participate in the references being undertaken by the Institute. The topics to be covered in the course include: - theories of law reform; -the institutions through which the law is reformed; -the role of the community, the executive, the parliament, the bureaucracy, commissions and courts in progressing law reform; - the role of the news media and new media; -the role and function of the South Australian Law Reform Institute.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 3534B
    Course Law Reform Part B
    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 2501 and LAW 2504
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only. Enrolment is by invitation only.
    Course Description This course will examine theories, practices and processes for achieving reform of the law. The course will operate in conjunction with the South Australian Law Reform Institute and students will participate in the references being undertaken by the Institute.
    The topics to be covered in the course include:
    - theories of law reform;
    -the institutions through which the law is reformed;
    -the role of the community, the executive, the parliament, the bureaucracy, commissions and courts in progressing law reform;
    - the role of the news media and new media;
    -the role and function of the South Australian Law Reform Institute.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Helen Wighton

    Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director, South Australian Law Reform Institute
    Room 4.07a, Ligertwood Building
    Ph: 8313 0921
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The key learning objective of the course is to foster in students an appreciation of the methods of law reform and the distinct role a law reform agency has in the modernisation of the law. In particular, this course aims to enable students:

    1) to appreciate the historical context within which law reform agencies operate;
    2) to identify the challenge of law reform and the means by which it has been achieved;
    3) to analyse a defined area of law and provide a critique of its operation;
    4) to undertake high level research of the law within its comparative and policy dimensions;
    5) to present arguments, both oral and written in relation to a specific legal problem; and
    6) to critique and reflect upon draft reports and documents.

    LLB Graduate Attributes

    Students who successfully complete the subject Law Reform will satisfy the following LLB graduate attributes:

    Knowledge

    a) A law graduate from the Law School at the University of Adelaide will have a clear and detailed knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of the Australian legal system, including the separation of powers, the role of courts, the legislative process, and the role and control of the executive.

    b) The law graduate will also have knowledge and understanding of the development of law and legal principle within the subject area of Law Reform and the specific area of the reform project. They will have the capacity to maintain appropriate familiarity with, and a capability to access the content of, legal principle in this area.

    Intellectual and Social Capabilities

    a) A law graduate will have the cognitive skills to analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources and experiences so as to identify and address as appropriate legal and related issues.

    b) A law graduate will have an awareness and appreciation of the incompleteness of law and the continuous state of development of legal principle in response to social and technical change, and a capacity to respond to such change and assist such development as appropriate.

    c) A law graduate will have critical thinking and problem solving skills.

    d) A law graduate will have oral and written communication skills of a high order.

    e) A law graduate will have skills to work both independently and cooperatively, in a professional environment.

    f) A law graduate will have the capacity and commitment to learn and maintain intellectual curiosity, and to engage in life-long personal and professional learning.

    Attitudes and Values

    a) A law graduate will have a commitment to the rule of law.

    b) A law graduate will have an understanding of social and cultural diversity and sensitivity of the operation of the law and legal structures in that context.

    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. 1,2,3,4,5,6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3,4,5,6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4,5,6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3,4,5,6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4,5,6
    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. 1,2,3,4,5,6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2,3,4,5,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Brian R. Opeskin and David Weisbrot (eds), The Promise of Law Reform (Federation Press, 2005)

    Depending upon the law reform project the relevant legislation will be required. This will be discussed at the seminar.

    Students should also be aware of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Law Reform bodies which are listed on the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) webpage.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Seminars

    The primary teaching mode will be seminars. Students will be required to come to seminars fully prepared to enter into the discussions relating to the materials. Questions will be provided relating to the readings that will help to focus and structure the individual learning of students.

    The seminar will be an important part of the learning in this course. Students will be expected to contribute to the seminar and in doing so develop their communication and presentation skills. Students will regularly be called upon to present and lead discussion of the materials and their individual research.

    In addition to seminar attendance and discussion, weekly research activities may be assigned. Students will use these structured exercises to inform discussion of particular activities undertaken in class.
    Workload

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

    Law Reform A and Law Reform B together form one continuing 3 unit subject. The course runs over both Semester 1 and 2 of the academic year. Students will have 2 hours of class time per week plus up to 1 hour of structured activities.

    Students will expect to spend at least 3 hours each week in independent study related to the course.
    Learning Activities Summary

     

    Seminar

    Activities

    Assessment

    Week 1

    Preparation for research assignment

    Discussion of course outline

    Planning research assignment

    Critical learning from last project

     Research Assignment topics assigned

    Week 2

    Part 1: Law   reform through the executive and parliament

    Critical   discussion of set reading

     

    Part 2:   Legislative processes

    Quiz and   discussion

    Part 3: Assignment 2

    Preparation   for law reform assignment

     

    Week 3

    Executive and legislative processes for law   reform

    Seminar conducted by Attorney General’s Department

     

    Week 4

    Part 1: Law reform through the courts

    Critical   discussion of set reading

     

    Part 2: Using Hansard and case authorities in law   reform papers

    Group   discussion

    Part 3: Assignment 2

    Preparation   for law reform assignment

     

    Week 5

    Research methodology

    Structure for law reform papers

    Preparation   for law reform assignment

    Progress review

     

    Week 6

    Part 1: Civil justice reform

    Student-led discussion

     

    Part 2: Assignment 2

    Preparation   for law reform assignment

    Progress   review

     

    Week 7

    Part 1: Criminal justice reform

    Student-led discussion

     

    Part 2: Assignment 2

    Preparation   for law reform assignment

    Progress review

     

    Week 8

    Part 1: Law reform and social justice

    Student-led discussion

     

    Part 2: Assignment 2

    Preparation   for law reform assignment

    Progress review

     

    Week 9

    Assignment 2

    Student presentation and discussion

     

    Week 10

    Assignment 2

    Student presentation and discussion

    Week11

    Assignment 2

    Student presentation and discussion

     

    Week 12

    Assignment 2

    Student presentation and Discussion

    Research Assignment Due

  • 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

    Please note that this summary refers to assessment for the whole year (Law Reform Part A in Semester 1 and Law Reform Part B in Semester 2).

    The Semester 1 assessment is the Literature and Case Review (35% of the total marks for this course).

    The Semester 2 assessment is the Research Assignment (55% of the total marks for this course).

    Class participation is one mark assessed over both Semester 1 and Semester 2 (10% of the total marks for this course).

    Assessment Task

    Word Limit

    Percentage (%)

    Redeemable (Y or N)

    Class Participation - 10 N
    Literature and Case Review
    Written Assignment 1500 30 N
    Assignment Presentation - 5 N
    Research Assignment
    Written Assignment 3500 50 N
    Assignment Presentation - 5 N
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Participation in Seminars – weighting 10%
    Students will be assessed on the quality of their contribution to the seminars.This assessment will address the following learning objectives identified in the assessment scheme: 2 (a-c) and (e). Students should be able to engage in the literature and present opinions and foster discussion based upon the materials. In particular students will:

    • address specific questions raised by the literature and the seminar leader, and
    • give presentations of their assignments to the class and critique the presentations of other students.

    AND

    Literature and Case Review – weighting 35%
    Students will present a literature and case review relating to the research project. This assessment will address the following learning objectives identified in the assessment scheme: 2.1 (c-f). There will be an emphasis on the research and presentation of the review

    For this assessment, students will be required to submit a written paper AND give a seminar presentation of their review to the class before submitting the written paper for assessment. This assessment task has a weighting of 35% of the mark for the course, comprising 30% for the written paper and 5% for the presentation.The written Literature and Case Review is due on the last day of Semester 1 Week 12.

    AND

    Research Assignment – weighting 55%
    The Research Assignment will address the following learning objective identified in the assessment scheme: 2.1 (c-f). The Research Assignment will be determined by the particular project being undertaken by the Law Reform Institute. Specific aspects of the research activity will be determined by the end of Semester 1. The research assignment will allow students to undertake research and demonstrate a capacity to identify a research question and analyse relevant legal materials.For this assessment, students will be required to submit a written paper AND give a seminar presentation of their review to the class before submitting the written paper for assessment. This assessment task has a weighting of 55% of the mark for the course, comprising 50% for the written paper and 5% for the presentation.

    The written Research Assignment is due on the last day of Semester 2 Week 12.

    All assessment is summative. All assessment is compulsory. All assessment is to be undertaken individually. Although there are collaborative activities all assessment task are to be undertaken by the individual student.

    Replacement Research Assignment
    Where a student fails the course but qualifies for replacement assessment under the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessments, they will be required to submit a new Replacement Research Assignment on a new topic provided by the course co-ordinator. This Replacement Research Assignment topic will cover a wide range of material examined in the course and will be due two weeks after the posting of the final results for the course. Formal requirements for the Replacement Research Assignment will be the same as for the primary Research Essay, however the Replacement Research Assignment will be weighted in accordance with the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment policy.

    Assessment Detail

    PARTICIPATION IN SEMINARS – weighting 10% of the total marks for this course (one mark applies to participation over the whole year (ie: in both Semester 1 and Semester 2)

    Students are expected to attend and participate fully in seminars.

    Grade Descriptors for Class Participation are as follows:

    High Distinction 85-100
    Regular attendance at classes, outstanding level of quality contribution to class discussion demonstrating a strong understanding of concepts, high level of analysis and strong capacity to identify issues, clear understanding of cases and materials, strong responsiveness to the contributions of others and evidence of thorough reading of set material and preparation for class.

    Distinction 75-84
    Regular attendance at classes, frequent contributions to class discussion of a highly developed nature demonstrating clear understanding of concepts, high level of analysis and clear capacity to identify issues, sound understanding of cases and materials, strong responsiveness to the contributions of others and evidence of reading set material and preparation for class.

    Credit 65-74
    Regular attendance at classes, frequent contributions to class discussion demonstrating thoughtful approach to materials and clear understanding of concepts, capacity to analyse cases and material and identify issues, responsiveness to the contributions of others and evidence of reading set material and preparation for class.

    Pass 50-64
    Regular attendance at classes, limited contributions to class discussion but adequate to demonstrate understanding of concepts and capacity to analyse cases and material and identify issues, basic responsiveness to the contributions of others and evidence of reading set material and preparation for class.

    Fail 0-49
    Failure to regularly attend classes, limited contributions and lack of responsiveness to questions, inability to demonstrate understanding of concepts or capacity to analyse cases and material and identify issues, limited or poor evidence of reading set material and preparation for class.

    LITERATURE AND CASE REVIEW – weighting 35%

    For further information on the Literature and Case Review, please refer to the Course Outline for Law Reform Part A.
     
    RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT – weighting 55%

    Topics
    Given the special nature of the course and the need to align the research activities of the course with those of the Law Reform Institute the specific topics for the Research Assignment will not be known prior to the commencement of the course. It is anticipated that the research topics will be distributed bythe end of Semester 1.

    The objective of the research assignment is to review an area of law that has been identified as needing reform and to present and examine a range of reform options.

    Due Date
    The Research Assignment is due by 2.00pm on the last day of Semester 2 Week 12.

    There will be a penalty for late submissions of 10% per day or part day. This penalty is NOT 10% of the mark but of the assessment. For example an assignment that obtains a mark of 70% which is two days late will incur a penalty of 20%. The final mark would be 50%.

    Length
    The research essay is to be a maximum of 3500 words. There will be a penalty of 10% imposed for essays that exceed this word length. There is no leeway. 3500 words means a MAXIMUM of 3500 words. The research assignment requires original and independent research AND a presentation of the written paper to the class before it is submitted for assessment. The written paper will be assessed at 50% and the presentation will be assessed at 5% of the mark for this course.

    Citation and referencing
    The research essay must comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3rdedition) ‘AGLC3’.
    AGLC3 is available for purchase from bookshops or may be accessed at http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/aglc

    Grade Descriptors for the Research Essay are as follows:

    High Distinction: 85 – 100
    Demonstrates an outstanding level of understanding and presentation and a very strong degree of originality and insight in addressing the research question asked; evidence of reading of, reflection on, and high level understanding of materials beyond the core texts and cases that are relevant to the essay topic; very strong knowledge of principles and concepts and evidence of an awareness and understanding of deeper and more subtle aspects of the topic and the ability to consider issues in the context of the discipline; clear evidence of strong ability to construct a coherent and logical argument based on evidence, and evidence of imagination and flair in so doing; strong evidence of analytical and evaluative skills and ability to apply fundamental concepts; very strong evidence of independent research on the topic; highly developed skills in expression, spelling, grammar and presentation; and complete accuracy in use of correct forms of legal citation.

    Distinction: 75 – 84
    Demonstrates a very high level of understanding and presentation and a strong degree of originality and insight in addressing the research question asked; evidence of reading of, reflection on, and clear understanding of materials beyond the core texts and cases that are relevant to the essay topic; sound knowledge of principles and concepts and evidence of an awareness and understanding of deeper and more subtle aspects of the topic; clear evidence of good ability to construct a coherent and logical argument based on evidence, and evidence of imagination and flair in so doing; clear evidence of analytical and evaluative skills and ability to apply fundamental concepts; strong evidence of independent research on the topic; well developed skills in expression, spelling, grammar and presentation; and very high rate of accuracy in use of correct forms of legal citation.

    Credit: 65 – 74
    Demonstrates a high level of understanding and presentation and a degree of originality and insight in addressing the research question asked; evidence of reading of, reflection on, and clear understanding of the core materials relevant to the essay topic; sound knowledge of principles and concepts; clear evidence of good ability to construct a coherent and logical argument based on evidence; clear evidence of analytical and evaluative skills and ability to apply fundamental concepts; clear evidence of independent research on the topic; good skills in expression, spelling, grammar and presentation; and high rate of accuracy in use of correct forms of legal citation.

    Pass: 50 – 64
    Satisfies the minimum in addressing the research question asked; some evidence of basic reading of and reflection on the core materials necessary to understand the essay topic; knowledge of principles and concepts adequate to communicate intelligently in the topic and to serve as a basis for further study; evidence of basic ability to construct a coherent argument; some evidence of analytical and evaluative skills; some evidence of independent research on the topic; adequate skills in expression, spelling, grammar and presentation; and few errors in accuracy in use of correct forms of legal citation.

    Fail: 0 – 49
    Fails to satisfy the minimum requirements and does not answer the research question; very little evidence of having read any of the core materials necessary to understand the essay topic; scant knowledge of principles and concepts; very little evidence of ability to construct a coherent argument; very little evidence of analytical and evaluative skills; no evidence of independent research on the topic; rudimentary skills in expression, spelling, grammar and presentation; and inaccurate use of correct forms of legal citation.

    Submission
    By the due date all submissions should be handed in through the assignment slot near the entry to the front office of the Law School, main enter foyer, Ligertwood Building and an electronic copy emailed to the Course Coordinator.

    All Assignments must comply with the following:

    All Assignments should be one and a half spaced and have margins wide enough to allow for comments and feedback by the examiner.

    Students must also submit an electronic copy of their assignment in Word format to the Course Coordinator by the due date for the assignment.

    Students must retain a copy (including an electronic copy) of the Seminar Paper and Research Essay they submit. Students may be required to submit their seminar paper and/or research essay to an electronic plagiarism detection software (SafeAssign or Turnitin) and, in any event, are encouraged to use these software programs themselves as a check for plagiarism and the academic integrity of their work.

    All Assignments must be attached to a signed Assignment Cover Sheet. Examiners will withhold a student’s results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet. Examiners can refuse to accept assignments that do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on academic honesty/plagiarism (refer to policy below). Students must also include on the coversheet a statement as to word length to their Seminar Paper and Research Essay.
    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.