LAW 1100 - Introduction to Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

An introduction to the Australian legal system including the role of the Constitution, parliaments and courts. An Introduction to the basic rules of contract, the tort of negligence, liability for unsafe products, the consequences of misleading conduct, the criminal process and the law relating to property ownership (including intellectual property).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 1100
    Course Introduction to Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible LAW1501 Foundations of Law
    Restrictions Any person enrolled in LLB
    Course Description An introduction to the Australian legal system including the role of the Constitution, parliaments and courts. An Introduction to the basic rules of contract, the tort of negligence, liability for unsafe products, the consequences of misleading conduct, the criminal process and the law relating to property ownership (including intellectual property).
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Mark Giancaspro

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A student successfully completing the course will be able to:

    1. Explain the history and contemporary features of the Australian legal system, including its key institutions, doctrines and principles;

    2. Understand the fundamental legal rules and principles relevant to the selected areas of the law, and apply these to novel scenarios;

    3. Work both independently and as part of a group to critically analyse the law of Australian including its institutions, stakeholders, principles, operation and theoretical bases.
    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
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2, 3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2, 3
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 2, 3
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Reading / Texts

    The required readings (the Course Materials) for this course are available either online on MyUni or can be picked up in hard copy from the Law School Front Office (Ligertwood).
    Recommended Resources

    Given the breadth of content in this course, there is no one text or collection of texts which adequately covers all of the material. Moreover, much of the content is legal in nature and the principal texts in each area are designed for scholars and students of the law. However, should you require assistance with any particular area of the law as covered in the course, there are plenty of useful resources available in the Law Library and the staff there would be more than willing to assist you in this regard. You are also very welcome to consult your teachers for guidance on particular texts that might be of use to help deepen your understanding of particular legal concepts.
    Online Learning
    The MyUni course page for this course can be accessed at

    Besides this Course Profile and the Study Guide, students can use MyUni to access copies of the PowerPoint slides used in lectures, recordings of lectures, assessment tasks and other course materials. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.

    There is also a Discussion Board for the course on MyUni. This has been set up as a way of enabling students enrolled in the course to communicate with one another. Students may use it to engage in general discussion about the themes of the course, or to post questions that they are hoping some other student can answer. But if their question is really to one of the teachers in the course, they should email that teacher directly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one one-hour seminar each week.

    The lectures will offer an overview of the topics covered in the course, according to the schedule set out in 4.3 below. Each lecture will include opportunities for students to ask questions on the issues covered and engage in the discussion.

    The seminars involve small group discussion of selected issues covered in the course and are designed to encourage active engagement with the themes of the course. The seminars are meant to be more of a guided, open forum for discussion and will help students to think critically about the many significant issues addressed throughout the course. The questions assigned for each seminar will assist in providing some direction for this discussion.

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

    For 3-unit courses, students are expected to devote an average of 12 hours per week to their studies in it, including classes. Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one one-hour seminar each week.

    The assigned readings provide not only a context for the material covered in the lectures but for the seminars. The seminar questions will, with the odd exception, be based upon the assigned reading material.

    Copies of PowerPoint presentation slides used in the lectures will be made available on MyUni ahead of each lecture. These provide a basic outline of the points covered, though they should not be seen as a substitute for attendance or for the assigned readings. Some students may find it useful to print the slides out in advance of the relevant lectures and use them as a basis for taking notes.

    The lectures are intended to provide an overview of the relevant themes and principles and to put them into context. They are not meant to tell students everything they need to know, but to serve as a guide for their own study. That study should involve, at the very least, reading through the material in the Study Guide and any other directed readings, and preparation of answers to the questions set for seminars.
    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

    Specific Course Requirements
  • 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
    Week Dates Lecture Topic Seminar topic
    Week 1 March 2-6 Legal Theory and the Australian Legal System Legal Theory and the Australian Legal
    Week 2 March 9-13 The Lawmaking Process*

    *NOTE: There will be no lecture in this week owing to
    the Adelaide Cup public holiday on Monday. The
    lecture will be recorded and placed on MyUni for you
    to access.
    The Lawmaking Process
    Week 3 March 16-20 Courts and the Common Law Courts and the Common Law
    Week 4 March 23-27 Law in the Media and Popular Culture Law in the Media and Popular Culture
    Week 5 March 30-
    April 3
    Criminal Law and Procedure

    MEDIA ANALYSIS RELEASED 30/03 @ 9:00am
    Criminal Law and Procedure
    Week 6 April 6-10 Tort of Negligence*

    *NOTE: There will be no lecture in this week owing to
    the Easter Monday public holiday. The lecture will be
    recorded and placed on MyUni for you to access.

    Tort of Negligence
    Week 7 Aril 27-
    May 1
    Liability for Unsafe Products

    MEDIA ANALYSIS DUE 27/04 @ 2:00pm
    Liability for Unsafe Products
    Week 8 May 4-8 Contract Law Contract Law
    Week 9 May 11-15 Misleading Conduct

    RESEARCH ESSAY RELEASED 11/05 @ 9:00am
    Misleading Conduct
    Week 10 Week 18-22 Property Law

    Week 11 May 25-29 Psychology in Law and Law Enforcement Psychology in Law and Law Enforcement
    Week 12 June 1-5 Future Directions in Law Future Directions in Law
    Week 13 June 8-12 NO LECTURE NO SEMINARS
    SWOT June 15-19 NO LECTURE

    RESEARCH ESSAY DUE 15/06 @ 2:00pm
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Each piece of assessment is compulsory. None of the assessment is redeemable.

    Assessment Task Task Type Individual or Group Redeemable Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Media Analysis Summative Individual No


    25 1-3
    Group Presentation Summative Group No Week beginning 18/05/2015 25 1-3
    Research Essay Summative Individual No 15/06/2015 50 1-3

    Assessment Detail
    1. Media Analysis (25%)

    Release Date: The Media Analysis will be available from 9:00am on Monday 30 March 2015 via the relevant link on MyUni.
    Due Date: The Media Analysis must be completed by 2:00pm on Monday 27 April 2015 at 2:00pm.
    Details: This exercise will require students to find a law-related article from a media source (print or online) and discuss the nature and public relevance of the topic, as well as the techniques used by the author in reporting the subject matter. Students will be required to address issues such as: the nature of the legal subject matter and how the author has tailored his or her approach to reporting a law-related matter; ethical aspects of the report, including whether or not it is likely to cause an emotional response
    amongst members of society; the ‘suitability’ of the subject for publication in the particular forum and manner chosen; the reported implications (if any) for the Australian legal system. Papers must not exceed 1000 words in length (see below for penalties applicable to word count). Further instructions regarding the Media Analysis will be contained in the question paper.

    2.  Group Presentation and Summary Paper (25%)

    Release Date: Group presentation topics will be released on Tuesday 7 April 2015 at 9:00am.
    Due Date: Group presentations will be held in seminars in week beginning Monday 18 May 2015. Summary papers must be handed in at the time of your presentation.
    Details: The group presentation exercise will require students to work in assigned groups of approximately 4-5 people and present on one of the topic questions provided. The questions will relate to material covered in Weeks 1-6. Groups will be assigned in seminars held in the week beginning Monday 6 April 2015. Maximum allowable time for each group presentation is 10 minutes. The group will also be required to submit a summary paper (in class) summarizing the key points, findings, arguments and conclusions covered in your group presentation. The presentation is weighted at 10%. The summary paper is weighted at 15% and must not exceed 1000 words.

    3. Research Essay (50%)

    Release Date: The Research Essay will be available from Monday 11 May at 9:00am.
    Due Date: The Research Essay must be completed by Monday 15 June at 2:00pm.
    Details: The research essay will allow students to write a larger piece on one of the questions provided and relating to the material covered in the course. Students will be required to undertake research so as to present an informed and well-rounded piece of writing that demonstrates critical thought and reflection. Papers must not exceed 2500 words in length (see below for penalties applicable to word count). Further instructions regarding the Research Essay will be contained in the question paper.

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. To gain a pass, students must submit each part of the assessment.
    3. All assignments must be submitted via 'Turn-It-In' on MyUni. Details for electronic submission through Turnitin will be provided with the assignment instructions. By submitting your assignment you are agreeing to the following: (a) I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. (b) I have read the Policy on Cheating in Examinations and Related Forms of Assessment. I have also read the University's Plagiarism Policy.I give permission for my assessment work to be reproduced and submitted to other academic staff for the purposes of assessment and to be copied, submitted and retained in a form suitable for electronic checking of plagiarism.
    4. Late Submission: Where an assignment is submitted after the due date and without an extension, penalties of 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 graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is one hour late, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 25 hours late, etc.  This penalty may be increased where the assignment is to be completed in a period of less than a week. 
    5. 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 (i.e. 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, separate bibliography or list of sources. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count. If the word limit is seriously misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    6. Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made via email to the course coordinator. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.
    7. Style of written work: All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. However, on account of the fact that this topic is taught into non-law disciplines, Harvard or APA referencing will also be accepted.
    8. Turnaround time: The interim assignment for this course will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the submission date. Group feedback, together with written, individual feedback will be provided, from which students can learn from in the final assignment. The final assignment will be returned to students within 4 weeks of the submission date with written individual feedback. Students will be notified by email when assignments are ready for collection from the Law School Front Office.
    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.

    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 ( 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
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • 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.