LAW 1100 - Introduction to Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

This course introduces students to the Australian legal system, touching upon a variety of topics. These include sources of law, the legal profession, the purpose and role of the Constitution, and institutions such as parliament, the executive and courts. Students will become familiar with reading legislation and case-based common law reasoning. The following areas of law will be introduced: law in the media, legal theory, criminal law, contract, negligence, consumer law and property law.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 1100
    Course Introduction to Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Not available for LLB students
    Course Description This course introduces students to the Australian legal system, touching upon a variety of topics. These include sources of law, the legal profession, the purpose and role of the Constitution, and institutions such as parliament, the executive and courts. Students will become familiar with reading legislation and case-based common law reasoning. The following areas of law will be introduced: law in the media, legal theory, criminal law, contract, negligence, consumer law and property law.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Lorne Neudorf

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Explain the history and contemporary features of the Australian legal system, including its key institutions, doctrines and principles.
    2. Apply fundamental legal rules and principles in a wide range of selected areas of the law.
    3. Conduct legal research and analysis.
    4. Communicate effectively in small group settings.

    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1-4
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1-4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Reading / Textbook

    The required textbook for the course is:

    • Nickolas James, Rachael Field & Jackson Walkden-Brown, The New Lawyer (2nd edition) (Wiley, 2019)
    Students may access copies of the textbook in the high use collection of the Law Library, which is located on the Ground/Lower Ground floors of the Ligertwood Building, Adelaide Law School.

    In addition to the textbook, a variety of other materials including academic articles, legislation and case law, will be assigned as required readings. These materials will be made available to students through the MyUni course site.
    Recommended Resources
    None.

    Given the wide range of topics covered in this course, there is no one text 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 in the Ground/Lower Ground floors of the Ligertwood Building, Adelaide Law School. The Law Library staff would be more than willing to assist you in this regard. You are also welcome to consult your teachers for guidance on 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 http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/.

    Besides this Course Profile, 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.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The delivery of this course consists of a 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour seminar each week. Lectures will provide students with an overview of the week's topic while seminars will build on the lectures by having students work through problem questions and practical exercises to help students develop their understanding of the content. Students will also be assessed for their active participation in the class.

    Each lecture will be recorded automatically and posted on Echo360 on MyUni. Seminars are not recorded. It is therefore to the benefit of students to attend and actively participate in each weekly seminar.
    Workload

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

    Contact time: attend 2 hours lecture plus 1 hour seminar each week.  This amounts to 36 hours of formal class time across the semester.

    The University expects full-time students (ie those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies during semester. This means that in addition to lectures and seminars, students should spend an additional 9 or 10 hours per week in private study in the course across the semester – this includes doing the readings, preparing for the lecture and seminar activities, participation in group work, and undertaking the assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Learning activities will involve weekly lectures and seminars.

    Lectures are a teacher-driven learning activity that involve the relaying of knowledge and information. Seminars are designed to be more interactive than lectures. Students are expected to prepare preliminary answers to seminar questions in advance of the seminar to facilitate useful in-class discussions among students in a small group setting. Seminars are largely student driven with seminar leaders having the role of learning facilitators. 
    Schedule
    Week Topic to be covered
    1 Introduction to the Australian Legal System and the Legal Profession
    2 Australia's Legal Foundations and Constitutional Law
    3 Law in the Media
    4 The Lawmaking Process and Statutory Interpretation
    5 Courts and the Common Law
    6 Legal Theory and Conducting Legal Research
    7 Criminal Law and Procedure
    8 Tort of Negligence
    9 Contract Law
    10 Consumer Law
    11 Property Law
    12 Future Directions and Trends in Law
  • 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 Task Task Type Due Date Weighting Redeemable? Learning Outcomes
    Active Participation Individual assessment Ongoing through semester 10% No 1-4
    Online Quiz Individual assessment Week 3
    Open: 10 August 9am
    Close: 12 August 9am
    15% No 1-3
    Media Analysis

    Individual assessment

    max 2000 words

    Friday 4 September 2pm 30% No 1-4
    Research Essay

    Individual assessment

    max 3000 words

    Friday 30 October 2pm 45% No 1-4
    Total 100%
    Assessment Detail
    1. Active Participation - 10% of final grade

      This assessment item requires all students to attend and actively participate in class, particularly in seminars where students will need to work through problem questions and legal research exercises. Students will start the semester with a default full active participation grade with any deductions being made throughout the semester for missing seminars or failing to actively participate in class.

    2. Online Quiz - 15% of final grade

      This assessment item requires all students to take an online quiz which assesses student comprehension of legal principles discussed in the first 2 weeks of the course. The quiz involves answering 15 multiple choice questions and 2 short answer analysis questions.  The quiz will be available for completion by students at any time during a 48-hour period. During this time, students may log in and out of the quiz. Completed answers can be saved but the quiz cannot be resubmitted. Questions will be randomised from a larger pool of questions.

      See above for due date.

    3. Media Analysis - 30% of final grade

      This assessment item requires all students to submit a written paper of no more than 2000 words in length. Students will be required to identify and critically assess a law-related media article and consider its relevance to the Australian legal sytsem, the techniques utilised by media to present legal issues and the role played by media in the legal process.  Further instructions on the expected content and formatting will be provided at the start of semester.

      See above for due date.

    4. Research essay - 45% of final grade

      The final assessment item requires all students to engage in legal research and submit a written argumentative essay of no more than 3000 words in length. Students will be given a choice of essay questions at the start of semester.  Further instructions on the expected content and formatting will be provided at the start of semester.

      See above for due date.
    Submission
    Detailed submission information will be provided with the instructions for each item of assessment.

    Penalty for Late Submission

    When an assessment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 5% of the total marks possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend and public holidays. 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 but less than 48 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    Penalty for Exceeding Stipulated Word Length

    Assignments which exceed the allocated length 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 1,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 1001 words long, for a final grade of 58%; 10% if it is 1101 words long, etc.). Words are calculated including text in the main body and headings, but excluding footnotes, cover page information, bibliography or list of sources. You must state the word limit on the cover page of your assignment.  If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their final grades.  It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student's grade for an individual assessment item or course as a whole.  Pursuant to the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy and the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners

    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School's Board of Examiners.  Assessment results at the University are not scaled.  Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed by 'reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards ... and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course.'  However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to 'ensure comparability of standards and consistency' in assessment.  On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students.  All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.

    Moderation

    In accordance with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators 'ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place' in each course.  Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:

    - assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    - detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    - sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    - reviewing of selected marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    - comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    - automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student's overall result is a fail grade;
    - the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School's Assessment Policies and Procedures.
    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.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    Moderation
    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • 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 feedback The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider.
  • 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.

    The centre offers 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.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Academic Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia 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.