LAW540 Australian Law & Legal System (8)


This subject examines the nature of law in society, the major schools of legal philosophy, the major features of the Australian legal system including the Australian Constitution, sources of law, statutory interpretation, the judicial process and the doctrine of precedent, an introduction to teachniques of legal research and problem-solving. 

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
DistanceWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: LAW540
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Accounting and Finance

Enrolment restrictions

For postgraduate students only.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • understand and be able to engage in critical analysis of law as a system of norms;
  • be able to explain the main schools of legal philosophy and assess their relative merits;
  • be able to understand the difference between common and civil law and be able to comment on the merits of each;
  • be able to understand the history of the reception of common law into Australia and the status relating to Indigenous law;
  • be able to explain the basics of the Commonwealth Constitution and suggest areas in need of reform;
  • be aware of the sources of law in Australia and be able to explain the relationship between them;
  • be able to apply rules of statutory interpretation to complex fact situations;
  • be able to apply the law relating to the jurisdiction of the courts and apply the doctrine of precedent in complex situations;
  • be able to undertake advanced legal research and solve legal problems.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • The nature of law;
  • Introduction to jurisprudence;
  • Legal systems;
  • Sources of law - statute and common law;
  • The hierarchy of courts and the doctrine of precedent;
  • Australian legal history;
  • The status of Indigenous law;
  • Australian constitutional law;
  • Interpretation of statutes;
  • Legal research and problem-solving.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.