LAW540 Australian Law and 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.


Session 2 (60)
Wagga 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

Grading System



One session


School 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.


This 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.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of LAW540 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Multiple choice quiz
Free choice essay
Research essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.