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LAWS4110 Interpretation

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Content
A large part of the work done by lawyers in practice is determining the meaning and application of words in statutes and contracts. The law of interpretation is the law that deals with the legal principles, aids and method of how to engage in that interpretation. This unit will mainly deal with the law of statutory interpretation, but will also cover key aspects of the law relating to the interpretation of contracts (which is distinct from the law on the formation and enforcement of contracts studied in LAWS4103 Contract). The unit will focus on the primary legislative and common law principles that govern the reading and understanding of the text in its context, and having regard to the instrument's purpose, in order to infer the ‘intention' of the maker. For statutes, other topics covered include legislative drafting, the relationship between statutes and between statutes and the common law, use of extrinsic materials, and delegated legislation. For contracts, other topics covered include use of surrounding circumstances and post-contractual conduct, and interpretation of particular classes of contract (eg: commercial contracts, State Agreements in the resources sector). The unit will highlight the similarities and the differences in the function of interpretation for statutes (public instruments) and contracts (private instruments), and in the approaches adopted by the legislature and the courts to the interpretation of each instrument.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of text, context and purpose for both statutes and contracts







; (2) identify and analyse relevant interpretative principles and factors for a statutory interpretative task; (3) evaluate relevant interpretative principles and factors for a statutory interpretation task; (4) develop a coherent and plausible argument about the preferred meaning of statutory text; and (5) demonstrate an understanding of the key differences in statutory and contractual interpretation law, including the function of interpretation for each type of instrument.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) assignment; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

For units commencing in May 2022 or later the availability of the supplementary assessment is subject to confirmation.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Jacinta Dharmananda
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
Unit(s) LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering (ID 4099) Unit(s) LAWS4102 Criminal Law (ID 4093) Unit(s) LAWS4103 Contract (ID 4090)
Advisable prior study:
LAWS4104 Property (ID 4102)
LAWS4107 Land Law (Advisable Co Requisite)
Incompatibility:
Unit(s) LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics (ID 6256) Unit(s) LAWS5820 Legislation in Practice (ID 4718)
Contact hours
4 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.