LAWS4227 Foundations of Law and Legal Institutions

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours core unit in Law and Society [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]
This unit examines the fundamental principles and concepts of law, legal institutions and government in Australia (including the role of international law) in historical and political context. It studies the principle sources of law in Australia and the key aspects of relevant areas of law. The unit explores some key theories and debates associated with law and legal institutions which provide context for policy processes.
Students are able to (1) critically analyse the principles and sources of Australian law and the role and nature of state and commonwealth government institutions; (2) critically analyse the position of the Australian legal and constitutional systems and institutions within the world legal order; (3) apply principles of law and governance to a variety of factual situations, including available courses of action; (4) employ legal research skills, including the evaluation of relevant secondary sources, in developing a persuasive argument and responding to real and/or hypothetical legal problems; and (5) communicate evaluations and critical analysis of foundations of law and legal institutions both orally and in writing to address complex law and government issues.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes

; (2) research essay; and (3) class participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Fiona McGaughey (Sem 1) and Associate Professor Jani McCutcheon (Sem 2)
Unit rules
Advisable prior study:
For Law and Society Honours students: LAWS1111 Law, Conflict and Change, LAWS2227 Law in Action; LAWS3316 Law, Advocacy, Activism and Change
Students with a recognised Law degree or LAWS5227 Foundations of Law and Governance.
Contact hours
This unit is delivered intensively in 'flipped mode' and is offered twice a year.
10 online modules are to be completed in advance of two face-to-face sessions which will run 20-21 February and 23-24 July.
Students must attend the face-to-face sessions.
Unit Outline
Non-standard teaching period [TS-N-1C-2020]
  • 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. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. 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. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.