LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit examines fundamental aspects of our law and our legal system. It explores basic questions like: What is law? How is it made? Where do we find it? How is it interpreted and applied? It scrutinises the origins of our legal system and its place in the world. A major focus is our law-making institutions. The court structure, the role of judges and the doctrine of precedent are all considered, as are the functions of the legislature, the federal system and the principles of statutory interpretation. It also examines the critical role of the legal profession and the overarching importance of ethical practice and professional responsibility. The basics of legal research and writing are introduced. The ability to find the relevant law, to read cases and to interpret legislation are cultivated through in-class and out of class exercises. Proficiency in the critical lawyering skills of identifying the material facts and relevant legal principles in a particular situation, and marrying the two together to provide coherent and useful advice, are developed through problem-solving activities.
Students are able to (1) critically analyse the nature and role of law; (2) apply legal logic and reasoning to construct answers to legal questions; (3) read and interpret cases and statutes; (4) articulate strategies to manage workload and well-being

; (5) communicate knowledge of the law in accordance with conventions of legal writing, expression and referencing; and (6) engage ethically and professionally with colleagues and peers.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) group activities; (2) assignment; and (3) tutorial particiaption. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ambelin Kwaymullina
Contact hours
Students who commence semester one: Monday 11 February to Friday 22 February 2019; tutorials: continue to run throughout the first four weeks of semester one.

Students who commence semester two: Monday 15 July to Friday 26 July 2019; tutorials: continue to run throughout the first four weeks of semester one.
Mid year offering: teaching commences 16 July 2018.

Refer to the timetable website for session times and venues.

Students must attend every day (Monday to Friday in the initial teaching weeks) which includes lectures and a combination of workshops and tutorials. Students will then be required to attend a one-hour tutorial each fortnight for the remainder of the teaching period.
Unit Outline
Non-standard teaching period [TS-C-2_2019]
Non-standard teaching period [TS-D-1F_2019]
Recommended text

Marinac, A. et al. Learning Law, Cambridge Press, 2017

Doraisamy, J. The Wellness Doctrines: For Law Students and Young Lawyers, XOU Pty Ltd, 2015


Additional text

It is strongly recommended that students purchase a Law Dictionary such as Butt, P. LexisNexis Concise Australia Dictionary, 4th edn: LexisNexis Butterworths 2011 or Mann, T. Australian Law Dictionary: OUP 2010

  • 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.