Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus due to COVID border closures. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA and include which of the below criteria applies:

  • You are a student who is currently offshore and unable to enter Australia.
  • You are a student in Australia who is impacted by state or regional border closures.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

LAWS5820 Legislation in Practice

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit gives students an understanding of how legislation is made and, once in force, how it is to be read, understood and interpreted. The unit has an emphasis on interpretation in practice. The topics discussed include the legislative process, drafting, common law and legislative interpretative principles, the relationship between statutes and the common law, how to use extrinsic materials, the effect of amendments, the relationship between a statute and its delegated legislation, and comparisons to the interpretation of non-statutory instruments, such as contracts.
Students are able to (1) show understanding of issues arising in drafting legislation and the legislative process in the context of statutory interpretation; (2) apply key concepts of text, context and purpose ; (3) identify and analyse relevant interpretative principles and factors for an interpretative task; (4) evaluate relevant interpretative principles and factors for an interpretative task; and (5) develop a coherent and plausible argument about the preferred construction of the meaning of statutory text.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment; (2) class participation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a Juris Doctor student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course
Unit Coordinator(s)
Senior Lecturer Jacinta Dharmananda
Unit rules
Juris Doctor (JD) students: LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and 30 points from: LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4107 Land Law, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics or LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics
LAWS3320 Legislation in Practice
Contact hours
3 hours per week

Essential reading

Unit Readings

Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cwlth) (available online)

Interpretation Act 1984 (WA) (available online)

Legislation Act 2003 (Cwlth) (available online)

Other useful references

Pearce, D. C. Statutory Interpretation in Australia, 9th edn: LexisNexis, 2019

Herzfeld, P. and Prince, T. Interpreration, 2nd edn: Thomson Reuters, 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 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.