This is a foundation unit for law students and others studying in the justice professions and involves three related areas – understanding research as an active, critical and reflective process, identifying, understanding and utilising research sources in a legal studies context, and developing legal analytical skills. Research is a fundamental skill which enables you to improve your knowledge, understanding and action in daily life. In an academic and legal setting, it enables you to locate contemporary law and academic knowledge, then critically evaluate the content and credibility of sources. The unit introduces the concept and process of research, encouraging students to develop their critical reading and analytical skills. It introduces the academic integrity principles and citation systems that scholarly writing must employ. Like any discipline, law uses its own language and media forms and this unit is designed to enable students to master these. Legal scholars must be familiar with primary sources of law and the specific ways in which academic and legal authorities must be recorded in legal writing. The unit introduces students to the broad variety of secondary and primary legal sources and the manner in which they may be both located and cited. Legal scholarship involves an understanding of the relationship between primary legal sources and the dynamic between primary and secondary legal sources. This unit provides students with the legal knowledge and analytical skills necessary to master scholarly legal analysis. By focusing on the technical and conceptual skills underlying legal research, the unit seeks to provide a guide which students can return to for reference throughout their course and to develop skills that can be built upon in subsequent units of study.
On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
Additional readings as listed in the Unit of Study Guide and/or in the unit’s VuCollaborate space.
This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):