Familiarity with key concepts and theories of law, and the ability to interpret legislation, are essential skills in understanding law and legal systems. This unit of study will examine the philosophy of law in historical and contemporary context. Natural law and legal positivist theories are explored with reference to other disciplines (such as history, philosophy, theology, sociology and political science). The unit introduces further approaches to legal theory including legal realism, sociological legal theories, historical and anthropological theories, and critical legal theories. Foundational legal concepts of rights, duties, justice and punishment are considered in theoretical and normative terms. This course will provide an advanced study of the rules and principles governing statutory interpretation and will consider how statutes have been read and are being read by the Australian courts. The concepts, interpretative criteria, and the techniques of the common law are examined with reference to federal and state legislation. This unit will enable students to interpret statutes and to engage critically with the main arguments that characterise modern interpretive practice. By focusing on the theoretical issues underlying law and legal systems, and the theoretical and technical basis of statutory interpretation, 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:
This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):