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This course is an overview of the functioning of common law systems for lawyers trained in other systems, and also to students without training in law, with an emphasis on the legal system in Australia and other common law jurisdictions. Its objective is to frame Australian law in its broader context, from two perspectives. The first is to offer a comparative law perspective, since Australia is part of only one legal family, the common law. The second perspective arises from international law, given the ever-increasing interaction between Australian law and other legal systems, and the influence of international law in Australia. The course will also contain a significant essay writing component, to prepare students to, in their other courses, think critically and academically in the Australian context.

Main Topics:

  • The Australian Legal System, the Court System, Reading Cases
  • Introduction to Comparative Law and Legal Transplantation (Including the Reception of English Law in NSW)
  • Origins of the Common Law, Doctrine of Precedent
  • Federalism and the Status of Indigenous Law
  • The Relationships between Domestic and International Law in the Common Law World
  • Equity in the Common Law World through the Perspective of Private International Law
  • Academic Legal Writing
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1, Term 3



Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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