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LAWS1123 - Conceptual Foundations of the Legal System (‘CFLS’) is a core course for Diploma in Humanities/Enabling Program (Law Stream) students in their second and final session of study. This course is worth 6 units of credit. It complements, and is studied in the same session as, LAWS1124 - Lawyers and Society.


CFLS develops students’ understanding of the functioning of the legal system and facility with foundational legal skills that students acquired in LAWS1121 – Legal System and Skills A. Students are introduced to fundamental concepts and legal paradigms in three core areas of substantive law: contract; tort and criminal law. The course focuses on students’ acquisition of legal problem-solving skills in both oral and written contexts to enhance students’ understanding of legal principles found in case and statute law in these three fields. It provides preparation for, and an introduction to, the study of Contract, Tort and Criminal Law in the LLB program.


Module 1: Contract

A good grounding in the basic principles of contract law is a fundamental element of any legal education. This Module is an introduction to the study of voluntarily assumed legal obligations which govern many important areas of daily life. This Module focuses on students acquiring a sound understanding of a number of basic principles of contract law, through common law method, with particular focus on the elements required for the formation of a valid contract, namely offer and acceptance; consideration; intention to create legal relations; certainty and privity.


Module 2: Criminal Justice

The aims of the Criminal Justice module are to introduce students to foundational elements of the criminal law, and some key issues related to criminal justice. The course will include an examination of the components of criminal offences generally, and will take two substantive offences (murder and offensive language/behaviour) to see how these elements play out in practice.


Module 3: Tort

This module covers the part of the law of torts which signifies, broadly speaking, the law determining liability to pay compensation for wrongfully caused injury, damage or loss through medical negligence.

The prime objective is to introduce students to the core principles of negligence, including a critical understanding of the policy considerations informing the law. A second objective of this course is to examine a relatively limited number of leading cases and legislation in selected areas and thereby develop skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. A third objective is to encourage students to consider the way in which the law of torts operates in the context of society as a whole, and the ways in which it is influenced by such particular factors as insurance, social security, and the need (or absence of a need) to ascribe fault. Thus there is a theoretical component to the course which introduces various debates about the nature and effectiveness of tort law. 

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Conditions for Enrolment

Prerequisite: Academic program must be 7016, Humanities Pathway Program.

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


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Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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