Course Title: Legal Studies 4

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Legal Studies 4

Credit Points: 90.00

Important Information:


Design and Social Context



Course Title

VCE Legal Studies Unit 4




Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


360T Education


Term2 2019,
Term2 2020,
Term2 2021

Course Coordinator: Merryl Habel

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4266

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 108.05.007

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study To continue to Unit 4, satisfactory completion of Unit 3 must be achieved.

Course Description

In Unit 4 of VCE Year 12 LegalStudies students develop and understanding of Australia’s laws and legal system. This involves a sense of institutions that make and reform our laws, and the relationship between the Australian people, the Australian Constitution and law-making bodies.

In this unit, students explore how the Australian Constitution establishes the law-making powers of the Commonwealth and State parliaments, and how it protects the Australian people through structures that act as a check on parliament in law-making.

Students develop an understanding of the significance of the High Court in protecting and interpreting the Australian Constitution. They investigate parliament and the courts, and the relationship between the two in law-making, and consider the roles of the individual, the media and law reform bodies in influencing law reform.

Throughout this unit, students apply legal reasoning and information to actual scenarios.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In Unit 4 this study is designed to enable students to:

  • define and use legal terminology
  • discuss, interpret and analyse legal principles and information
  • analyse factors to consider when initiating a civil claim
  • explain the purposes of pre-trial procedures, using examples
  • explain the reasons for the Victorian court hierarchy in determining civil cases
  • discuss and justify the appropriateness of institutions and methods used to resolve a civil dispute
  • discuss the responsibilities of key personnel in a civil trial
  • discuss the ability of remedies to achieve their purposes
  • discuss recent reforms and recommended reforms to the civil justice system
  • evaluate the ability of the civil justice system to achieve the principles of justice
  • synthesise and apply legal principles and information to actual and/or hypothetical scenarios.


Upon successful completion of this Unit completion of this unit, students should be able to:

Outcome 1 – The people and the Australian Constitution

  • discuss the significance of High Court cases involving the interpretation of the Australian Constitution and evaluate the ways in which the Australian Constitution acts as a check on parliament in law-making.

Outcome 2 - The people, the Parliament and the Courts

  • discuss the factors that affect the ability of parliament and courts to make law, evaluate the ability of these law-makers to respond to the need for law reform, and analyse how individuals, the media and law reform bodies can influence a change in the law

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning will take place in a classroom setting. 

It will involve face-to-face teaching, class activities ranging from discussions and debates, group work, presentations, guest speakers, excursions, case studies, folios and research.

Student-directed learning out of the classroom will also be expected.  This will usually involve reading, research and learning activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. Students will also have access to the library resources.

Textbook: Justice & Outcomes: Legal Studies for VCE Units 3 & 4, Filippin, Beazer, Wilson, Farrer, (15th Edition), Oxford University Press, 2021

Additional material from other texts and study notes will be provided in order to further develop and extend students’ understanding of the material.

RMIT will provide students with additional resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems (e.g. Canvas).

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes, as determined by VCAA (Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority) guidelines.

Assessment of the learning outcomes may take the following forms:

  • Case Studies, Structured Questions, Written Reports, Folios of Exercises.

There is an attendance requirement for satisfactory completion of VCE units.  The expectation is that students will attend all schedules classes.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks in detailed written comments; a designated grade and a personal conversation allowing interpretation of the written comments and areas of improvement.

Feedback is also provided on general progress at the relevant time and at intervals when major projects are being conducted.

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate or vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. Students can contact their relevant Year Level Coordinator for more information.

The Student Charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT University student as well as the responsibilities of the university.