Course Title: Work in Legal Environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: JUST5142

Course Title: Work in Legal Environment

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6077 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact : Gerogy dumas

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99254203

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Patrick Prescott
Contact phone: 9925 8371
Contact email:

Nominal Hours: 75

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

There are no Pre-requisites for this course.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the Victorian and Australian legal environment, including law making bodies, the adjudication and enforcement process, and various aspects of the law and procedures

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBQU367 Work in Legal Environment


01 Evaluate the origins and sources of law in Australia

Performance Criteria:

1.1 State and Commonwealth laws and constitutions are identified.
1.2 The process of Federation is outlined.
1.3 The sources of law in Australia are investigated.
1.4 The role, purpose and principles governing delegated legislation are investigated.


02 Analyse the type of Law/Regulations that are in operation within Australia.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 The types of law that are currently in operation throughout Australia are examined.
2.2 Relevant statute/precedents to resolve legal disputes and case examples are investigated and applied.


03 Analyse Australia's Federal system of Government, its law making powers and the main features of the Australian and Victorian Constitutions.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 The process of Federation is examined.
•Reasons for Federation
•Objective of Federation
3.2 The development of constitutional law in Australia is investigated.
3.3 The structure of government established by the Australian
Constitution including the legislative, administrative and judicial powers is evaluated.
3.4 The theory of separation of powers is evaluated and applied.
3.5 The division of legislative powers between the Commonwealth and the States is investigated.
3.6 The limits on the legislative power of the Commonwealth are evaluated.
3.7 The passage of legislation through Parliament is examined.
3.8 The elements of an Act of Parliament are identified.


04 Apply the Principles of Civil, Criminal Law and Family Law.

Performance Criteria:

4.1 The main aims and objectives of Criminal, Civil and Family law are investigated.
4.2 The principles behind the Law of Tort and Law of Contract are examined.
4.3 The purpose and key legal provision of the Family Law Act 1975 (Commonwealth) are examined.
4.4 The principles of Civil, Criminal and Family Law are applied.


05 Analyse the administration of the law at various jurisdictional levels.

Performance Criteria:

5.1 The structure, jurisdiction and appeal processes of the Australian courts and tribunals are analysed:
5.2 The process of civil litigation is examined.
5.3 The process of criminal action is examined.


06 Evaluate the approaches applied by the courts in relation to the interpretation of Statutes.

Performance Criteria:

6.1 The different approaches to statutory interpretation are analysed.
6.2 The reasons for the interpretation of statutes are evaluated.


07 Examine the role of precedent and identify the Ratio Decidendi and Obiter Dicta of a court decision.

Performance Criteria:

7.1 The role of precedent in the legal system is evaluated.
7.2 The application of the doctrine of precedent is reviewed.


08 Analyse the Common Law and legislative provisions under which administrative actions may be reviewed.

Performance Criteria:

8.1 The grounds on which an administrative decision may be challenged in the courts are examined.
8.2 The principles of natural justice are investigated.
8.3 The legislative provisions relating to the judicial review of Administrative Acts under the Commonwealth and Victorian Law is reviewed.


09 Investigate the ways in which the courts may be prepared to review the actions of non-government bodies.

Performance Criteria:

9.1 The circumstances in which judicial review of a non-government body may be available are clarified.
9.2 The relevant applicability of the rules of natural justice are examined and applied.


10. Evaluate the various law enforcement processes and agencies and the effectiveness of each system

Performance Criteria:

10.1 Identify the various law enforcement agencies
10.2 The functions and powers of the law enforcement agencies are analysed.
10.3 The effectiveness of the law enforcement systems are evaluated.

Learning Outcomes

See elements

Details of Learning Activities

Students will participate in weekly case studies and class discussions.
Students will have progressive fortnightly theory and practice tests, a mid-term and end of term exam.
Students will be expected to conduct research and complete written hurdle tasks on specific topics or areas of law and its application.
Students are also required to attend a compulsory Justice Camp to analyse the role of Federation and passing an Act of Parliament.

Teaching Schedule

Week One: The origins of Law

Week Two: The concepts of Federalism and the structure of Commonwealth Law.

Week Three:The difference and jurisdiction between Commonwealth and State law

Week Four: Separation of powers

Week Five: The limits of Commonwealth Law.

Week Six: The process of creating and passing an Act of Parliament

Week Seven: the principles of Civil, Criminal and Family Law

Week Eight: The Law of Torts and the Law of Contracts

Week Nine: Interpretation of stature and precedent-Obiter Dicta and Ratio Descendi

Week Ten: Common and Administrative law and how they are reviewed.

Week Eleven: The Principle of Natural Justice

Week Twelve: Reviews of non-government bodies

Week Thirteen: Victorian law hierarchies and functions

Week Fourteen: Magistrate’s Court-Summary Offences Act, Occuaptional Health and Safety Act, Children’s Court-Family Violence-the role of this court and the interpretationof offences.

Week Fifteen: The County Court, the Crimes Act, Civil jurisdictions and Appellate role

Week Sixteen: TheSupreme Court and Court of Appeal-role, function

Week Seventeen:Revision

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Students will be given handouts and guides to this course but are expected to read more widely. RMIT University has an extensive collection of texts on related to ’Work in a Legal Environment’ and the TAFE library staff can assist students to locate useful materials.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment taks for this course includes the following: 

  • Weekly participation in Case Studies
  • Weekly "Challenge" tests to support  progressive knowledge base and application
  • Hurdle tasks-short written responses to topics
  • End of term comprehensive examination

Assessment Tasks

Assessment taks for this course includes the following:

Task 1: Weekly participation in Case Studies
Task 2: Weekly "Challenge" tests to support progressive knowledge base and application. This tests will be assessed in classroom
Task 3: Hurdle tasks-short written responses to topics
Task 4: End of term comprehensive examination as above

Students will be provided a detailed handout of each of the above assessments that includes the assessment outline, the assessment criteria and the due date by the second week of the semester.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment has been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table 7 which is as follows:
HD 80-100, DI 70-79, CR 60-69, PA 50-59, NN 0-49

All written work must adhere to the following criteria:
1. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
2. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and cogently address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical, ordered and organised manner
3. The concepts must be well defined and demonstrate a critical analysis of the chosen topic
4. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research
5. In-text references must follow the APA style of referencing. In addition, you must provide a bibliography with correct and comprehensive details in relation to texts, articles, research reports and other sources that you have used
6. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used

Other Information

Assessment Deadlines
Any due date for any assignment is to be considered a deadline. Students can submit work at any time prior to the submission date, but it must be into the Administration office by close of business of the day the submission is due.
Extensions will not be granted by teachers or Administrative staff.
In accordance with RMIT policy, students may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.
a) Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.
b) Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
c) Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.

Students requiring extensions for 7 calendar days or less (from the original due date) must complete and lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Program Coordinator/ Program Manager. The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. The student will be notified within no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted.

Students seeking an extension of more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2 working days after the official due date.

Assignments submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or graded.

Students must keep a copy of their paper until the graded essay has been returned or marks have been posted. Assignments are to be submitted in the Assignment box in Bld 37, Lvl 2. (Assignment cover sheets will be available from Building 37 level 2).

Assignments are not receipted, if receipts are required then students should submit the assignments to the relevant academic/teaching staff member via the following email account and keep the email as proof of submission.

Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing as though it is one’s own. Plagiarism is not acceptable. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.

You must acknowledge the use of another person’s work or ideas. If texts or ideas are reproduced they are to be clearly acknowledged in one of the conventional ways, such as by use of quotation marks, indentation for longer passages and clear citation of the source. Failure to separate one’s own contribution from that of another constitutes plagiarism – a form of cheating and may result in outright failure. Random checks will be made on students’ work.

Other Information: All email communications will be sent to your RMIT email address.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview