Course Title: Legal process

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C6106

Course Title: Legal process

Portfolio: BUS

Nominal Hours: 51.0

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.

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


650T Vocational Business Education

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face or Internet or Workplace

Term1 2011,
Term1 2012,
Term1 2013,
Term1 2014,
Term1 2015,
Term2 2013,
Term2 2014

Course Contact: Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

The purpose of the module is to provide detailed knowledge and skills of the Australian legal system as might be relevant for a person working in a legal office, or associated fields in the public or corporate sectors. Knowledge of the Australian legal system will enable analysis and evaluation of the institutions in the legal system, investigation and classification of the sources of Australian law and discussion and evaluation of the concepts underlying the application of law.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

VU20111 Legal process

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Report on the constitutional structure of government and the sources of law in Australia. Evaluate the functions of the three main institutions, parliament, governments and the courts.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Identify the structure of government in Australia:
• Main institutions of government
- Parliaments - Governments - Courts
• Commonwealth and State constitutions
• Federal system of government
1.2 Present diagrammatically and outline the hierarchal structure of government in Australia as noted in 1.1.
1.3 Outline and evaluate the functions of government, and provide an example of each.
1.4 Define and trace the developmental sources of Australian Law.
1.5 Assess rules for resolving conflicts of laws.

Learning Outcome 2 - Analyse and evaluate devision of the functions of government between the Commonwealth and the States in Australia, and determine the limits on the powers of each level of government.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Assess the reasons for and purposes of Federation.
2.2 Identify the legislative powers of the Commonwealth with reference to specific powers, exclusive powers and concurrent powers.
2.3 Determine the limits on the legislative powers of the Commonwealth with reference to implied limitations-specific powers, express prohibitions and referenda.
2.4 Analyse the extent and influence of the Legislative powers of States with reference to territorial limitations, concurrent powers and residual powers.
2.5 Evaluate the relationship between the legislative powers of the Commonwealth and States. Consider the following aspects:
• Exclusive powers of the Commonwealth
• Inconsistency between Commonwealth and State Law
• External affairs power and the role of the High Court

Learning Outcome 3 - Evaluate the differences in the law and procedure which distinguish civil and criminal proceedings, determine and outline which court(s) would hear particular cases.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Use a case study to evaluate Criminal Law with specific reference to:
• Summary offences
• Indictable offences
• Mens Rea
• Strict Liability
• Penalties
3.2 Evaluate Civil Law with specific reference to areas of law and remedies.
3.3 Analyse and distinguish between the aspects of Criminal and Civil actions.
3.4 Identify and present diagrammatically the jurisdictions of Victorian and federal courts.

Learning Outcome 4 - Evaluate the adversary system of trial used in Australian courts.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Identify the main features of the adversary system of trial and compare with the inquisitorial system used in civil law countries in relation to:
• Role of the parties
• Role of the judge
• Use of juries
4.2 Determine and outline the pre-trial procedures required in the adversary system.
4.3 Outline and evaluate the role of trial procedures with specific reference to a criminal trial and civil hearing.

Learning Outcome 5 - Determine evaluate and apply alternative dispute resolution procedures. Compare alternative dispute resolution procedures with the legal process of dispute resolution.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Determine reasons why a person may not wish to take legal action to resolve a dispute in a particular case study.
5.2 Propose ways of using alternative dispute resolution procedures in a particular example.
5.3 Evaluate alternative dispute resolution procedures and compare with legal actions in relation to:
• Costs
• Time involved
• Formality of procedures
• Likelihood of disputes being resolved to the satisfaction of all parties
• Confidentiality
5.4 Evaluate how alternative dispute resolutions are used within the court system. 

Learning Outcome 6 - Outline and evaluate the role of judicial law making. Analyse a precedent, identify the ratio decidendi and obiter dicta and apply to case study material.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Assess judicial law making with reference to:
• Sources of precedent
• Reporting of case law
• Binding precedent
• Ratio decidendi
• Obiter dicta
6.2 Outline the means by which precedent changes with reference to:
• Applying and extending
• Distinguishing
• Reversing
• Overruling
• Disapproving
• Abrogating and inconsistency with legislation
6.3 Analyse a precedent and identify and apply the ratio decidendi and obiter dicta in relation to case study material.
6.4 Outline and evaluate the process of judicial law making and list its advantages and disadvantages.

Learning Outcome 7 - Analyse outline and assess the process of enactment of legislation by Parliament and the making of delegated legislation.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Outline and present diagrammatically the passage of legislation through Parliament.
7.2 Identify and assess the elements of an Act of Parliament.
7.3 Determine the classifications of Acts of Parliament.
7.4 Analyse the process of making delegated legislation.

Learning Outcome 8 - Evaluate the approaches to the interpretation of legislation applied by the courts.
Assessment criteria
8.1 Determine and outline the reasons why interpretation of legislation is required.
8.2 Evaluate the approaches to the interpretation of legislation applied by the courts.
8.3 Illustrate the application of the approaches to the interpretation of legislation in relation to particular provisions of legislation and case study material.
8.4 Outline and evaluate the role interpretation of legislation in the content of judicial law making.

Learning Outcome 9 - Outline sources of legal information, search primary sources of law and identify an Act of Parliament and a reported case.
Assessment criteria
9.1 Determine and outline the primary sources of law.
9.2 Identify secondary sources of law.
9.3 Search primary sources of law and identify given examples of laws with reference to Act of Parliament, regulation and reported decision.

Overview of Assessment

To pass, a student must demonstrate the achievement of all the learning outcomes. Assessment will be by various methods and is stated against each learning outcome. Assessment methods are designed to measure satisfactory achievement of all of the learning outcomes and may include:

• Case study analysis

• Short answers questions

• Written assignment/reports

• Oral presentations

• Project (s)

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.