Course Title: Family, Society and the Law

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Family, Society and the Law

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2174

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2.24

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course is a socio-legal exploration of some of the issues relating to families in Australia. Through a critique of the law the course aims to address the ways that the state operates to regulate, maintain and control the notion of family. The course considers the history of family law in Australia and traces the changing nature of the family and the ways that the law has dealt with that change. Topical issues such as fathers’ rights, same-sex relationships, indigenous concerns and the implications of artificial conception are canvassed. Concepts of parenting and parental responsibilities, children’s rights (including the issue of child abuse), the financial issues relating to separation and divorce, and family reforms are discussed.  

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:  

  1. Apply critically reflective thought and analytical thinking to problems related to social-legal issues and dispute resolution in local and international contexts  
  2. Contextualise specific social-legal and conflict resolution- based knowledge according to socially and culturally diverse environments
  3. Reflect on and implement ethical practice and social responsibility in diverse international and cross- cultural settings 

Course Learning Outcomes 

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

  1. Explain and critique the field of socio-legal knowledge relating to families and child abuse and the use of alternative dispute resolution options in this area
  2. Appraise gender, culture and indigenous issues relating to family law and child abuse
  3. Critically examine ethical dilemmas that present in this area
  4. Demonstrate problem-solving and legal research skills in applying your knowledge to real world problems. 

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is delivered through a blend of learning activities, which may include lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies, videos and student led discussions. The course may be delivered online in modules

Overview of Learning Resources

Resources will be available through the Canvas student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. You will have the opportunity to contribute collectively to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers. 

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 

Assessment Tasks 

    Assessment Task 1: Essay,  50% CLO2- CLO5 

    Assessment Task 2: Essay, 50%, CLO1, CLO4  and CLO5 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.