Course Title: Family, Society and the Law

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Family, Society and the Law

Credit Points: 12


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

Course Coordinator: Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2174

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2. 24

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. You will engage in role plays to give you skills in interviewing in the family law area and will be presented with ethical dilemmas.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Explain the field of socio-legal knowledge relating to families and child abuse and the use of alternative dispute resolution options in this area
  2. Critique the area of socio-legal knowledge;
  3. Appraise gender, culture and indigenous issues relating to family law and child abuse;
  4. Critically examine ethical dilemmas that present in this area;
  5. Demonstrate problem-solving skills and the ability to respond to changing issues in the law, and demonstrate legal research skills.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will engage in a variety of lectures and smaller classes.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to use a prescribed text., supplemented by additional readings.

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 may include:

Task 1: Essay, 2000 words, 50% CLOs 2-5.

Task 2: Exam, 2000 words, 50% CLOs 1,4,5.

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 Equity Learning Services if you would like to find out more. Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: