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

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 expected to: have an understanding of the field of socio-legal knowledge relating to families and child abuse and the use of alternative dispute resolution options in this area; show an ability to critique the area of socio-legal knowledge; have an understanding of gender, culture and indigenous issues relating to family law and child abuse; have an understanding of ethical dilemmas that present in this area; demonstrate interviewing skills in family law; 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 able to prepare assessment tasks with a total word length or equivalent of 4,000 words.