Course Title: Law and Society

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Law and Society

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


TRN RMIT Training


Term2 2022


RMIT University Vietnam


TRN RMIT Training


Viet2 2022

Course Coordinator: Leanne Ryan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8747

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Level 4, B108

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will be introduced to the adversarial legal system used in Australia and other common law countries. Students will examine the system of governance, the legislative process, the main sources of law, dispute resolution methods and legal institutions. Through the exploration of recent law reform, students will contemplate law-making as a reflection of the needs of society. Students will analyse the effectiveness of the legal system to respond to the need for law reform.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

See Learning Outcomes.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  1. Apply the rules of, and expectations for, academic study and assume responsibility for your own actions to work effectively as an individual and/or as a member of a group;
  2. Develop and express ideas through independent reading, the creation of images, and the collection and interpretation of data and information; 
  3. Communicate ideas with clarity, logic, and originality in both spoken and written English;
  4. Construct coherent arguments, narratives or justifications of issues, problems or technical processes when undertaking analytical, practical or creative tasks; and
  5. Use a range of contemporary digital and learning technologies, tools and methods common to the discipline.

Course Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe the structure of the legal system of a common law country and explain the role played by the courts, including the High Court.
  2. Distinguish between criminal and civil justice systems and analyse the key concepts of each system.
  3. Outline the key features, means and venues for criminal and civil dispute resolution.
  4. Investigate the role of individuals and groups in law reform, law reform bodies and research an example of a law reform inquiry.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course includes a blend of didactic, active, and collaborative learning activities designed to meet the needs of international students. The course encourages the process of inquiry, application and reflection through student centred learning and teaching activities including practical work in studio environments and laboratories . In doing so, there will be a focus on the development of critical and analytical thinking skills that promote problem solving, independent research skills and group work. Students will develop their technology skills through engagement in formative and summative assessments. The course will maximise the use of the learning management system by incorporating flipped and blended methodologies. This may be complemented by guest lectures, excursions and speakers with discipline specific work life expertise to further connect content to the professional world and generate opportunities for reflective practice.

Overview of Learning Resources

Various learning resources are available through RMIT’s learning management system,  Canvas. In addition to assessment details and a study schedule, you will also be provided with links to relevant course information, class activities and communication tools. 

Other learning resources are also available online through RMIT Library. Visit the RMIT library website for further details. Academic and learning support is provided through Study Success at RMIT Training. The Foundation Studies home group program will also provide support, navigating university systems, advice on living and studying in Melbourne as well as explaining RMIT university policy and procedures.

Additional resources and/or sources to assist your learning will be identified by your course coordinator and will be made available to you as required during the teaching period.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Type  Assessment Description  Weighting 

Closed book test on the legal system of a common law country.

Responding to stimulus material students will respond to a number of Multiple Choice and/or Short Answer questions to demonstrate their understanding of the legal system of a common law country.

Report on a Court Hierarchy

Students will prepare a report in two parts based on a court visit or virtual court tour.

The first section of the report is to include a description of the court visited, its criminal and civil jurisdiction and its original and appellate jurisdiction.

The second section of the report will include a summary of a case researched through the newspaper and/or internet and/or court visit.

The case is to be a local case (from the country in which the student is studying) occurring within the last 12 months. The report is to include information on:

  • Name of the case
  • Name of the court hearing the case
  • Crime(s)/civil dispute involved
  • Parties involved
  • Stage of the case

Report should use the terminology used in this topic.

Report should be between 600-900 words in length.
Case Study Analysis

Students will be provided with three case studies and are required to respond to a set of questions for each Case Study.

Questions will relate to:

  • Type of dispute
  • Venue for resolution
  • Role of personnel in resolution of the dispute
  • Appropriateness of resolution method
  • Outcome (sanction/remedy) and ability of outcome to achieve their purpose
Task will be open book completed over a series of classes during the week.
Law Reform Report & Presentation

Students will prepare a report which they will then present in the form of a powerpoint.

The report will focus on an area of law reform and/or a law reform body (such as the Victorian Law Reform Commission inquiry or a Royal Commission). Students will select their source of law reform for the report and the specific topic but the topic must be approved by the teacher.

Students will conduct research into the specific area of inquiry, detailing why the inquiry was held, the recommendations made by the law reform body and the government’s response to the final report.

Report will be 800-1200 words in length.

Presentation may be oral or through a pre-recorded video using an application such as Loom.