Law in Society

Subject SOLS10001 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 x one hour lectures and 1 x one hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: none
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: none
Non Allowed Subjects: none
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Juliet Rogers


Dr. Juliet Rogers

Subject Overview:

Law in Society introduces students to theories and concepts of law and practices of law in contemporary Australian society. It will also provide a foundation both for socio-legal studies subjects in later years and for later subjects in disciplines such as politics, criminology and law. The subject looks at the way "harm" is constructed as a legal category and considers the arbitrary nature of this construction. To consider this we look at principles of law such as libertarianism, utilitarianism, natural law and the public/private distinction. The subject considers practices that have been historically considered as harms such as - terrorism, torture, sado-masochistic sex acts, female circumcision, and practices of revolution, and critically questions what is considered a harm in today"s society? Who is able to name something as either harmful, or not worthy of state intervention and what effect this capacity to name has upon socio-political relations?

  • have knowledge of the theories and concepts of law and practices of law in contemporary Australian society.
  • have a foundation for later-year legal studies subjects.
  • have a foundation for later-year subjects in disciplines such as politics, criminology and law.
  • have an introduction to various approaches to the study of law in society.
Assessment: A written exercise of 500 words 10% (due early in the semester), an essay of 2000 words 40% (due during semester), and a take-home exam 50% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have a capacity for independent critical thought and self-directed learning.
  • have cognitive, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • understand complex concepts and express them lucidly.
  • have an awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications.
  • have the ability to plan work and to use time effectively.
Notes: Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology
Criminology Major
Socio-legal Studies Major
Sociology Major

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