Subject LAWS40008 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

June, 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: Taught in intensive mode during the Winter recess
Total Time Commitment: 144 hours.

Legal Theory (or equivalent).

Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: None.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests 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 providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/.


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Email: law-studentcentre@unimelb.edu.au
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475
Subject Overview:

The subject investigates the revival of questions of value and well-being as a concern of law. It takes up a central question of jurisprudence: ‘How is life to be conducted well through law?’ and considers its contemporary formulation in emerging jurisprudential debates about well-being, civility and the conduct of a lawful and ‘sustainable’ life.

The subject will be organised around the following topics:

  • What does law have to do with the conduct of the good or good enough life? (Legal traditions of practical reason and modern accounts of civility and the good life);
  • How does the language of rights help with the framing of well-being? (Rights and Human Rights to life, liberty and … property, labour, health, happiness);
  • Where and how can we live well? (formulating and regulating relations to territory and environment);
  • How does law express value? (contracts, regulations, treaties and ceremonies);
  • Justice and the just: in what ways might well-being and being just be related through law?

The overall objective of the subject is to provide students with a historical and theoretical understanding of contemporary questions of value in law.

It is expected that, at the end of the course, students would be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the main strands of common law and international thought in terms of its engagement of value;
  • Develop a jurisprudential account of questions of value in law;
  • Understand the nature and roles of critique in jurisprudence.

5,000-word research assignment, due end of semester (100%).

Prescribed Texts:

Printed materials will be available from the Melbourne Law School.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • Attitudes towards knowledge that include valuing truth, openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage;
  • The capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of sources;
  • The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • The capacity to solve problems, including through the collection and evaluation of information;
  • The capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing;
  • The capacity to plan and manage time;
  • Intercultural sensitivity and understanding.

In addition, on completion of the subject, students should have developed the following skills specific to the discipline of law:

  • The formulation and presentation of conceptual analysis;
  • Jurisprudential and interdisciplinary research;
  • Reading jurisprudential materials in their historical and cultural contexts;
  • Oral and written discussion of theoretical texts;
  • Ability to develop and research a self-selected topic.
Notes: The research assignment in this subject is regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing for honours purposes.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Philosophy Major

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