Law in Society

Subject SOLS10001 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 x one hour lectures and 1 x one hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 120 hours

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:



Subject Overview:

Law in Society introduces students to theories, concepts, forms and practices of law in contemporary Australian society. It will provide a foundation both for socio-legal studies subjects in later years and for subjects in disciplines such as politics, criminology and law. In preparing students to engage critically with law, the subject looks at the ways that "harm" is constructed as a legal category. It encourages students to ask who is able to name something as either harmful, or not worthy of state intervention, and how this capacity to name effects socio-political relations. To develop this analysis, the subject discusses the norms that underpin the capacity to name particular practices as harmful, and engages critically with certain historical and current harms. Examples of such harms might include treachery, riot and disorder, terrorism, ‘payback’, the Northern Territory Emergency Response, torture, sado-masochistic sex acts, or female circumcision.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students shoud:

  • 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.

A written exercise of 500 words (10%) due early in the semester, an essay of 2000 words (50%) due mid-semester, and a 1500 word take-home exam (40%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: This subject has a minimum Hurdle Requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

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:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • 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.

Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology
Criminology Major
Law and Justice
Socio-legal Studies Major
Sociology Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Criminology
Law and Justice

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