Doctor of Laws

Course DH-LLD (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Duration and Credit Points not applicable for this course.


Associate Dean, Research


Melbourne Law School
Office for Research
185 Pelham Street
The University of Melbourne VIC 3010

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 8946



Course Overview:

The Doctor of Laws (LLD) is the highest qualification available by examination at Melbourne Law School. The work submitted for examination must be of such a standard that it makes: 'a substantial and original contribution to legal scholarship and is of such standard as to give the candidate authoritative standing in the field of the candidate's study'.

Learning Outcomes:

See the Graduate Attributes section.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

A body of work is submitted for examination.

Entry Requirements:

Eligibility and Nomination for Admission

Applicants must be a graduate in Law of the University of Melbourne of at least four years' standing; or a graduate of another university who has held a recognised degree for at least four years and received adequate training for legal scholarship. Applications to enrol in the degree normally follow an invitation from Melbourne Law School to individuals of considerable seniority and with a connection to Melbourne Law School. Applicants must also meet the University's English language requirements.

A formal application for admission to candidature for the LLD comprises a nomination by a Melbourne Law School academic. The nomination should be addressed to the Dean of Melbourne Law School.

The proposer should have sufficient familiarity with the proposed candidate and the candidate's field of research to enable the proposer to recommend that the quality of the work(s) to be submitted warrants the award of LLD.

The proposer must provide the following:

  • information that demonstrates that the proposed candidate is eligible for admission to candidature for the LLD;
  • a statement expressing why the proposed candidate's work is 'a substantial and original contribution to legal scholarship and is of such standard as to give the candidate authoritative standing in the field of the candidate's study';
  • a statement outlining the work(s) to be examined, which may comprise (i) a sustained body of work over a lengthy period, or (ii) a seminal work that has profoundly contributed to the corpus of knowledge in a particular field;
  • a curriculum vitae for the proposed candidate and a full list of the candidate's publications; and
  • the names and contact details of three referees (other than the proposer) who have sufficient familiarity with the proposed candidate's field of research to enable them to recommend whether or not the quality of the work(s) submitted warrants the award of LLD.

Acceptance for Admission

A nomination for admission to candidature is considered by a committee established by the Dean of Melbourne Law School, comprising at least two Melbourne Law School academics. The Dean and Associate Dean (Research) of Melbourne Law School may be members of the committee, but the proposer may not. In considering whether to accept the candidature, the committee considers:

  • whether the proposed candidate's work as identified in the nomination meets, on a prima facie basis, the subject, scope and character required for admission to the degree of LLD;
  • if the proposed candidate is not a graduate in law of the University, whether or not the proposed candidate has received adequate training for legal scholarship and whether or not the proposed candidate's degree is recognised pursuant to section 4 of Regulation 11.1.A2 as appropriate for the LLD; and
  • if work is submitted for assessment that has previously been presented for a degree in any university, whether or not this work should be approved for examination.

The decision of the committee will be taken by consensus or, if necessary, by majority.

Core Participation Requirements:

A body of work is submitted for examination.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes:

Research degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research work.

The University expects its research degree graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

  • An advanced ability to initiate research and to formulate viable research questions;
  • A demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report sustained and original research;
  • The capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
  • An advanced ability to evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature;
  • An advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field;
  • Highly developed problem-solving abilities and flexibility of approach;
  • The ability to analyse critically within and across a changing disciplinary environment;
  • The capacity to disseminate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication to a variety of audiences;
  • A capacity to cooperate with and respect the contributions of fellow researchers and scholars;
  • A profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
  • An advanced facility in the management of information, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study;
  • An understanding of the relevance and value of their research to national and international communities of scholars and collaborators;
  • An awareness where appropriate of issues related to intellectual property management and the commercialisation of innovation; and
  • An ability to formulate applications to relevant agencies, such as funding bodies and ethics committees.

The University provides a variety of opportunities to facilitate students' acquisition of these attributes.

Links to further information:

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