Law and Legal Practice in Asia

Subject LAWS90006 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 16-Sep-2016
Assessment Period End 21-Dec-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Oct-2015
Census Date 29-Apr-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 09-Sep-2016

This subject has a quota of 12 students. Applicants are selected through a competitive application process. Please refer to the Melbourne Law JD website for further information.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Students must complete at least 20 days of placement at a host organisation, and participate in pre-placement orientation and post-placement debrief sessions
Total Time Commitment:

178 hours


Only approved applicants can enrol into this subject. Please see Notes below for information on how to apply for this subject, application due dates, etc.

Some host organisations may have specific requirements regarding prerequisite subjects.

Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
November, Semester 2
Semester 1
Semester 1
Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the School's programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  • The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Prof Pip Nicholson


Graduate Services Coordinator (International Experience)

Phone: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

The aim of this subject is to provide students with an enhanced understanding of law and legal practice in an Asian jurisdiction through intensive pre-departure teaching, supervision of a research project on an Asian jurisdiction, a student-led seminar reflecting on their learning experiences and legal experience in an approved role in a workplace setting in Asia.

The intensive pre-departure teaching will be 8 hours long, spread over 2 days. This teaching will be led by an expert in the chosen Asian jurisdiction and will offer an advanced introduction to the legal system of the jurisdiction. Core instruction will cover how to access current law and commentary on law in the relevant jurisdiction. In addition, students will engage actively with topical debates about law in Asia from among the following: Asian trade and investment flows and their significance for Australia businesses; managing risk in Asian investment; dispute resolution in Asia; regional regulation of the profession; role of NGO's. Students must actively participate in pre-departure teaching and will be assessed by an hour long in-class test.

Students must also complete at least the equivalent of a 4-week unsalaried work placement in a foreign jurisdiction in the nominated Asian jurisction. Work placements will be hosted in an organisation approved by the subject coordinators.

During work placement, students must carry out legally-oriented work that offers students a practice-based exposure to law and legal practice in the jurisdiction. Students' work plan

for their work placement must be negotiated with the host organisation and approved by the subject coordinator before the work placement begins. The proposed work should build on the students' studies to date in the Melbourne JD, involve written legal research work and be of an appropriately demanding standard to model professional practice.

At the end of their work placement, students are required to attend a 3 hour long seminar with student presentations. This seminar provides a structure for reflection on, and learning from, the work experience and how work in the jurisdiction was comparatively experienced by peers.

In 2016, the chosen jurisdiction is India.

Learning Outcomes:

A student who successfully completes this subject will have:

  • An enhanced knowledge of a particular legal area relevant to an Asian jurisdiction and the work placement;
  • Strengthened their ability to understand professional practice in Asia, derived from doing challenging legal work in a practical setting;
  • An enhanced capacity to identify, develop and employ appropriate legal and professional skills for a workplace in another jurisdiction;
  • Increased capacity to engage with public discussion about comparative law and policy;
  • Experienced a range of new opportunities and contacts through doing a work placement in a field in which they are interested.
  • Participation in 'Understanding Law and Legal Practice in Asia' seminar (8 hours). Assessed by a short (1 hour long) test worth 20% and class participation (hurdle requirement);
  • 4,000 words of legal research; completion of at least 20 days of placement at a host organisation (hurdle requirement). The assessed research work may take a variety of forms (including substantial research memoranda or advice, briefs or written submissions, legal policy advocacy, and research essays). It may include work carried out during the placement (subject to agreement with the host organisation) (70%);
  • Short presentation, with 500 word reflection, on understanding of jurisdiction gained from work placement at a 3 hour seminar (10%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

A student who successfully completes this subject will have the capacity to:

  • Learn about a legal system in Asia;
  • Learn about, and adapt to, a professional workplace in a jurisdiction in Asia;
  • Establish and maintain professional working relationships throughout the duration of the work placement;
  • Contribute constructively and productively to the projects underway at the organisation hosting the work placement;
  • Formulate or refine their own topical and relevant research question related to or arising from either the nature of the organisation hosting the work placement or an issue with which the organisation has to deal;
  • Refresh, reinforce and develop research and writing skills that students have acquired during their undergraduate degree and law studies.
Related Course(s): Juris Doctor

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