|Conceptual Framework Common Law - JURD7442|
This course examines the taxonomy of the common law’s system of civil rights. We will examine the categories and concepts used to explain and distinguish the different parts of the law with a view to understanding the practical implications of the major distinctions within the Australian legal system. We will look at the conceptual distinctions between criminal and civil law, between statute and general law, between common law and equity, between property and obligations, between rights and remedies, between and within contract, tort and restitution. The course will focus on the boundaries between the various fields in the law, their history, rationales and practical implications. Primary materials (cases and statutes) will be analysed in light of the various attempts by textbook writers and theorists to categorise them and the determined opposition in some quarters to rational taxonomy.
Recommended Prior Knowledge
The course presupposes general understanding of the major components of the Australian legal system, coupled with a willingness to explore the broader landscape and the practical implications of its various divisions.
The Hon. Keith Mason AC QC, former President of the Court of Appeal of NSW and leading scholar and authority on restitution, equity and common law in Australia.
Students will be encouraged to identify past and future trends and to see why theories of the structure of law have practical implications, particularly in a litigation context.
Assessment for this course comprises of three components:
(a) Compulsory class participation 10%
(b) Mid-session assignment 40%
(c) Final examination (take home) 50%
Reading for each class will be identified in a Course Outline of Readings that will be provided progressively in advance.
It is highly recommended that students acquire Andrew Robertson ed, The Law of Obligations: Connections and Boundaries, UCL Press, 2004.