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Developing Computer Applications to Law - JURD7735
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Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: Academic Program must be either 9200, 9210, 5740 or 9230
Equivalent: JURD7332, LAWS3132, LAWS8035
Excluded: LAWS8035
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


The practice of law is profoundly changing through the application of computers and networked information systems. This subject covers the three technologies central to the computerisation of law and legal reasoning: hypertext and the web; databases and text retrieval; knowledge-based systems. There is a focus on the integration of inferencing systems with hypertext and text retrieval, particularly via the internet, to provide comprehensive legal information systems. Practical applications in law office computerisation, litigation support systems and court computerisation are emphasised.

LLM Specialisation

Media, Communications and Information Technology Law.

Recommended Prior Knowledge

Familiarity with the use of a microcomputer and a word processing program is a prerequisite, but a knowledge of programming is not required. Familiarity with computerised legal research is desirable, particularly internet legal research.

Course Objectives

  • To assist students to develop an understanding of the state of art in legal technology and an understanding of likely future developments
  • To give a basic working knowledge of the structure of the internet and its application to the practice of law
  • To give a theoretical and practical understanding of the use of technology in legal decision making (such as expert systems)

Main Topics

  • Text retrieval and hypertext in legal applications
  • Knowledge-based legal applications
  • Public policy in access to legal information
  • Litigation support and court technologies
  • Computerisation of legal practice
  • Hands on: Building a legal website
  • Hands on: Building a rule-based expert system for law


Research essay 50%
Computer project 25%
Construct a legal website 25%

Course Texts

There is no suitable text book for this course. Reading materials will be made available on the Internet through links from the class homepage.



Reading materials will be made available on the Internet through links from the class homepage.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.