• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Pauline Bomball
    • Wendy Kukulies-Smith
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course must be taken in the commencing semester of a student's LLB or JD enrolment. Students commencing their legal studies in Semester One are expected to undertake Foundations of Australian Law with LAWS6103 Torts. Students commencing their legal studies in Semester Two are expected to undertake Foundations of Australian Law with LAWS6104 Contracts. This is because the content in the relevant companion course is utilised in various ways in Foundations of Australian Law.
Foundations of Australian Law is designed to lay the groundwork for the remainder of students' legal studies. In particular, the course aims to assist students to develop a range of legal skills that are crucial for successful legal studies and for professional practice. Students learn the essential skills that enable them to engage with and utilise our principal sources of law - case law and legislation. In addition to teaching students how to analyse case law and legislation in order to formulate legal arguments the course also covers the key legal principles of statutory interpretation and the role of the courts in interpreting statutes.
To set the context for these sources of Australian law, the course also seeks to familiarise students with (1) some of the fundamental features of the legal institutions that generate laws (the courts and the Parliament); (2) sources of Australian law in addition to case law and legislation (including the Australian Constitution, customary law and international law); and (3) the historical and social forces that have shaped and continue to shape the law-making process and the legal system.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1.     discuss and explain the sources of law in Australia;

2.     discuss the historical and social context of the institutions of the Australian legal system;

3.     discuss the process of law-making;

4.     formulate oral and written arguments in response to questions about the Australian legal system and the process of law-making;

5.     identify and discuss legal principles obtained from reading and analysing selected case law;

6.     utilise methods of legal reasoning to apply relevant legal principles to a set of facts and generate legally defensible conclusions for the purpose of advising on legal problems;

7.     identify, discuss and apply the principles of statutory interpretation;

8.     engage in legal research utilising a variety of legal research sources, including legal databases, in order to research case law, legislation and scholarly journal articles;

9.     use legal citation conventions appropriately  in the course of legal writing;

10.  reflect critically on case law, legislation and the Australian legal system; and

11.  utilise feedback to critically reflect on their own developing legal skills and understanding.

Other Information

Foundations of Australian Law JD 2016 Semester 1: Important Note

In Semester 1 of 2016, the Foundations of Australian Law course for JD students (LAWS6101) will be run on a semi-intensive basis.  The course will span the first seven weeks of the semester.  There will be a one-off introductory lecture in week 1, which will be held on Monday, 15 February 2016 from 11am-12pm in the Law Link Theatre.  The introductory lecture will be recorded. 


Each week, there will be four hours of face-to-face class time (two seminars, each two hours in length) and approximately two hours of online study.  The seminars will commence in week 1 of the semester.  Seminars will not be recorded. 


Students will be able to enrol in a seminar group via the Foundations of Australian Law (LAWS6101) WATTLE site.  Seminar enrolment on WATTLE will open on Tuesday, 9 February 2016 at 10am.  Students enrolled in seminar group 1 will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-1pm. Those enrolled in seminar group 2 will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7pm. 


Seminar Group 1:

Weekly Seminar A: Tuesdays, 11am-1pm. Venue: LAWG21.

Weekly Seminar B: Thursdays, 11am-1pm. Venue: LAWG21.


Seminar Group 2:

Weekly Seminar A: Tuesdays, 5-7pm. Venue: LAWG21.

Weekly Seminar B: Thursdays, 5-7pm. Venue: LAWG21.

Students who are undertaking both Foundations of Australian Law (LAWS6101) (‘FAL’) and Contracts (LAWS6104) in semester 1, 2016 are strongly encouraged to enrol in the morning FAL seminars (Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am-1pm).  Once the FAL course ends, Contracts seminars will then run at those times (Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am-1pm), with the addition of a Wednesday 11am-1pm seminar each week.

Indicative Assessment

The assessment for this course will include skills-based exercises and assignments during semester followed by a final examination.  Details of the assessment will be provided on the course Wattle page by the first week of semester.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


In Semester 1, the Foundations of Australian Law course for JD students (LAWS6101) will be run on a semi-intensive basis.  The course will span the first seven weeks of the semester.
In Semester 2, the course will run as a two-hour seminar each week and a mixture of lecture and other learning activities delivered live and/or in a variety of flexible formats (equivalent to a further hour per week)

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying the Juris Doctor.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3252
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4638
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4033 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9031 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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