The course aims to introduce students to a cultural study of law, by exposing students to the humanistic intellectual tradition within the liberal arts. The course will be interdisciplinary. The topics and readings will be centred on the theme of the ‘Foundations of Law’. The theme bears an allusion to the first-year compulsory course that all law students at the ANU have to take: the ‘Foundations of Australian Law’. However, in this elective course, we are interested in a different kind of foundation. We will interrogate not the foundations of any particular legal system, but the foundations of law itself. Whereas the ‘Foundations of Australian Law’ equips students with the foundational skills of legal reasoning, this elective course invites students to take a step back to consider and interrogate the foundational mythologies of law. We will explore the ‘Foundations of Law’ through the humanistic disciplines of classics, literature, philosophy and theology, which present different modes and means of inquiring into the assumptions and aspirations that we ascribe to law.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate coherent and advanced knowledge of the relationship between law and the humanities;
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the conceptual foundations of law within the humanistic intellectual tradition;
- Exercise critical thinking and judgment concerning the assumptions and aspirations of law;
- Engage with legal materials as a critical and creative reader;
- Participate in intellectual discussions about the foundations of law through a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas;
- Formulate an interdisciplinary research topic with some independence; and
- Be accountable for their own learning by presenting a theoretically informed and well-structured research paper, with some independence.
Classes may be offered in non-standard sessions and be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (a minimum of 36 hours). Please refer to the LLB timetable for dates. Please contact the ANU College of Law Student Administration Services to request a permission code to enrol in classes offered in non-standard sessions.
- Seminar Participation (10) [LO null]
- Reflection Paper (30) [LO null]
- Research Paper (60) [LO null]
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Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week (a minimum of 36 hours). Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
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.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.