At Year 11, Legal Studies enables students to better understand the legal system in which they live. We initially look at who makes our laws and how they make them. In the criminal law component, students discover what happens when someone is charged with a crime, from the police investigation to the trial and the possible outcomes. In the civil law section we look at the reasons people sue each other and at how the law applies in cases such as divorce. The Year 11 course includes a visit to a maximum security prison to talk with prisoners and a day in the Victorian County and Supreme Courts.
At year 12, Unit 3 examines the operation of parliament and why the law must always be subject to change. Legal rules tend to reflect community values and are therefore constantly being modified as values change. For example, why wear seatbelts or drink driving laws brought in, despite their initial unpopularity with voters? Why were Aboriginal people granted rights to their land despite 200 years of colonisation? Why (and how) can the laws of a State Government or Territory, such as the right to Euthanasia, be overturned by the National Parliament? This unit investigates the relationship between these values, the law and the Constitution, and our democratic and human rights.
Unit 4 evaluates how well the legal system is able to deliver just outcomes, and determine disputes. The legal system requires change. Why are most judges male? Why do wealthy people have better access to the law? Why are some people given inappropriate sentences? Should the jury system be retained? Students analyse the legal system’s strengths and weaknesses and potential for reform. Specific cases are referred to, and students argue their point of view, identifying problems and nominating changes that are necessary to reform the law.
Major topics covered in Units 1 & 2 include – Law making – Criminal Law- (procedures & sanctions)
The Courts - Civil law – Family Law – Human Rights
Major topics covered in Units 3 & 4 include – Parliament, the Courts, the Constitution and Human Rights – Criminal and Civil Law- Evaluation of the Justice System
Pre requisite subjects -
Units 1 & 2 – nil
Units 3 & 4 – nil, although completion of Units 1 & 2 is an advantage
Fees applicable in 2012. No additional charge beyond the general materials fee
For further information, click on the Study Summary link that will take you directly to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website