Teaching organisation4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent
Unit rationale, description and aim
The Rule of Law, and access to legal advice, are the basis of free, democratic, and just societies which promote personal dignity, thriving communities, and the Common Good. Law graduates working in legal practice, in business, in government, and in the community play an essential role in promoting and upholding the Rule of Law in Australia and across the world. The Bachelor of Laws degree is an accredited degree for admission as a legal practitioner in Australia.
Statutory Interpretation deals with the law governing the determination of legal meaning and the effect of legislation. This unit considers the legislative process and the identification of applicable statute law. It examines legislative interpretation principles, aids and techniques and the practical application of these in real-world contexts. In this unit, students will develop their skills in legislative research, legislative interpretation and in the communication of legal opinion.
To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.
Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the Attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.
Explore the graduate capabilities.
|Learning Outcome Number||Learning Outcome Description|
|LO1||explain the principles and processes of statutory interpretation;|
|LO2||locate the legislative provisions required to solve interpretive legal problems and apply the law to different fact scenarios;|
|LO3||make appropriate use of the various aids to statutory interpretation in solving interpretative legal problems;|
|LO4||develop and communicate a reasoned opinion as to the meaning and effect of legislative provisions, taking into account the law of statutory interpretation.|
Topics will include:
- Creation of Legislation
- Interpretation Legislation
- Context and Purpose
- Intention and Interpretive Techniques
- Intrinsic Materials
- Extrinsic Materials
- Traditional Common Law Approaches
- Statutory Presumptions
- International Law in Statutory Interpretation
- Interpreting Specific Instruments
- Developing Interpretive Legal Opinion
Learning and teaching strategy and rationale
Mode: Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.
Duration: 3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent. Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit.
This level three compulsory unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding required to meet the requirements of the Law Admissions Consultative Committee Statement on Statutory Interpretation
Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content in order apply this knowledge, skills and learning to legal problem solving.
The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.
Assessment strategy and rationale
The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialized area of law required by the accrediting bodies.
The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed.
Overview of assessments
|Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment Tasks||Weighting||Learning Outcomes|
Online Quiz – fundamentals of statutory interpretation
Assignment – problem based interpretive legal advice
Final exam – problem and essay questions
Representative texts and references
Cook, Catriona et al, Laying Down the Law (LexisNexis Butterworths, 9th ed, 2015)
Corcoran, Suzanne and Stephen Bottomley (eds), Interpreting Statutes (The Federation Press, Sydney, 2005)
Hall, Kath and Claire Macken, Legislation and Statutory Interpretation (LexisNexis Butterworths, 3rd ed, 2012)
Herzfeld, Perry and Thomas Prince, Statutory Interpretation Principles (Thomson Reuters, 2014)
Herzfeld, Perry, Thomas Prince and Stephen Tully, Interpretation and Use of Legal Sources (Thomson Reuters, 2013)
Katzmann, Robert A, Judging Statutes (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Pearce, Dennis C and Robert S Geddes, Statutory Interpretation in Australia (LexisNexis Butterworths Australia, 8th ed, 2014)
Sanson, Michelle, Statutory Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed 2016)
David Wright, Common Law in the Age of Statutes: the Equity in the Statute (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2015)