Credit points


Campus offering

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LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This level four unit contributes to the development of:

  • advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in the field of European Union Law
  • advanced, cognitive, technical and communication skills and the ability to apply these to complex Administrative law problems
  • advanced research and writing skills.

This unit provides an introduction to the history and structure of the European Union (EU), the institutions and procedures of the EU, the legal framework of the single market and the single European currency, and trade with Australia and the rest of the world. Consideration may also be given to human rights issues, and the responses to BREXIT.

As a level four unit students will apply advanced legal research skills and reasoning skills to addressing topics in EU Law.

Learning outcomes

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate knowledge of essential EU treaties, laws, institutions and policies (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6) 

LO2 - Apply EU law in local and international contexts, including Member States and Australia (GA6) 

LO3 - Show advanced research and legal reasoning skills in the above areas (GA6, GA8, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include: 

  1. Introduction 
  2. Foundation of EU and Sources of EU Law 
  3. The Legal Character of the EU 
  4. The EU's institutional Framework 
  5. EU law and national law 
  6. EU and international law 
  7. EU-Australia relations 
  8. The Court of Justice: judicial remedies and enforcement actions 
  9. The internal market 
  10. Free movement of goods 
  11. Beyond the internal market: economic and monetary union 
  12. Free movement of persons, including workers 
  13. Free movement of capital, legal persons and the provision of services 
  14. Competition law 
  15. Non-discrimination including sex discrimination 
  16. Deepening and widening of European Integration 
  17. The EU’s legitimacy crisis 
  18. Financial Crisis 
  19. Refugee crisis 
  20. BREXIT 

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 four elective unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law using advanced research skills.  


Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to practice advanced research skills. 


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 specialist area of law, and to develop research capacity.

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 TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Lecturer-set Assignment (e.g. multiple-choice test – students to demonstrate knowledge of EU treaties, laws, institutions and policies) 



GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6 

Student Verbal Presentation – (students to demonstrate knowledge of chosen legal topic, research and legal reasoning skills) 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, 

GA8, GA9 

Take-Home Exam – (students to demonstrate knowledge of EU treaties, laws, institutions and policies and legal reasoning skills) 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Required text(s) 

Damian Chalmers and Anthony Arnull (eds), The Oxford Handbook of European Union Law, available online via ACU library  

Andreas Staab, European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact, (2013) - available online via ACU library 


Recommended references 

Craig, P. and G. de Burca, EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press, 7th ed, 2020) 

Foster, N. (Ed), Blackstone’s EU Treaties and Legislation 2020-2021 (Oxford University Press, 31st ed, 2020) 

Foster, N., EU Law: Directions (Oxford University Press, 7th ed, 2020) 


Extended reading 

Note: there is an almost limitless supply of material on the EU. This course cannot possibly cover all there is to know about EU law – there are at least 100,000+ pages of regulations, treaties, directives and opinions alone! 

Official EU websites are a valuable resource. 


Official website of the European Union:  


EU Delegation to Australia:

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