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Law and Legal Practice in Asia (LAWS90006)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeLAWS90006
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The aim of this subject is to provide students with an enhanced understanding of law and legal practice in an Asian jurisdiction through intensive pre-departure teaching, supervision of a research project on an Asian jurisdiction, a student-led seminar reflecting on their learning experiences and legal experience in an approved role in a workplace setting in Asia.

The intensive pre-departure teaching will be 8 hours long, spread over a couple of days. This teaching will be led by an expert in the chosen Asian jurisdiction and will offer an advanced introduction to the legal system of the jurisdiction. Core instruction will cover how to access current law and commentary on law in the relevant jurisdiction. In addition, students may engage actively with topical debates about law in Asia from among the following: Asian trade and investment flows and their significance for Australia businesses; managing risk in Asian investment; dispute resolution in Asia; regional regulation of the profession; human rights; public institutions; role of NGO’s. Students must actively participate in pre-departure teaching and will be assessed by an hour long in-class test.

Students must also complete at least the equivalent of a 4-week unsalaried work placement in the nominated Asian jurisdiction. Work placements will be hosted in an organisation approved by the subject coordinators. The work placement involves a minimum of 20 days work. Some employers expect students to attend 6 day/week placements.

During work placement, students must carry out legally-oriented work that offers students a practice-based exposure to law and legal practice in the jurisdiction

The proposed work should build on the students’ studies to date in the Melbourne JD, involve written legal research work and be of an appropriately demanding standard to model professional practice.

At the end of their work placement, students are required to attend a 3 hour long seminar with student presentations. This seminar provides a structure for reflection on, and learning from, the work experience and how work in the jurisdiction was comparatively experienced by peers.

In 2018, the chosen jurisdiction is India. Students are responsible for making their own logistical arrangements and bookings, including visas, but the coordinators will provide support.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who successfully completes this subject will have:

  • An enhanced knowledge of a particular legal area relevant to an Asian jurisdiction and the work placement;
  • Strengthened their ability to understand professional practice in Asia, derived from doing challenging legal work in a practical setting;
  • An enhanced capacity to identify, develop and employ appropriate legal and professional skills for a workplace in another jurisdiction;
  • Increased capacity to engage with public discussion about comparative law and policy; and
  • Experienced a range of new opportunities and contacts through doing a work placement in a field in which they are interested.

Generic skills

A student who successfully completes this subject will have the capacity to:

  • Learn about a legal system in Asia;
  • Learn about, and adapt to, a professional workplace in a jurisdiction in Asia;
  • Establish and maintain professional working relationships throughout the duration of the work placement;
  • Contribute constructively and productively to the projects underway at the organisation hosting the work placement;
  • Formulate or refine their own topical and relevant research question related to or arising from either the nature of the organisation hosting the work placement or an issue with which the organisation has to deal; and
  • Refresh, reinforce and develop research and writing skills that students have acquired during their undergraduate degree and law studies.

Eligibility and requirements


Only approved applicants can enrol into this subject.

Some host organisations may have specific requirements regarding prerequisite subjects.

Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50023 Legal Method and Reasoning
Summer Term
LAWS50024 Principles of Public Law
Semester 1
LAWS50025 Torts
Semester 1
LAWS50026 Obligations
Semester 1
LAWS50027 Dispute Resolution
Semester 1
LAWS50028 Constitutional Law
Semester 2
LAWS50029 Contracts
Semester 2
LAWS50031 Legal Theory
Semester 2



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Hurdle requirement: Completion of a minimum 20 days of placement at a host organisation;
  • Participation in 'Understanding Law and Legal Practice in Asia' seminar (8 hours), assessed by class participation (10%), and 1 hour long test (20%)
  • 3,500 words of legal research (40%)*;
  • 1,000 word reflection piece on understanding of jurisdiction gained from work placement (20%); and
  • Short presentation on understanding of jurisdiction gained from work placement at a 3 hour seminar (10%).

*Note: the assessed research work may take a variety of forms (including substantial research memoranda or advice, briefs or written submissions, legal policy advocacy, and research essays).

The due date of the above assessment will be available to students via the Assessment Schedule on the LMS Community.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • February
    Principal coordinatorPip Nicholson
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursStudents must complete at least 20 days of placement at a host organisation, and participate in pre-placement orientation and post-placement debrief sessions
    Total time commitment178 hours
    Teaching period22 February 2018 to 20 July 2018
    Last self-enrol date15 October 2017
    Census date13 April 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail20 July 2018
    Assessment period ends 5 October 2018

    February contact information

    Graduate Services Coordinator (International Experience)

    Email: law-global@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 4475
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Additional delivery details

This subject has a quota of 12 students. Applicants are selected through a competitive application process. Please refer to the JD LMS Community for more details.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    • Required readings will be provided to you electronically via the LMS, in class, or through the library.
Last updated: 29 March 2019