LAWS90082 Adversary System: Bases and Corollaries

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Feb-2017 to 28-May-2017
Assessment Period End 23-Jun-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 31-Jan-2017
Census Date 31-Mar-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-May-2017

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24-26 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Mr Kenneth Hayne



The Hon Mr Kenneth Hayne AC QC, Coordinator
The Hon Justice Michelle Gordon

Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

The adversary system can be seen as a defining characteristic of a common law legal system. But as times have changed, both the common law and the adversary system of trial have changed. What then are the bases of the adversary system? What corollaries follow from adopting such a mode of trial? What are the challenges with which the Australian legal system must now deal in resolving disputes? How might those challenges be dealt with and are there implications for what we define as the adversary system and, more generally, the rule of law?

Principal topics include:

  • Development of the common law
  • The 20th century adversary system
  • The adversary system today and its implications
  • Statutes and the Common law
  • Lessons from other systems
  • Complexity - issues, evidence, experts, costs
  • Curial method - the law, facts, findings
  • Economic and commercial implications - class actions, ADR, arbitration, access to justice
  • Legislative and executive power
  • Implications for the Rule of law and the practitioner.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the adversary system in today's Australian judicial system
  • Have an advanced understanding of how and why the adversary system has developed to its present state
  • Be able to critically examine, identify and assess the implications and effectiveness of that system
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently identify, examine, research and analyse present and emerging challenges to the continued use of an adversary system
  • Have the communication skills to articulate and convey complex information regarding the adversary system, its implications and possible modification.
  • Class participation (10%)
  • 20-minute individual class presentation on a designated topic, due on an allocated day during the intensive teaching period (15%)
  • 6,000 - 7,500 word research paper (75%) (14 June 2017) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: law.unimelb.edu.au
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution
Graduate Diploma in Government Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Laws
Master of Private Law
Master of Public and International Law

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