SOLS10001: Law in Society


Law in Society was reviewed by Ali Osborne. She is currently a second year Bachelor of Arts student, double majoring in Criminology and Sociology.

When was the subject taken?

Semester 2, 2012

What topics were covered in the subject?

‘Law in Society’ explores the way in which law regulates harm and the role of power in defining what is prohibited and regulated in everyday life. The subject explores how law can be a site of both justice and injustice. The subject looks at topics such as the Bill Henson scandal, whether the use of torture is legitimate, the Aboriginal system of ‘Payback’ and Australia’s Stolen Generation. (Just to name a few!!) In this subject you explore these topics with a theoretical understanding of the different types of law (positivist, natural, common) etc and come to develop your own understanding of what constitutes harm, to the body and to the state.

What textbooks/workbooks were required for the subject?

You only need the subject reader for this subject ! Even so, Dave McDonald was kind enough to upload all the readings all the LMS last semester. Save your hard earned cash for all those pub crawls and uni parties to come!! :D

What type of assessments were there?

The first assessment task was a group exercise (basically an oral presentation that you present to your tute group). For those of you who aren’t public speaking fans, don’t panic! It’s not scary, it’s very brief and an easy way to pick up marks provided you work well as a team ! The other two tasks are essays, one is 1500 words, the other, 2000. The second one- you complete at home in the exam period.

Were the lectures/tutorials recorded when you did the subject?

All lectures are recorded, but not tutes.

How did you find the subject? Did you enjoy it?

I LOVED this subject !! If you want a subject that encourages you to challenge the way you think about how just how effectively law operates in our society, then this is the subject for you! I found that after doing Law in Society I had a much better understanding of state issues and how difficult it is to criminalise certain acts when faced with opposition from groups that may have different cultural values and viewpoints. Although sections of the theory can be a bit dull and some of the course content a bit confronting, the head lecturer and the tutors do stress this regularly. In summary, you only get out of this subject what you put in! So don’t be afraid to contribute in class discussions, ask questions and formulate some of your own ideas!

Ali rates the subject 4 out of 5.

Ali’s hot uni tip:¬†Whilst it is important to knuckle down and get some study done, do take advantage of all the services you’ve got here at Melbourne Uni. From sport to camps to free BBQ’s! (yum!) Get the right balance and you’ll be just fine :) Have a great first year everyone!

Handbook link:

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