Stage 1 | Subject outline | version control

Legal Studies Stage 1
Subject outline

Version 4.0 - For teaching in 2024.
Accredited in June 2020 for teaching at Stage 1 from 2021. 

Stage 1 | Subject outline | Focus areas | Optional focus area | Example 1

Example 1: Government

Through the development and discussion of ‘big questions’, students should understand, analyse, and evaluate the Australian legal system’s approach to government and make considered recommendations as appropriate.

In providing a response to the big questions, students make one or more connections to the concepts of rights, fairness and justice, power, and change.

Students may consider the following elements of Optional focus area: Government as a basis for their inquiry.

  • the rule of law
  • the independence of the judiciary
  • the separation of powers
  • elections.

Big questions:

  • Does the separation of the legislature, executive, and judiciary fulfill its purpose?
  • How representative is parliament, and how responsible is government?
  • Should the judiciary be independent?
  • How can civic participation be fostered and encouraged?

Current/relevant structures:

  • legal institutions such as parliament, government, and the courts
  • representative government and the separation of powers
  • the interaction of parliaments with the people.

Possible inquiry questions:

  • What is the division of powers?
  • What is the separation of powers?
  • What are the main features of a constitutional monarchy?
  • How is the Australian government structured?
  • What is the difference between responsible and representative government?
  • What are the functions of parliament as a law-making body?
  • What is the function of a Royal Commission?
  • What is the legislative process?
  • What is the role of the executive?
  • Why do we have a court hierarchy?

Students explore current legislation, such as the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK) and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, and any relevant cases.