LAW 141 - Legal Foundations

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Second Semester
Contact hours: Lectures - 3 hours per week, 5 tutorials - 1 hour per fortnight
Course Director: Rob Batty 
Prerequisites: LAW 121 or 121G with a minimum B- grade
Corequisite: LAW 131

Course description

The core substantive components of the New Zealand legal system, with particular emphasis on the relationship between public and private law. Concepts of property and obligations. Introduction to concepts of tikanga Māori, international and comparative law. Differences between common law and civil law systems. Introduction to different modes of legal analysis and different approaches to legal theory.

Content outline

The course comprises six modules:

  • Classification of the law and its sources - the main differences between a common law and civil law legal system and an introduction to the domain and sources of private law compared to public law in a common law system.
  • Property law in comparative perspective - an introduction to the basic concepts and principles of property law, including comparisons with other jurisdictions and/or legal systems.
  • Law of obligations in comparative perspective - an introduction to the basic concepts and principles of the law governing the obligations between individuals, including comparisons with other jurisdictions and/or legal systems.
  • Key legal concepts in theoretical perspective - an introduction to principled explanations for the operation of private law such as law and economics and corrective justice.
  • Law in a global context - an introduction to international law and the ways in which international and transnational law impact on New Zealand law.
  • Māori jurisprudence - an introduction to tikanga Māori.

Assessment

Plussage applies to the online test component of LAW 141. Plussage is a system that enables the best possible final mark for a course providing the requirements are met.

Students must achieve a minimum of 45% in the examination for plussage to apply.

All coursework must be completed for plussage to apply.

If a student does not achieve a minimum of 45% in the examination, and/or does not complete the test, or does not complete both essays, plussage will not apply. 

If plussage does not apply the mark for the course will be calculated as:

Exam (70%), 1,000 word essay (15%), 750 word essay (15%).

If a student completes all coursework (two essays and the online test) and achieves at least 45% in the exam, plussage will apply.

The mark will be calculated by: EITHER exam (65%), 1,000 word essay (15%), 750 word essay (15%), online test (5%);

OR exam (70%), 1,000 word essay (15%), 750 word essay (15%);

whichever results in the higher grade.

Recommended (but not prescribed) text

There is no recommended text. Students may find J Ruru, P Scott and D Webb The New Zealand Legal System (6th ed, 2016) a good general reference text for the course.