LAWGENRL 443 - Introduction to Common Law

Credit points: 10 points
Offered: First and Second Semester
Contact hours: This is an intensive course which is offered to international exchange students only
Course Coordinator: Dr Edward Willis
Prerequisites: LAW 201, 211, 231, 241 (or equivalents)
Restriction: LAWPUBL 702

Course description

The history, nature and evolution of the Common Law; common law reasoning; the interaction of case law and legislation in a common law system.

Content outline

  • Legal research methodology
  • The structure of government
  • The sources of law
  • The Treaty of Waitangi
  • The system of courts in New Zealand
  • Common law method
  • Judicial reasoning
  • The doctrine of precedent
  • Statutory interpretation


This will be by way of research essay. The final grade for the course will be the grade for the essay.

Recommended text

R. Scragg, The Principles of Legal Method in New Zealand  (3rd ed, 2016)

J. Ruru, K. Sanders and D. Webb, The New Zealand Legal System  (6th ed, 2016)

R. Scragg (ed), Legal Writing: A Complete Guide for a Career in Law  (2015)