Legal Studies & Definition of Law as a System of Rules – Law Assignment Help


Some definitions and descriptions of law that have been proposed:

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  • ‘Law is a system of enforceable rules governing social relations and legislated by a political system’- Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
  • ‘Law is the essential foundation of stability and order both within societies and in international relations’ – J William Fullbright
  • ‘Law [is] an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community’- Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • ‘The law is but words and paper without the hands and swords of men’ – James Harrington
  • ‘Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and when they fail to do this purpose they become dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress’ – Martin Luther King, Jr
  • ‘The law is an ass, an idiot’- Charles Dickens
  • ‘I am the law!’ – Judge Dredd

1.Research five more definitions of the law that are different from those above;

2.Critically evaluate the definition of law as ‘a system of rules made by the state and enforceable by prosecution or litigation’. In what ways is this definition incomplete?

3.Resolving disputes: Is a criminal trial also a mechanism for resolving a dispute? Why/why not?

4.Maintaining social order: How different would your everyday lives be if there were no laws? Give an example of something that might be more difficult (or easier) without laws controlling that aspect of your daily life.

5.Reinforcing community values: In what circumstances should something that is morally objectionable to the majority be made illegal? Give an example of a law that makes morally objectionable behaviour illegal?

6.Think of any other purposes that law may be used for? Do these uses affect the community adversely or in a positive manner?

7.Which category do the following types of laws fall into?
Instructions: From the following list of types of laws, identify whether the laws are  either ‘substantive law’ or ‘procedural law’: Use the letter S or P  at the end of each question. The first question is completed as an example.

  1.  A law which makes the sale of marijuana illegal;  S
  2. A law which makes it illegal to rob a bank.
  3. A law which says you are entitled to a trial by jury.
  4. A law that says how fast you may drive your car on a highway.
  5. A law which says you can introduce a particular type of document as evidence at a trial.
  6. A law that says you can appeal a decision made by a Magistrate in a case in Tasmania to the Supreme Court of Tasmania.
  7. A law which says that you must pay for an item you purchased from a store on a hire-purchase contract.
  8. A law that says what rights children have when their parents’ divorce.
  9. A law that says what form you must use to begin proceedings in the High Court of Australia.

8.Law, (usually substantive law), can be further sub-categorised as Public Law (e.g. Constitutional law; Administrative law; Criminal law; Taxation law) or as Private Law (e.g. Tort law; Contract law; Property law; Family law; Company law). Which one(s) of the above categories/sub-categories of law would be most relevant in each of the following situations?

9.Explain the adversarial system in your own words.

10.If you were wrongly accused of murder, would you prefer and adversarial trial or an inquisitorial trial? Explain your answer. 

11.In your own words, explain the three major differences between legislation and common law (case law).

12.In your own words, explain the ‘doctrine of precedent’.

13.Consider each of the following precedents. Decide whether each of them would be binding, highly persuasive, marginally persuasive or not persuasive on a judge in the District Court of New South Wales:

  1. A decision made by the South Australian Supreme Court
  2. A decision made by the NSW Supreme Court
  3. A decision made by the British House of Lords
  4. A decision made by a US Supreme Court
  5. A decision made by the NSW District Court
  6. A decision made by the High Court of Australia
  7. A decision made by the NSW Local Court
  8. A decision made by the Magistrates Court of Tasmania.

14.What does ‘res judicata’ mean? Why is this an important legal principle?

15. Do some research on the internet and then, in your own words, explain what the differences are between ‘mediation’, ‘arbitration’, ‘conciliation’ and ‘adjudication’ in Australia? 

16.Go to the website of the Resolution Institution at According to the site, what types of disputes should ‘mediation’ or ‘arbitration’ be considered for?

17.Does alternative dispute resolution undermine one’s right to a trial and procedural fairness or do ADR methods further access to justice?

18.Do you agree with the premise that ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse for beaching a legal obligation’? Why/Why Not?

19.What is the average cost of bringing/defending a legal matter in in the following courts in Australia?
Lower Courts: –
Supreme Court: – 
High Court:-

20.Do all three law reform agents (Law Reform Commissions, Courts and Parliament) have a legitimate role to play in law reform? Why or why not?

21.Choose three of the characteristics of a critical thinker and explain in your own words why these are important when thinking critically.

22.Which of the three types of critical thinking above do you think it is most important for law students to learn and why?

23. To what extend does your ability to exercise inference, explanation and self-regulation skills depend upon your ability to exercise interpretation, analysis and evaluation skills?

24.In your opinion, is creativity something a person is born with, or can it be learned? Why or why not?

25. Do you think that Covid 19 vaccinations should be made legally compulsory in your country? Explain why or why not?

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