Getting Ahead in VCE Legal Studies in 2017!


This article has been written by Henry Ja, a Legal Studies tutor at LearnMate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Henry, then please check out his page here.


Getting Ahead in VCE Legal Studies in 2017!

There isn’t much connection between Year 11 Legal Studies and Year 12 Legal Studies but there are some basic concepts that will be useful for you to know:

  • Difference between civil and criminal law
  • Court hierarchy
  • Methods of civil dispute resolution
  • Civil remedies

Unit 3 is concerned with looking at the institutions (Parliament and Courts) that make the laws that we are governed by. In this unit, you will look at both the Commonwealth and Victorian Parliament as supreme lawmaking bodies, and consider the strengths and weaknesses of law-making via parliament.

You will also look at why laws may need to be changed, and how individuals can influence changes to the law (formally and informally).

There will also be a brief look at the Commonwealth Constitution, which is the document that governs the law-making powers between the Commonwealth and the States.

Specific sections of the Constitution will be focussed on namely s.109 (inconsistency) and s.128 (referendum).

There will also be a focus on the role of the High Court in constitutional interpretation. 

In addition to that, you will need to know two High Court cases that involved interpretation of the Constitution, and their impact on the law-making powers between the States and Commonwealth, as well as one High Court case that relates to the Constitutional protection of rights in Australia.

To get you to think globally, you will look at how the Constitution in other countries protect rights compared to how Australia’s Constitution protects rights. Countries include Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and USA. You will only need to know about one country.

Lastly, you will look at how the courts make laws. You will look at the concept of the doctrine of precedent, why judges need to interpret the law before them and the effect of such interpretation. Furthermore, the strengths and weaknesses of courts as lawmakers will be looked at, as well as the relationship between the courts and parliament as law-makers.

This is a brief summary of what will await you in Unit 3 Legal Studies. The key to success in Legal Studies is not through rote-learning, but being able to apply what you learnt to different contexts. Using real-life examples to support your answers is a great way to answer a question.

Keep your eyes out in the news for examples that you can use in your answers!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-06/victorian-government-to-legislate-assisted-dying/8097838 – Victoria’s proposal to change Euthanasia laws – an example of why laws may need to change due to changes in community values on the issue with Euthanasia.

For now, what you should be doing is the following:

  1. Get a copy of the study design from the VCAA website: http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Documents/vce/legalstudies/legalstudiessd-2011.pdf
  2. Read the first chapter of your textbook – this should deal with most of the topics listed in Unit 3 Area of Study 1.
  3. After reading the first chapter start making your notes that will help you revise for SACs and your exams. Your notes should be in a format that can easily be read.
  4. Start keeping up to date with what is happening in the media – ABC News and news.com.au are free websites that will provide you will up to date information on what is happening around the nation and in the world!

This article has been written by Henry Ja, a Legal Studies tutor at LearnMate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Henry, then please check out his page here.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

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Getting Ahead in VCE Legal Studies in 2017!
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Important Read for VCE Legal Studies and VCE Business Management Students!

An important read for Legal and Business students

Legal Studies and Business Management Units 3/4 do not often classify as prerequisites for admission into university degrees however you will find that both these subjects provide a thorough introduction to core subjects in a Law or Business degree.

In Legal Studies Unit 3 Outcome 2 you will explore the Constitution on an introductory level. Some of the basic principles, sections and cases learnt in this Outcome such as s 109 and the Tasmanian Dams case will be analysed in more depth in university subjects like Australian Constitutional Law. In Business Management Unit 3 Outcome 2 you will explore management structures and styles that often find its way in various Management subjects in Business and Commerce degrees.

As Year 12 students, a high ATAR score may appear to be the ultimate goal, but there is more to your final year than this alone. Learning should remain with you in the long term and therefore the principles and ideas that you learn in such subjects will not only carry through in your tertiary education but also with life in a more general way.

Legal Studies provides you with a better appreciation of our legal and political system. The reasons why we vote our leaders into office become more apparent, including how our adversarial court system serves to provide fairness and equality for disputants. Business Management provides understanding of how to optimise efficiency, maintain motivation and better productivity in a work environment. Locke’s goal setting theory including the elements of a S.M.A.R.T goal is frequently used in various workplaces and thus studying these techniques now provides for better appreciation as they arise in your future career.

VCE may be daunting if all you see are homework tasks, practice SACs and exams. Instead, understand the value of content taught in subjects like Legal Studies and Business Management- you will be surprised how often they pop up in your daily life.


This guide was written by Lisa George, a VCE Legal Studies and Business Management Tutor at LearnMate. If you’re interested in her private tutoring services, please view her online profile here.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

Important Read for VCE Legal Studies and VCE Business Management Students!
read more