LAWS101-23W (C) Whole Year 2023

Legal System: Legal Method and Institutions

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 19 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 27 August 2023


The course aims to provide a foundation in the skills of legal method, comprising case analysis, statutory interpretation and legal reasoning. It also introduces , and gives a descriptive outline of, the legal systems in New Zealand and England, including the structure of the courts, the sources of law, the classification of substantive law, dispute resolution and legal services.

Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will, by the end of the course, be able to demonstrate an understanding of the Aotearoa | New Zealand legal system including the:
  • sources of law, including the role of tikanga Māori
  • structure of the courts
  • role of legal services and contemporary legal institutions
  • impact of English law and international law

    A successful student will also be able to demonstrate competence in:
  • case analysis
  • statutory interpretation
  • legal reasoning; and
  • the use of Te Reo terms for essential concepts and institutions in the Aotearoa | New Zealand legal system.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.



Timetable Note

Tutorials will be held in LAWS101. Information regarding the timetable and tutorial enrolment will be made available via email at the start of the course.

Course Coordinators

Simon Dorset and Sascha Mueller


Simon Dorset , Toni Collins , Shea Esterling , Karen Scott , Rachael Harris and Liam Grant

Lecturers in the course in recent years have included the above lecturers.


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Tutorial Attendance 5%
Mid-Year Exam 25%
Evening Test 02 May 2023 15%
Final Exam 55%

Assessment for 2023 will be confirmed at the start of lectures.

Assessment in LAWS101 is subject to the New Zealand Council of Legal Education's Guidelines issued pursuant to the Professional Examination in Law Regulations 2008.  The NZCLE requires there must be a final examination that counts for no less than 50% of the final grade for the course.  It is likely the final exam in 2023 at UC will count for at least 55% of the course overall.

NOTE: Assignments, tests and examinations will be assessed only once. Resubmissions or resits are not permitted.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Morris, Grant; Law alive : the New Zealand legal system in context ; 4th edition; Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd, 2019.

R Krever and others; Mastering law studies and law exam techniques ; 8th ed; LexisNexis, Butterworths, Chatswood, 2014.

Ruru, Jacinta et al; The Aotearoa New Zealand legal system : structures and processes ; 7th edition; LexisNexis NZ Limited, 2022.

S Penk & M-R Russell; New Zealand Law: Foundations and Method ; 2nd ed; Thomson Reuters, 2018.

Scragg, Richard J.1948- , Scragg, Richard J; The principles of legal method in New Zealand ; 3rd edition; Thomson Reuters, 2016.

Spiller, Peter; Dictionary of New Zealand law ; [10th edition]; [LexisNexis NZ Limited], 2022.

All recommended texts will be available in the library. Students are not required to purchase texts.  The course coordinator will provide an introduction to the recommended texts at the start of the course.


Successful completion of this course (along with its co-requisite LAWS110) makes students eligible for consideration for selection for Laws 200 courses.

Students seeking to complete a BCJ degree ONLY (or a BCJ alongside any degree other than the LLB) should NOT enrol in this course or LAWS110.  Such students should take CRJU150 and CRJU160.  

Students seeking to complete a BCJ alongside an LLB should take LAWS101 and LAWS110 and NOT enrol in CRJU150 and CRJU160.  

First year students in the LLB and/or BCJ can obtain enrolment advice from Te Pātaka | Student Services Hub or the Liaison Office.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,737.00

International fee $8,975.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Faculty of Law .

All LAWS101 Occurrences

  • LAWS101-23W (C) Whole Year 2023