LAWS110-15S1 (C) Semester One 2015

Legal System: Research, Writing and Legal Foundations

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 23 February 2015
End Date: Sunday, 28 June 2015
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 6 March 2015
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 22 May 2015


The course aims to provide a foundation in the skills of legal research and legal writing together with an academic grounding in topics fundamental to the New Zealand legal system. The course will involve training by way of proactive exercises in legal research and legal writing. It will also examine the historical development of New Zealand's legal system, fundamental constitutional doctrines and the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi within the New Zealand legal system. The examination of the Treaty of Waitangi will be in a context of Maori customary law and Maori rights under the New Zealand legal system.

The objectives of Laws 110 are:
•  To provide you with a foundation in the skills of legal research and writing;
•  To provide you with practice in using law-specific databases to engage in legal research;
•  To introduce you to the legal issues relating to Maori rights under the New Zealand legal system, and the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi; and
•  To introduce you to the historical development of New Zealand’s legal institutions and constitution.

Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will, by the end of this course, be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
  •  The legal significance of the Treaty of Waitangi, and its role in New Zealand society;
  •  The history of both the English and New Zealand legal systems, and the relevance of this history to the modern New Zealand system; and
  •  New Zealand’s constitutional doctrines.

    A successful student will also be able to demonstrate competence in:
  •  Legal research, using a variety of primary and secondary sources; and
  •  Legal writing.


Timetable Note

The stipulated rooms have only sufficient seats for students allocated for each lecture stream and workshop group at enrolment.  Serious seating problems will arise if students arbitrarily shift lecture streams or workshop groups.  If you have an issue with your allocation please contact the School of Law Academic Administrator for assistance.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

John Hopkins


Natalie Baird and Moka Ritchie


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Essay One 20 Mar 2015 10% Essay One
Library Research Exercise 29 Apr 2015 10% Online Library Assignment
Essay Two 13 May 2015 20% Essay Two
Final Examination 60% Final Examination

Each student’s final mark is arrived at by a combination of marks for in-term assessments and the final examinations.  The assessment and percentages of the assessments will be advised at the commencement of the course.

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

No Aegrotat Consideration for In-term Assessments -
A student may not apply for aegrotat consideration for in-term assessments.

Final Examination -
The final examination will count for a percentage of the final mark.  Students will be advised of the date of the examination after the commencement of the academic year.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Joseph, Philip A; Constitutional & administrative law in New Zealand ; 3rd ed; Thomson/Brookers, 2007.

Krever, Richard E., Barkehall Thomas, Susan; Mastering law studies and law exam techniques ; 7th ed; LexisNexis Butterworths, 2011.

Miller, Raymond; New Zealand government and politics ; 5th ed; Oxford University Press, 2010.

Morris, Grant; Law alive : the New Zealand legal system in context ; 2nd ed; Oxford University Press, 2012.

Mulgan, R. G. , Aimer, Peter; Politics in New Zealand ; 3rd ed. ; Auckland University Press, 2004.

Orange, Claudia; An illustrated history of the Treaty of Waitangi ; Bridget Williams Books, 2004.

Palmer, G. W. R. , Palmer, Matthew; Bridled power : New Zealand's constitution and government ; 4th ed; Oxford University Press, 2004.

Spiller, Peter. , Finn, Jeremy., Boast, Richard; A New Zealand legal history ; 2nd ed; Brookers, 2001.

Spiller, Peter., Hinde, M.S., Hinde, G.W; Butterworths New Zealand law dictionary ; 7th ed; LexisNexis NZ, 2011.

Webb, Duncan et al; The New Zealand legal system : structures and processes ; 5th ed; LexisNexis, 2010.

Williams, Glanville Llewelyn , Smith, A. T. H; Glanville Williams - learning the law ; 14th ed. ; Sweet & Maxwell /Thomson Reuters, 2010.

Course links

Library portal


Successful completion of this course makes students eligible for consideration for selection for Laws 200 courses.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $737.00

International fee $3,450.00

* 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 LAWS110 Occurrences

  • LAWS110-15S1 (C) Semester One 2015