LAWS110-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Legal Foundations, Research and Writing

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


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 objectives of LAWS110 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 Māori rights under the New Zealand legal system, and the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi;
•  To introduce you to the historical development of New Zealand’s legal institutions and constitution;
•  To provide you with skills in the fields of logical thinking and argument; and
•  To introduce you to alternative conceptions of “law”.

Learning Outcomes

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

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


Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Natalie Baird


Neil Boister , Sascha Mueller and Adrienne Paul


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay One 19 Mar 2021 10%
Online Library Quiz 01 Apr 2021 10%
Essay Two 30 Apr 2021 25%
Final Exam 55%

The assessment is likely to consist of: Workshop Attendance (5%), Essay One (10%), Library Quiz (10%), Essay Two (25%) and a final exam (50%).

The details of the assessment for this course will be advised in the first week of lectures.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Morris, Grant; Law Alive: the New Zealand legal system in context ;

S Penk & M-R Russell; New Zealand law: Foundations and Method ;

Webb, Duncan, Ruru, Jacinta, Scott, Paul; The New Zealand legal system: structures and processes ;

Course links

Library portal


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

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $831.00

International fee $4,200.00

* 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

  • LAWS110-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021