Legal language is not a universal language – it is dependent on culture and intertwined with individual societies and their unique legal systems. This Legal Terminology course is ideal for legal secretaries, legal assistants, paralegals and legal administration assistants.
This legal terminology course is also useful for anyone who deals with this particular terminology — from journalists, accountants, public servants and those in the legal and law enforcement professions, to those who need to buy a property or prepare a legal document.
You will learn about the scope and nature of legal terminology, how it is used in the legal workplace and legal systems and different types of law. You will study the common legal languages, legal terms, the people and processes involved in law, and different legal systems across the world. You will also gain insights into property, criminal, contract, business, estate, family, insurance and accidents compensation law.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a legal terminology course include:
- Learning about codification, the origin of legal words and the development of legal language
- Exploring common legal language and the role of Latin in the development of law and legal language
- Studying the sources and broad categories of law, common legals terms and the essential features of the Westminster system
- Gaining insights into substantive, procedural, private, public, civil, common, administrative and accusatorial law
- Examining civil, constitutional, continental, contract, common, criminal, intellectual property, international, inquisitorial, property, public, Islamic and Roman law
- Understanding socialist, statute, tort, trust law and the separation of powers (judicial, legislative and executive)
- Learning about the legal workplace including people and processes
- Exploring attorneys, advocates, barristers, solicitors, criminal defence lawyers, corporate lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers, civil lawyers, court solicitors, court agents and paralegal professionals
- Studying law courts and the role of courts
- Gaining insights into general, limited, criminal, monetary, original, intermediate, appellate, ancillary, concurrent, exclusive, pendent and subject matter jurisdiction
- Understanding appellate, civil, constitutional, article, circuit, county, district, family, federal and full courts
- Learning about juvenile, magistrate’s, open, probate, small claims, superior and supreme courts
- Exploring court of assize, court of equity, court of record, privy council, the international court of justice and the international criminal court
- Studying legal systems – Australian, UK, and international
- Gaining insights into civil law, codification of law and the separation of powers
- Understanding contract and business law and the nature of contracts
- Learning about unilateral, bilateral, formal and simple contracts
- Exploring agreement, validity and enforceability
- Studying rules as to offer, rules as to acceptance of an offer, revocation of an offer, rules as to rejection of an offer and rules as to the lapse of an offer
- Gaining insights into the intention to create legal relations, rules relating to consideration, lawful object and capacity to contract
- Understanding the discharge and conclusion of a contract and the formation of a simple contract
- Learning about property law – real, personal and intellectual property
Historic Court Cases in Australia
Although many court cases follow existing laws, some cases set new precedents or interpret the law in different ways. As a result, some cases become controversial and historic, and influence how future cases are viewed for years to come. Here are some of the most famous cases in the history of Australian law that may inspire you to undertake a legal terminology course.
1983: Commonwealth vs Tasmania
This was not only a constitutional landmark, but an environmental victory. The case saw the Tasmanian and Federal governments clash in the High Court over the construction of a hydroelectric dam. While the Tasmanian Government believed that they had a legal right to build the dam, the Federal Government opposed it under the World Heritage Convention. The Federal Government won a 4:3 majority in the High Court, setting not only a new legal precedent, but also preserving a key piece of Australian wilderness.
1984: Chamberlain vs the Queen
This murder trial was one of the most widely broadcasted in history. The case centred around the death of an infant on a camping holiday to Uluru. The prosecution claimed that she had been murdered by her mother, while the mother claimed the child had been taken by a dingo.
In spite of poor eye witness testimony that often backed the defendant, a forensic scientist who had their evidence overturned in previous trials, and questionable blood testing, Lindy Chamberlain was found guilty. New evidence emerged in 1986 that the child may have in fact been killed by a dingo (which was corroborated in 2012), meaning that Chamberlain was released and eventually acquitted.
1988: Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd vs Maher
This was a case of contract law and established promissory estoppel as its own cause of action. This means that even though a contract hadn’t been signed, it could still be enforced because it was “promised”. Although it was deemed that the Mahers did not have a contract with Waltons and were left with a half re-built building, the court found that the Waltons owed damages to the Mahers because they led them to believe that a contract was merely a formality.
1992: Mabo vs Queensland
This is one of the most famous court case in Australian history. The case rewrote national land law, recognising indigenous Australians as the original inhabitants of Australia. It also ultimately led to indigenous Australians securing an apology from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Overall, the case took over a decade to reach the final conclusion, allowing indigenous people across Australia to claim traditional rights to unalienated land.
2004: Al-Kateb vs Godwin
The case of Ahmed Al-Kateb is Australia’s most famous and controversial immigration case. Born in Palestine to Kuwaiti parents, Al-Kateb was stateless. When he was refused a temporary protection visa in Australia, he could not be returned to his country of origin.
In its ruling, the High Court decided that he could be detained indefinitely and that it was lawful to indefinitely detain any stateless person. Huge controversy surrounded the decision, which led to Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, reviewing the cases of 24 stateless people in immigration detention. In addition, other countries found this indefinite detention unlawful due to theEuropean Convention on Human Rights. Al-Kateb was eventually released and awarded a permanent visa in 2007.
2013: The Commonwealth vs ACT
In this 2013 plebiscite, Australia voted in favour of same-sex marriage, and in December 2017, Parliament approved a change in the law. However, before that, there had been efforts to legalise same-sex marriage. The ACT used the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 to try and build on the existing recognition of same-sex unions in the ACT, which included civil partnerships and civil unions. The Act came into place on 7 November 2013, but after a challenge in this court case from the High Court of Australia, it was struck out by 12 December 2013.
The Commonwealth argued that the Act was in conflict with the Federal Marriage Act 1961, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. The High Court ruled that the Act was inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act and therefore could have no legal effect. However, the Court also said that the scope of the “Marriage Power”section of the Marriage Act was broad enough that it could include marriages between same-sex couples.
2016: ACCC vs Reckitt Benckiser
This court case involved a well-known brand and serves as a warning to businesses not to misrepresent their products. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched legal action against Reckitt Benckiser, the UK-based firm that makes the painkiller Nurofen. The claim was that Nurofen was misrepresenting their products by labelling different Nurofen tablets as being able to target specific types of pain.
For example, one tablet claimed to be for back pain, while another was supposedly for migraines. Not only that, but they said that these tablets contained the same generic ingredients as standard Nurofen, but were priced significantly higher.
The court ruled that Reckitt Benckiser had misled customers and that the different pills all contained the same active ingredient. The court ordered the products be removed from shops within three months. The company was also ordered to pay a $1.7m fine, but this was increased to $6m following a consumer watchdog appeal.
Gain a broad understanding of the law and legal terminology and increase your knowledge of government and community law both personally and professionally with a legal terminology course.