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Across Units 1 to 4 in VCE Legal Studies students develop skills in defining and appropriately using legal terminology, discuss, interpret and analyse legal principles and information, and apply their legal reasoning and understanding to actual and/or hypothetical scenarios. The key knowledge areas covered in each unit are outlined as below.

Unit 1     Guilt and Liability
In this introductory unit students develop an understanding of legal foundations, such as the different types and sources of law and the existence of a court hierarchy in Victoria. Students investigate key concepts of criminal law and civil law and apply these to actual and/or hypothetical scenarios to determine whether an accused may be found guilty of a crime, or liable in a civil dispute. In doing so, students develop an appreciation of the way in which legal principles and information are used in making reasoned judgments and conclusions about the culpability of an accused, and the liability of a party in a civil dispute.

Unit 2     Sanctions, Remedies and Rights
Criminal law and civil law aim to protect the rights of individuals. When rights are infringed, a case or dispute may arise which needs to be determined or resolved, and sanctions or remedies may be imposed. This unit focuses on the enforcement of criminal law and civil law, the methods and institutions that may be used to determine a criminal case or resolve a civil dispute, and the purposes and types of sanctions and remedies and their effectiveness. Students undertake a detailed investigation of two criminal cases and two civil cases from the past four years to form a judgment about the ability of sanctions and remedies to achieve the principles of justice.

Unit 3     Rights and Justice
The Victorian justice system, which includes the criminal and civil justice systems, aims to protect the rights of individuals and uphold the principles of justice: fairness, equality and access. In this unit students examine the methods and institutions in the justice system and consider their appropriateness in determining criminal cases and resolving civil disputes. Students consider the Victorian court hierarchy, the different roles within the criminal justice system, and the ability of sanctions and remedies to achieve their purposes.

Unit 4     The People and the Law
This unit involves the study of Australia‚Äôs laws and legal system and the institutions that make and reform our laws. In this unit students explore how the Australian Constitution establishes the law-making powers of the Commonwealth and state parliaments, and protects the Australian people. Students develop an understanding of the significance of the High Court in protecting and interpreting the Australian Constitution. They investigate parliament and the courts, and the relationship between the two in law-making.  

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