MLJ712 - Family Law and Policy

Unit details

Note: You are seeing the 2021 view of this unit information. These details may no longer be current. [Go to the current version]

2021 unit information

Important Update:

Unit delivery will continue to be provided in line with the most current COVIDSafe health guidelines. This may include a mix of on-campus and online activities. To find out how you are impacted, please check your unit sites for announcements and updates. Unit sites open one week prior to the start of each Trimester/Semester.

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Last updated: 4 June 2021

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Michele Tucker
Cohort rule:

For M729 (Juris Doctor) students only



Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

1 x 2h class (recordings provided) + 1h online seminar (live streamed and recordings provided) per week


This unit aims to equip students with the knowledge and ability to apply, critically evaluate and effectively communicate family law, and develop a deep appreciation of major policy issues and developments in the law.

Topics include: the Family Law Act 1975, historical and jurisdictional developments in family law, property division, spousal maintenance, family violence, and marriage, divorce and nullity.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Construct a broad and sophisticated understanding of, and critical thinking about, the image of the modern family, and recognise and critically discuss, the sociological and legal factors affecting the family, and its formation, whether de jure or de facto/domestic relationship

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO6: Self-management


Discuss, analyse and explore the Jurisdictional and constitutional aspects of family law along with the significant policy debates and theoretical perspectives

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

Consider and identify legislation and case law to determine the difference between a de jure and de facto/domestic relationship, and apply the law to the circumstances that give rise to a valid application for a divorce in relation to a de jure marriage or a declaration of nullity or invalidity of marriage

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO5: Problem solving

Consider, identify, analyse and apply the law as it relates to division of property (including superannuation), the granting of spousal maintenance upon the breakdown of a de jure marriage or a de facto/domestic relationship and the methods for resolving disputes

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO5: Problem solving

Critically reflect on and analyse the concept of the importance attached to the rights of children under international and domestic law, and identify and apply the legislation and case law in respect of the best interests of a child

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO6: Self-management

Critically evaluate issues of family violence and the relevance it has on both process and substantive law in respect of parenting and financial disputes

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO6: Self-management

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year

GLO key: GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities, GLO2: Communication
GLO3: Digital literacy, GLO4: Critical thinking, GLO5: Problem solving, GLO6: Self-management, GLO7: Teamwork, GLO8: Global Citizenship


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week 
Assessment 1: (Individual) Research and prepare a memorandum of advice 2000 words 20% Week 6
Assessment 2: (Individual) Court submission and presentation

Court submission: 2000 words

Presentation: 5 minutes

20% Week 9
Assessment 3: (Individual) Family Law File 6000 words 60% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: MLJ712 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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