VCE Legal Studies

VCE Legal Studies investigates the ways in which the law and the legal system relate to and serve individuals and the community. This knowledge is central to understanding the workings of contemporary Australian society.


Legal Studies examines the processes of law-making, dispute resolution and the administration of justice in Australia. Students develop an understanding of the impact of the legal system on the lives of citizens, and the implications of legal decisions and outcomes on Australian society. The study provides students with an appreciation of how individuals can be involved in decision-making within the legal system, encouraging civic engagement and helping them to become more informed and active citizens.


Students develop an understanding of the complexity of the law and the legal system and the challenges faced by our law-makers and dispute resolution bodies. They investigate the workings of the Australian legal system and undertake comparisons with international structures and procedures. Students are encouraged to question these systems and develop informed judgments about their effectiveness, as well as consider reforms to the law and the legal system.


Legal Studies also focuses on the development of skills. Students develop an ability to identify, collect and process information from a range of sources and engage in its interpretation and analysis. Skills for independent inquiry, critical thinking and legal reasoning to solve legal problems are also fostered. Students are required to apply legal reasoning and decision-making to contemporary cases and issues. They engage in analysis and evaluation of existing legal processes and form opinions about the operation of the legal system.




The study is made up of four units:
Unit 1: Criminal law in action
Unit 2: Issues in civil law
Unit 3: Law-making
Unit 4: Resolution and justice


Each unit contains between two and four Areas of Study.



There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education.