Legal Studies Units 3 and 4


Legal Studies Units 3 and 4 is an ideal subject for those of you who are interested in the Australian legal system.

There are 4 outcomes in Units 3 and 4. These focus on:

  • the Victorian criminal justice system
  • the Victorian civil justice system
  • the people and the Australian constitution
  • the people, the parliament and the courts.

The emphasis of Unit 3 is the Victorian justice system. In this unit you will examine the methods and institutions in the justice system and consider their appropriateness in determining criminal cases and resolving civil disputes. You will investigate the extent to which the principles of justice are upheld in the justice system.

The emphasis of Unit 4 is the study of Australia’s laws and legal system. It involves an understanding of institutions that make and reform our laws, and the relationship between the Australian people, the Australian Constitution and law-making bodies. You will investigate parliament and the courts, and the relationship between the two in law-making, and consider the roles of the individual, the media and law reform bodies in influencing law-reform.

Who is it for?

If you would like to gain a thorough understanding of our legal system and how it operates, Units 3 and 4 Legal Studies is for you. You will find these units engaging by analysing and evaluating a variety of legal content.

What do you do?

This is a fully online course. Activities that you will be participating in and completing include:

  • skill building
  • note taking
  • class forums
  • online lessons
  • instructional screencasts
  • quizzes
  • self-assessments
  • case studies
  • short answer questions
  • extended responses.

What skills do you need?

You will need to have reading, comprehension and writing skills. The structure of this online course guides you through weekly work and activities. No prior experience in online learning is required.

You will benefit by having studied Units 1 and 2 Legal Studies, however this is not a compulsory requirement.

What skills do you develop?

The 2018-2022 study design has a strong emphasis on application skills. Some of the core skills are:

  • define key legal terms and understand how to use them appropriately
  • describe, discuss, interpret and synthesize legal information
  • develop skills in explanation and critical evaluation
  • apply legal knowledge and principles to relevant cases and issues
  • compare and evaluate aspects of the legal system.



You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. Weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

You are not required to purchase a textbook, however, if you wish to consolidate your learning with access to a textbook and read about different examples, we recommend the following textbook:

Justice & Outcomes Legal Studies VCE 3 & 4 (14th ed) Oxford University Press, 2017, ISBN: 9780190310363.

Things to think about

You will benefit from having an understanding of:

  • the role of parliament and the courts
  • the difference between criminal and civil law
  • law reform in the criminal and civil justice system
  • the Australian Constitution
  • current legal issues in the media.

Things you can do now

Become familiar with the 2018-2022 Study Design.

View the Legal Briefs video What is Law? which refers to legal processes and procedures. It’s a good starting point to reinforce any prior knowledge you may have on the legal system and begin to think about the principles of justice, equality and fairness.

Legal Briefs:
Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.




Things to have a look at

Victorian Law Foundation

The Victorian Law Foundation has collated an excellent bank of legal resources across Units 1-4. These include videos, downloadable PDFs and links to relevant websites.

High Court website

Click here to view the High Court of Australia website. Here you can read about the role, history and operation of the court. You are encouraged to access the student resources under the education tab, and listen to the documentary presented.