Law & Justice
Our Law and Criminology and Justice degrees will provide you with a practical legal education and open doors to a range of challenging and rewarding careers in the legal, corporate and social justice fields.
Study Law Online
At ECU, we know you want to work towards your dream career wherever you are, as well as manage your other commitments.
ECU was the first WA University to offer an accredited online law degree and offers a reputable and inclusive program.
Studying online doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the university experience. Our online students have access to interactive learning spaces, recorded lectures and online discussion groups.
Beyond the Courtroom
Law or Criminology and Forensic Investigation students are given a range of opportunities to gain practical experience. Students complete work placements and participate in client interviewing, competitions, moots, legal research and writing clinics.
This balance of theory and practice provides greater options for rewarding careers in and beyond the courtroom, including youth justice, social work, corrections, forensic investigation, law enforcement, customs and business, to name a few.
Drive (Reverse) the Charge for Social Justice
ECU Criminology, Law and Forensic Investigation students may have the opportunity to gain experience while working towards an important cause, with ECU's Criminal Justice Review Project.
This "Innocence Project" is committed to exonerating the wrongfully convicted. Selected students join the project to work on real cases and appeals, under the supervision of ECU academics and criminal barristers.
Get Hands-On Experience on Campus
Law students may be invited to assist with real-life cases under the supervision of legal practitioners at the on-campus Joondalup Community Legal Centre (JCLC).
The Centre provides legal information and advice to the community in the areas of family and criminal law, domestic violence, tenancy, elder abuse and some areas of civil law. For Law students this offers vital practical experience.
"The best aspect of studying at ECU is the close relationship that can be formed with lecturers; you know you're not just a number."
"I chose ECU for its innovative courses and its hands-on approach to teaching. The on-campus community legal centre is a bonus; it enables students to experience their chosen career. The campus grounds are lovely and the buildings and facilities are excellent. I love to sit by the lake and enjoy some time out between studies. Two highlights that stand out for me, so far, include receiving an ECU 'Excellence' scholarship and participating in a law moot competition in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam."
Laws/Arts double degree student
Groundbreaking study on the internet habits of teenagers
A recent study by ECU researchers found that almost a quarter of teenagers are online for four or more hours a day on non-school-related work. The report found that 85 per cent of respondents used social networks, while 75 per cent accessed sites such as Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis.
On the issue of unsolicited contact, 43 per cent of teenagers who had first met someone online, later met them in real life. However, teenagers were aware of the risks of interacting online – 60 per cent said they would tell someone before the meeting, usually a friend (82 per cent) or a parent (70 per cent).
The Tech Use and Safety Project was conducted by Dr Julian Dooley and Dr Adrian Scott from ECU's Sellenger Centre for Research in Law, Justice and Social Change. They collected data from nearly 800 West Australian high school students. The project was one of several innovative research initiatives undertaken by the newly created Social Wellbeing and Technology Laboratory (SWAT), part of the Sellenger Centre based at the ECU’s Joondalup Campus.
SWAT carry out research that focuses on social and group processes in the context of technology use, to further understand impacts on psychological and social health, wellbeing and safety.
Prescription drug use study
Researchers from ECU's School of Law and Justice have designed and helped implement a national study examining the use of prescription drugs among police detainees.
The survey found that nearly one in five respondents used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past 12 months, suggesting that the misuse of legal drugs is a growing concern in Australia.
The study is part of the Australian Institute of Criminology’s (AIC's) ongoing Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program. The program operates quarterly, with researchers around Australia surveying those detained by police to collect demographic, substance use history and criminal justice-related information.
The ECU team collected data from the East Perth watch house and also analysed the national data. Following an approach by the WA Police, the ECU team collaborated with the AIC to develop additional questions on the use of prescription drugs that provided further insights.
John Button and Andrew Mallard address ECU Criminology students
Wrongfully convicted duo John Button and Andrew Mallard joined students in the Psychology and Criminal Justice unit for a guest lecture. John and Andrew shared their stories and talked about the moral and ethical responsibilities people may have in their roles as police officers, lawyers and judges.
They emphasised the importance of maintaining integrity when working in these positions, and shared their thoughts on the reforms required in the criminal justice system to prevent further miscarriages of justice. At the end of the presentations, the students were given the opportunity to ask questions.
Ms Nikki Rajakaruna, Psychology and Criminal Justice lecturer, invited the guest speakers as she believed they could teach an important lesson to students. John Button now assists the Criminal Justice Review Project ('Innocence Project') based at ECU, in the review of other claims of wrongful conviction.
ECU Criminology students learn beyond the classroom
Five ECU Criminology and Justice students attended the 2011 Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) student forum held in Canberra. This is an annual one-day Criminology forum that gives students from across the country the chance to hear from leading criminologists in the areas of drug crime, trafficking, crime prevention and cyber crime.
The students were able to network with researchers, employers and students from other universities – and even fit in some sightseeing!
"The trip was more than just a conference; it was an entire experience in academia, networking and an appreciation for our political and social heritage," said student Aimee Adams.
Law students recognised by Department for Child Protection
Our third-year Law and Justice students completed 14 weeks of work experience in the Department for Child Protection's Civil Litigation Unit.
The Civil Litigation Unit acts on behalf of the CEO of the Department to conduct the legal claims of children in care. The students received training and practical experience in many areas, including administration applications, criminal injuries compensation and guardianship.
Students were given opportunities to attend proceedings in the Children's Court, Coroner's Court, the State Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court of Appeal, and made a significant contribution in progressing the legal claims of over 40 children in care.
This was the fourth program that ECU students have been involved in, with the program set to continue in coming years.
LAWASIA International Moot and VIS (East) competitions
The LAWASIA International Moot Competition is held annually in a different Asia-Pacific location. The VIS Moot (East) Competition is held annually in Hong Kong. Law schools from all over the world participate in the VIS Moot (East) competitions.
A team of ECU Law students has competed in both these competitions for the past three years, accompanied by Senior Law Lecturer Mr Michael Crowley, who provides invaluable advice, coaching and support. These competitions pose legal challenges that teams are judged on by expert panels.
"The best aspect of my course has been the network of support.
"From a young age I have enjoyed learning about human behavior and the thought processes behind peoples actions. I decided to complete my masters in criminal justice at ECU so I could gain a broader understanding of the criminal justice system, policy reform and how implemented changes can impact upon social issues.
"The masters program has proved challenging, but with the help, motivation and support of the law and justice teaching staff behind me, I feel confident in finishing a thesis I will be proud of.
"I have acquired indispensable skills such as conflict resolution, public speaking, working within a team, case management, learning how to present papers or reports and so much more than I had anticipated."
Criminal Justice graduate
ECU Law students take out top prized in legal writing competition
Two first-year ECU Law students were named winners of the 2011 Plain English Drafting Competition, held by the Clear Writing Committee of the Law Society of Western Australia. Shane Van Styn and Michelle Wilkes joined four other WA students as the six winners of the 2011 competition.
Over 100 entries were received from all four WA law schools. The entries were blind-marked by a panel of senior legal practitioners, with just six winners chosen.
The competition is open to undergraduate law students in WA, and aims to encourage writing that communicates clearly and effectively to the intended reader. Students are given the task of applying clear writing drafting principles in a legal letter.
Law students celebrate success at 2011 Tottle Partners Mooting Cup
ECU Law students were given a great networking opportunity to meet Mr Paul Tottle of Tottle Partners Lawyers, and members of his staff, at a lunch in the Perth CBD. Hosted by our School of Law and Justice, the lunch celebrated the students' success at the Tottle Partners Mooting Cup, where Law students Daniel Coster and Steven Hardey were named winners.
Mr Tottle also offered Daniel and Steven work experience at his law firm. Runners‑up, Florentina Min and Aatika Ismailjee, were also offered work experience and commented, "We have really enjoyed participating in the moot, as it has built our confidence. The experience has given us opportunities we never imagined.”"
Students Fight for Justice Beyond the Classroom
The Justice Awareness Group (JAG) is based at ECU. Comprising of Law and Justice students, academics and community members, who share a goal of promoting equity and justice in the WA justice system by encouraging public discussion. In 2011, JAG members organised a public event focused on the issue of wrongful conviction.
Intrigued by TV shows like Silent Witness, Law & Order and CSI?
If you've ever imagined yourself in a scene from Silent Witness, Law and Order or CSI and in pursuit of justice, consider a career in solving crimes. Our Bachelor of Forensic Investigation differs from other forensic courses by combining applied science with relevant Law and Justice units.
Graduates will be able to collect, analyse and interpret forensic data and present that evidence in court.