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  • Law & Justice

    Law & Justice

Law & Justice

If you have a strong desire to make a difference in our world and are looking for a challenging and rewarding career, then our Law or Criminology courses are for you.

Developed in consultation with industry, our courses aim to equip you with the skills that employers seek. Our practical focus will ensure you graduate job ready by exposing you to a variety of opportunities such as work placements and mooting competitions.

Study Law Online

At ECU we understand that sometimes you need your studies to fit your life, whether its family commitments, full‑time work or you simply can't make it to campus.

We were the first WA university to offer an accredited online law degree degree meaning you can work towards your dream career no matter what the situation.

As an online student you will have access to all on-campus facilities, interactive learning spaces, recorded lectures and online discussion groups.

Experience the "Innocence Project"

Ever wondered what it’s like to stand up and fight a real case? ECU's Criminology, Law and Forensic Investigation students can have the opportunity to do just this through the Criminal Justice Review Project. Under the supervision of ECU academics and criminal barristers, selected students have the opportunity to join the "Innocence Project" which pursues the exoneration of those who have been wrongly convicted.

Hands-on experience with the on‑campus legal centre

ECU Law students may have the opportunity to work with real cases, under the supervision of legal practitioners, at the on‑campus Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre.

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. This partnership provides vital experience for our Law students.

Real-world knowledge

Our Law and Justice staff are committed to providing you with an authentic and challenging learning experience. They draw on their industry experience to develop teaching programs that address real-world issues and case studies.

Our lecturers and tutors actively engage with industry and the community to ensure students receive opportunities to develop their professional skills through relevant work placements.

An opportunity to gain practical insight

"I am completely satisfied that I have chosen the best university possible to complete my studies."

"I chose ECU because of the significance of the lady behind the name (Edith Cowan). I have grown up with a sense of social justice, and have always had strong female role models in my family."

"ECU Business and Law lecturers have a passion for law and justice that exceeds their role as lecturers. Their commitment to involve students in their work is impressive, and gives students an opportunity to gain practical insight into their particular field of study."

"I find the library and IT resources at ECU to be exceptional. Research seems so in-depth due to the great expanse of information available via the online databases."

Nella Watson-Lowe
Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Arts student

International Mooting Competitions

In recent years, ECU Law students have participated in various moots including the Vis Moot (International Commercial Arbitration) and LAWASIA competitions. The Vis Moot is one of the largest mooting competitions in the world and is conducted in Hong Kong and Vienna. The LAWASIA International Moot Competition is held annually in a different Asia-Pacific location each year with this year's event being held in Bali.

A team of ECU Law students has competed in the competition for the past four years. Senior Law Lecturer Mr Michael Crowley and Mr Anthony Hevron provide valuable advice, coaching and support to the student teams.

Law schools from all over the world participate in moot competitions, which pose a legal challenge that the teams are then judged on by a panel of distinguished international legal experts. "Mooting is an important part of legal education as it provides students with the opportunity to put their skills and training into practice. By involving our students in such competitions as the Vis Moot and LAWASIA, we hope to provide these prospective lawyers with the necessary skills for the real world," Mr Crowley said.

Criminology students gain industry insight with prison tours

Second year Criminology students were given the chance to experience their industry first hand, taking tours of Perth metropolitan prisons for their Correctional Studies unit.

Students were given the opportunity to visit Acacia Prison, Bandyup Women’s Prison, Casuarina Prison or Hakea Prison where they were given tours of each facility by prison staff, gaining insight into the operations and management of the facilities.

Student Andy Summers visited Acacia Prison, and found the experience both interesting and valuable to his studies. "The Operations Manager of the prison was very knowledgeable and we got to see a lot more of the prison than I expected." he said.

Law student says it in plain English

Congratulations to Bachelor of Laws student Peter Viney who was named one of the winners of the 2012 Plain English Drafting Competition, held by the Clear Writing Committee of the Law Society of Western Australia.

Peter joined five other WA students as the six winners of the 2012 competition and was the only first year student to win. 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 Western Australia and aims to encourage writing that communicates clearly and effectively to the intended reader. Students are set the task of applying clear writing drafting principles in a legal letter.

On the front line with DUMA

ECU students are gaining real-world experience through exciting programs such as Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA).

Working in collaboration with the WA Police and the Australian Institute of Criminology, the DUMA program seeks to measure drug use among people recently apprehended by police.DUMA currently collects quarterly drug use information from police detainees. The collection is the only ongoing survey of offenders. The program examines the relationship between drugs and crime, and monitors local drug markets and drug use patterns by detainees.

Law students mooting with the best

ECU Law students proved that our School of Law and Justice is punching well above its weight after claiming third place in an international mooting competition. Douglas Johnson, Kimberley Truong and Veenela Veerasamy travelled to Hong Kong in July 2012 to compete in the City University of Hong Kong International Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Moot.

The ECU team won through to the semi-finals in the Moot; an achievement School of Law and Justice Lecturer Anthony Hevron said was
something to be enormously proud of.

Douglas Johnson said the Moot had been one of the highlights of his time at ECU and thoroughly recommended the experience to any Law students.

ECU Criminology students learn beyond the classroom

Three ECU Criminology and Justice students attended the 2012 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.

Camille Warren, Kylie Fitch and Stephanie Mugliston competed against other ECU students to win a small grant to assist with flights and
accommodation. ECU has supported this event for the past 2 years and continues to be the only Western Australian university to be represented at the conference.

"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."

Kara Wright
Criminal Justice graduate

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.

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.

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.

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.



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