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In contemporary Australian society there is a range of complex laws that exist to protect the rights of individuals and to achieve social cohesion. These laws are made by bodies such as parliament and the courts and are upheld by a number of institutions and processes within the legal system. Members of society interact with the laws and the legal system in many aspects of their lives and can influence law makers.

The study of VCE Legal Studies enables students to become active and informed citizens by providing them with valuable insights into their relationship with the law and the legal system. They develop knowledge and skills that enhance their confidence and ability to access and participate in the legal system. Students come to appreciate how legal systems and processes aim to achieve social cohesion, and how they themselves can create positive changes to laws and the legal system. VCE Legal Studies equips students with the ability to research and analyse legal information and apply legal reasoning and decision-making skills, and fosters critical thinking to solve legal problems. Further study in the legal field can lead to a broad range of career opportunities such as lawyer, paralegal, legal secretary and careers in the courtroom.


This study enables students to:

  • understand and apply legal terminology, principles and concepts

  • apply legal principles to actual and/or hypothetical scenarios, explore solutions to legal

    problems, and form reasoned conclusions

  • analyse the institutions that make laws and understand the way in which individuals can

    engage in and influence law reform

  • understand legal rights and responsibilities, and the effectiveness of the protection of rights in


  • analyse the methods and institutions that determine criminal cases and resolve civil disputes

  • propose and analyse reforms to the legal system to enable the principles of justice to be




The study is made up of four units.
Unit 1: Guilt and liability
Unit 2: Sanctions, remedies and rights
Unit 3: Rights and justice

Unit 4: The people and the law

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