List A

Politics and law is a critical study of the processes of decision-making concerning society’s collective future. The study of politics examines the structures and processes through which individuals and groups with different interests, beliefs and goals, deliberate and negotiate in order to make choices, respond to changing circumstances and enact laws. The study of law examines the system of laws governing the conduct of the people of a community, society or nation, in response to the need for regularity, consistency and justice based upon collective human experience.

A close relationship exists between politics and law. They relate through the judicial, executive and legislative arms of government; together they constitute how societies are governed. Laws generally embody social and political values that usually have a philosophical foundation.

The Politics and Law ATAR course aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the principles, structures, institutions, processes, and practices of political and legal systems, primarily in Australia and where appropriate, other systems and/or countries. The course challenges students to critically examine the effectiveness of political and legal systems using criteria, such as openness, responsiveness and accountability of those systems. The course provides for both a chronological and contemporary understanding of political and legal issues in society.

The skills and values developed in the Politics and Law ATAR course aim to allow students to become informed, active and effective participants in the political and legal decisions that affect their lives within society.

The study of the Politics and Law ATAR course contributes to students’ intellectual, social, and ethical development. The course aims to support all students in developing a sense of identity, and a sense of political, legal, cultural and social awareness.

The study of the Politics and Law ATAR course can be a valuable background to careers in law, political advocacy, public administration, international relations, foreign affairs, community development, teaching, journalism, human resource management, government and commerce.

Politics & Law – Year 11 

Unit 1 Democracy and the Rule of Law

This unit examines the principles of a liberal democracy; the legislative, executive and judicial structures and processes of Australia’s political and legal system; the functioning of a non-democratic system; and the processes of a non-common law system.

Political and legal developments and contemporary issues (the last three years) are used to provide a framework for the unit.

Unit 2 Representation and Justice

This unit examines the principles of fair elections; the electoral and voting systems in Australia since Federation, making reference to a recent (the last ten years) election in Australia; the electoral system of another country; an analysis of the civil and criminal law processes in Western Australia; and an analysis of a non-common law system.

Political and legal developments and contemporary issues (the last three years) are used to provide a framework for the unit.

Politics and Law – Year 12 

Unit 3 Political and Legal Power

This unit examines various aspects of the political and legal system established by the Commonwealth Constitution (Australia), including the roles and powers of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, with a comparison to a non-Westminster system; the influence of individuals, political parties and pressure groups on the law making process of parliament and the courts; and the operation of federalism and the balance of power between the Commonwealth and the States in Australia.

Political and legal developments and contemporary issues (the last three years) are used to provide a framework for the unit.

Unit 4 Accountability and Rights

This unit examines the structures, processes and procedures of accountability in relation to the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government in Australia; how rights are protected, and democratic principles can be upheld and/or undermined, in Australia and one other country; and the experience of a particular group with respect to their political and legal rights in Australia.

Political and legal developments and contemporary issues (the last three years) are used to provide a framework for the unit.

Students explore aspects of their personal world, aspirations, values, opinions, ideas and relationships with others. They also study topics from the perspectives of other people such as individuals and groups within French speaking communities. They develop an understanding of how culture and identity are expressed through language. Students will look at the changing world by exploring information and communication technologies and current issues in the global community.