LAW4801 Research Project

Brief outline of LAW4801 Research Project

A student undertaking LAW4801 Research Project will be "attached" to a particular elective unit (the “host unit”). You will attend classes for the host unit in the regular way, and will (amongst other things) write a research paper on a topic set by the host unit's Chief Examiner that pertains to the subject-matter of the host unit. Please see the table located at the end of these guidelines for a list of the host units available in 2017, as well as the essay topics pertaining to those units (where these have been made available).

A maximum of 10 students will be attached to each host unit for the purposes of Research Project.

Although students will normally write research papers individually, students may, at the discretion of the Chief Examiner of the relevant host unit, undertake Research Unit in groups of 3 or 4.

Eligibility and prerequisites

There is no minimum GPA requirement for entry into the Research Project, however eligibility for entry into the Research Project relies on you having completed the following prerequisite subjects:

  • LAW1111 Foundations of Law
  • LAW1112 Public Law and Statutory Interpretation
  • LAW1113 Torts
  • LAW1114 Criminal Law 1
  • LAW2101 Contract A
  • LAW2102 Contract B
  • LAW2111 Constitutional Law
  • LAW2112 Property A
  • LAW3111 Equity
  • LAW3112 Corporations Law
  • LAW3402 Property B
  • And any three Law elective units.

Enrolling in LAW4801 Research Project

Eligible students will enrol through the Web Enrolment System (WES) in the usual way, however there is an additional step required in Moodle for students to select their ‘host unit’.  Please ensure that you make your selection carefully as once you have selected a host unit, it is unable to be changed.

Please follow the below steps to enrol in LAW4801 Research Project:

  1. Enrol in LAW4801 Research Project through the Web Enrolment System (WES).  For assistance with enrolling through WES, please visit the WES help for coursework students web page.
  2. Identify your host unit preference from the list available (see below ‘Research Project host units for 2017 and research project topics’.
  3. Enter Moodle and log in using your student ID and password.  For assistance with Moodle, please visit the Moodle Support for Students web page.
  4. Select LAW4801 Research project
  5. Under ‘Choosing your host unit’, click on ‘Host unit selection’.
  6. Select your host unit and click on ‘Save my choice’.**

**Please make your selection carefully.  Once you have selected a host unit, it cannot be changed. **

Please note that the application dates relate to both semester one and semester two host units.  Students may apply to amend their enrolment for semester two, however must have submitted an application within the application opening and closing dates published in the table below:

Key Enrolment Dates:

Applications Open for following year

31 October

Application closing date

17 February 2017

Outcome notification to all applicants

24 February 2017


We will endeavour to give each student their first preference of host unit, however the limit of 10 students per host unit means this may not always be possible.

In circumstances where more than 10 students wish to be allocated to a particular elective unit as the host unit for Research Project, enrolment will be based on a first come, first served basis. Students will assign themselves to the host unit in accordance with the availability of places in the host units, each of which has a quota.

Interaction with other units

You cannot enrol in Research Project unless you meet the prerequisites set out earlier in these guidelines. The prerequisites include successful completion of at least three other law elective units. Your enrolment in Research Project is otherwise independent of your enrolment in other elective units, even if that elective unit is your host unit for the purposes of Research Project.

This means that a student may be allocated to a particular host unit whether or not that student has previously undertaken that unit. Likewise, a student may enrol in an elective unit at the same time as that student is allocated to it as Research Project host unit.

For example, a student who is enrolled in Research Project in semester 2 2017 may be allocated LAW4129 Law and Discrimination as host unit whether or not that student has previously undertaken LAW4129. Likewise, a student who is enrolled in Research Project in semester 2 2017 with LAW4129 Law and Discrimination as host unit may also, at the same time, enrol in LAW4129 in the normal fashion.


For students who complete the research project as an individual activity:

1. Research skills modules (designed to help students develop the necessary skills to plain, research and write their research project) and quiz, completed online (10%)

2. Project plan (10%)

3. Research Project paper (4,000 words) (80%)

For students who complete the research project as a group activity:

1. Research skills modules and quiz completed online (10%)

2. Project plan - group activity (10%)

3. Online reflective journal entries on the conduct of the project - individual activity (10%)

4. Research Project paper (8,000 words) - group activity (70%)

Consultation with lecturers

The host unit classes that Research Project students attend will give them a suitable foundation for undertaking their research and completing their assessment tasks. This means that lecturers will not, in the normal course,be able to provide students with substantive feedback on any of the items listed under “Assessment” above, prior to submission. For example, they will not be able to tell students if their interpretation of the law regarding a certain matter is correct. Lecturers will not be able to read drafts of any of the items listed under “Assessment” above.

However, during one of weeks five, six or seven of the semester there will be a one hour class for each host unit (normally immediately after one of the normal classes for the unit) which is solely for Research Project students allocated to that unit. During this class, Research Project students will have the opportunity to discuss their Research Project progress with the Chief Examiner. For instance, you may seek advice about research and writing generally, or about particular difficulties you are having with the materials covered in lectures or with the writing of your Research Project paper.

Research Project host units for 2017, and research project topics

The following elective units are available as host units, for the purposes of Research Paper, in 2017.

Semester 1:

LAW4198 Australian Commercial Law

"'The Harper Review’s recommendation on reforming section 46 Competition and Consumer Act, and the subsequent moves by government to introduce reforms in the light of the recommendation, are misconceived' Discuss".

LAW4702 Competition and Consumer Law

"The regulatory framework for consumer credit is unnecessarily complex, and could be simplified without a reduction in consumer protections.

Discuss in relation to a particular aspect of the regulation of consumer credit under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

A Particular aspect that students may wish to discuss include any one of the following–

  • the laws and regulations regarding interest rate caps,
  • the responsible lending assessment requirements of lenders,
  • the substantial hardship provisions,
  • the requirements regarding warnings and disclosure,
  • the ways the laws and the regulator (ASIC) deal with anti-avoidance conduct (eg payday lenders using consumer leases to avoid some obligations under the National Consumer Credit Code)."

LAW4313 International Environmental Law

The topic will concern overpopulation.

LAW4155 International Human Rights 406

“Critically analyse the scope and content of the extraterritorial human rights obligations of States (ie their international human rights law obligations for human rights abuses which occur outside their territorial borders).”

LAW4122 International Law (Whitehall)

"Do you think that the right of peoples to self-determination offers a legal, ethical and/or political solution for the problem of failed  states or merely  reveals the ‘outdatedness’ of classical Westphalian sovereignty  as a viable measure of statehood?

Give reasons for your answer that critically analyse  resolutions  by the Security Council of the
United Nations about South Sudan after 9 July 2011."

LAW4122 International Law (Wilson)

The question will concern the sources of international law and the degree to which they have been used consistently by contemporary international tribunals.

LAW4164 International Refugee Law and Practice

“The Prime Minister recently announced that Australia would resettle a number of refugees from Central America. Should resettlement be focused on Australia's own region or is it good policy to have a worldwide focus which may include refugees from countries in Central America?”


“What are the implications of the definition of discretion requirements in s5 of the Migration dealing with refugee status?”

LAW4130 Law and Social Theory

“In what way, if at all, does the existence of law depend upon the existence of widespread social sentiments? In answering this question, you must consider the relevance of the differentiation and specialisation of roles that is characteristic of contemporary society.”

LAW4140 Media Law 2

“Is the Hore-Lacy defence (see David Syme & Co Ltd v Hore-Lacy (2000) 1 VR 667) good law in Victoria and other parts of Australia under the uniform Defamation Act and should it be so regarded?”

LAW4342 Patents, Trade Marks and Unfair Competition

“Analyse the implications of the Full Federal Court decision in Lodestar Anstalt v Campari America LLC [2016] FCAFC 92 for trade mark owners and licensees in Australia and compare and contrast the requirements for licensing in Australia with those in the United Kingdom and the United States.”

LAW4671 Private Investment Law

“Discuss and evaluate the policy rationale behind Australia's Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership program.”

LAW4704 Taxation Law (semester 1)

“Discuss the Commonwealth Government's recent superannuation reforms and whether they make the superannuation system more sustainable and equitable.”

Semester 2:

LAW4230 Animal Law

“Critically discuss the 2016 Greyhound Racing Ban in New South Wales as a case study that demonstrates certain qualities of the politics of, and processes of law reform within, the area of animal law.”

LAW4252 Chinese Legal Institutions and Laws

“Explain the two tier board system that operates in Chinese law in relation to corporations. What are the merits or otherwise of such a system in the Chinese context with regard to good corporate governance?”

LAW4190 Construction Law – Principles and Practice

“Many disputes on construction projects arise out of latent conditions. What do you think could be done to change the way latent conditions are dealt with, so as to reduce the number of disputes arising from this issue?”


“Many disputes on construction projects arise out of variations. What do you think could be done to change the way variations are dealt with, so as to reduce the number of disputes arising from this issue?”


“Many disputes on construction projects arise out of allegations that the work performed by the contractor is defective. What do you think could be done to avoid disputes arising about the quality of the work?”


“Compare the proportionate liability scheme in Victoria (in the Wrongs Act) with the proportionate liability schemes in other Australian jurisdictions. Which model do you think is the best, and why?”


“AS11000 was recently released as a new standard form construction contract in Australia. How does this contract compare with standard form contracts in other jurisdictions, such as NEC3 in the UK or ConsensusDOCS in the US? Which of these three contracts do you think is the best, and why?”


“There are many ways in which contractors can provide the principal with security for performance – bank guarantee, cash retention or insurance bond. From the principal’s perspective, which is the best form of security, and why?”

LAW4668 International Investment Law

"Investor-State Dispute Settlement System (ISDS) is severely criticisms, but more blame is attributable to the conduct of host states regarding foreign investment."


"Without change in the conduct of host developing states towards foreign investments, the expected reform in International Investment Law will not result in a different outcome for them (developing countries)."


"Developing countries tend to receive a fraction of global FDI flows, but they account for the vast majority of respondent states in investment arbitration. The problem is with their attitude towards foreign investment, not the system."


"Treaty shopping is a serious problem for international investment law but, in the age of a globalisation and dominance by multinational enterprises, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to address."


"Some developing countries are withdrawing from IIAs system. This is ill-advised because IIAs are important for FDI flows, and development."

LAW4199E International Law of Armed Conflict

“How does and how should the laws of armed conflict deal with groups such as ISIL?”

LAW4129 Law and Discrimination

“'The evidential burdens facing plaintiffs alleging illegal discrimination are overly onerous'. Discuss”

LAW4225 Non-Adversarial Justice

“What possibilities and problems do non-adversarial processes and theories present in relation to access to justice for vulnerable populations? Use one non-adversarial processes or theory explored in the unit to illustrate your answer.”

LAW4163 Parents, children and the state

“'Same-sex couples are not discriminated against under Australian family law'.

Discuss this comment looking at the two areas of:

i. same-sex marriage -  referring to the Constitution, the Marriage Act 1961(Cth) and the High Court case of The Commonwealth and The Australian Capital Territory [2013] HCA 55; and

ii. determining the best interests of the child for parenting orders under theFamily Law Act 1975 (Cth) - referring to relevant provisions of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and relevant case law.”

LAW4307 Pirates, Terrorists and People Smugglers

“‘The principle of the exclusive jurisdiction of the flag State over its vessels on the high seas has outlived its usefulness.’ Discuss.”

LAW4343 Sovereignty and Globalisation

"Sovereignty hangs around like a zombie, not knowing that it has died." (paraphrased quote from Martti Koskenniemi, ‘Legal Cosmopolitanism: Tom Franck’s Messianic World’ (2003) 35 NYU Journal of International Law and Politics 471, 485.) Critically discuss with reference to one or more examples from the course."

LAW4704 Taxation Law (semester 2)

“To what extent are a taxpayer's indirect objects in incurring an outgoing relevant in determining the deductibility of interest expenses under s 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997?”

Contact information

For further information about the Research Project unit, please contact one of the following, preferably by email:

  1. Law Undergraduate Student Services

    Phone: Monash Connect Contact Centre on 1800 MONASH (1800 666 274)

    Online: Ask.Monash

  2. Dr. Colin Campbell
    Phone: +61 3 9905 3313, Email: