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 2022, 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 2021 and research project topics’.
  3. Approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which you have enrolled in Research Project, you will receive notification that you may now nominate your Host Unit. Once you have received that notification, 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. **

Approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which you have enrolled in Research Project (ie semester 1 or semester 2), you will be notified that you will be able to nominate your Host Unit for the subject by way of the process described above.

You must select your host unit by the end of week 2, as students can not be enrolled into a new unit after this time.


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 1 2022 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 1 2022 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 2022 and research project topics

The following elective units are available as host units, for the purposes of Research Paper, in 2022.

Semester 2 2022

Unit Chief ExaminerTopic
LAW4113 Current problems in criminal lawDr Stephen GrayConsider whether Victoria’s current laws criminalising so-called ‘revenge porn’ (or image-based sexual abuse) are adequate to address the harm caused by this form of conduct, without inadvertently criminalising innocent conduct.
LAW4132 Law of employmentStuart Kollmorgan

Even where remote work is possible as demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, Victorian employers are requiring employees to return to offices and shared workplaces:

(1) vaccinated (and with boosters) against Covid-19; and

(2) on a full-time or a number of days a week (‘hybrid’) basis.

in order to continue to be paid or retain non-financial entitlements.  (For instance, the Victorian Government and other employers have directed office attendance for 3 days per week.

Do employers have this right, where their employees may be dismissed or not paid wages if they refuse?  
If so, do exceptions apply?

Critically analyse the existence of this right from a variety of perspectives.

LAW4158 Indigenous people and the lawDr Stephen GrayFrom a legal perspective, the term ‘genocide’ is an inaccurate description of what happened during the process of European colonisation.  The crime of genocide did not exist at the time these events occurred; or if it did, what occurred did not satisfy the legal definition of genocide.
LAW4193 Biotechnology and the lawDr Karinne Ludlow

Compare and contrast the approach to genome edited animals taken in the Gene Technology Act 2000 (Cth) (as amended) with that taken in the proposed Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill 2022 (UK). You should also discuss what regulatory approach to the technology you prefer and explain your response.

Note that while ethical concerns may be noted in your answer, analysis of the correctness or otherwise of such ethical concerns will not be relevant in the assessment of the paper. Also, you can assume that the examiner understands the science and you need only explain scientific techniques where useful for your essay.

LAW4225 Construction law (dispute resolution)Dr Paula GerberHow could AI be used to improve the just and efficient resolution of construction disputes in Australian courts?
LAW4311 Succession lawRichard AntillIn New South Wales there is a scheme by which a family provision order may be made out of property affected by certain inter vivos transactions that disadvantage either the estate, an eligible person or the deceased (commonly referred to as “Notional Estate”). Should Victoria adopt a similar scheme?
LAW4313 International environment lawDr Gerry Nagtzaam‘The concept of ‘loss and damage’ in international climate negotiations is a game changer.’
Critically discuss this statement.
LAW4341 Copyright and designsDavid Brennan

Critically evaluate the following contention within the policy frameworks of Australian copyright law and copyright’s international treaty norms:

“For visual artists wishing to appropriate economic value from their creations, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) entail a type of technological exclusivity that serves as a vastly preferable alternative to the exclusive rights of copyright law.”

LAW4342 Patents, trade marks and unfair competitionDr Mel MarquisInnovators in the 19th and 20th centuries developed the concept and practice of "patent pools" (and “technology pools”) that in some cases facilitated the combination of technologies. Using international experiences, legal and economic literature and case practice, discuss the legal treatment of patent pools, focusing on their implications for, and treatment under, competition law in relevant jurisdictions; and apply the lessons learnt (in relation to law, economics and policy) from international sources to develop a suggested approach to the use, legality and legal analysis of patent pools in Australia. Take account, where relevant, of both the law as it exists (de lege lata) and the law as it ought to be (de lege ferenda) in your analysis.
LAW4542 AI, technology and the lawProfessor Chris Marsden“Veale and Borgesius argue that the AI Act is too broken to be of much use except as a corporate lobbying mechanism”. What can Australian legislators learn from the draft European Union Artificial Intelligence Act, with a view to regulating in the public interest?
LAW4702 Competition and consumer lawJulian ScarffIn a 2019 article, the former Chief Justice of the High Court, Robert French identified a special interaction between competition law and intellectual property (‘IP’) rights that distinguished it from all other forms of property and required a specialised response. Over the past decade, Australia's competition law, its competition regulator and Australian courts have engaged more intensively with IP rights issues. Nonetheless, to what extent do you see a coherent approach being developed to the regulation of IP rights under competition law – in one or more industry sectors? Where do you see the gaps remaining? How do you think these gaps might be filled?

Contact information

For further information about the Research Project unit, please contact:

  1. Law Undergraduate Student Services

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

    Online: Ask.Monash