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 2019, 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 2019 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.


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 2019 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 2019 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 2019, and research project topics

The following elective units are available as host units, for the purposes of Research Paper, in 2019.

Semester 1


Chief Examiner


LAW4122 International law

Professor Jean Allain

"Consider the manner in which various external parties to the current Syrian conflict have conformed to established international law, as it relates to the legality of the use of force"; or
"Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations is effectively dead-letter law. Discuss";
"Asked to undertake a fact-finding mission to ascertain breaches of international humanitarian law in the Afghanistan conflict; prepare a report which focuses on the Afghan government’s actions and those of its leadership"; or
"To say that the United Nations’ human rights system has failed to protect individuals from human rights abuses is to fundamentally misunderstand that system. Discuss".
LAW4112 Advanced constitutional lawEmeritus Professor H P LeeTBA

LAW4140 Media law 2

Dr Sharon Rodrick

"Section 30 of the Defamation Act 2005 (Vic) (and its counterparts in the other jurisdictions) was intended to provide protection from liability for responsible reporting of matters of public interest, but in reality it has failed to do so. This is a result of the wording of the section and also of the way in which it has been interpreted by the courts.

Do you agree with this assessment of section 30?"

LAW4301 Advanced torts

Assoc Prof Normann Witzleb

"In light of judicial developments in other common law jurisdictions and changes in modern employment practices, should Australian courts recognise the concept of "dual vicarious liability", under which more than one employer may be held vicariously liable for an employee's misconduct? If so, in what circumstances would dual vicarious liability be appropriate?"

LAW4342 Patents, trade Marks and unfair competition

Professor Mark Davison


LAW4704 Taxation law

Professor Stephen Barkoczy

"Discuss the arguments for and against negative gearing and the different political approaches adopted in Australia and overseas to this issue."

LAW4151 Theoretical Perspectives on law, gender and feminismAssociate Proferssor Janice RichardsonTBA
LAW4164 International refugee law and practiceDr Maria O'Sullivan"The Global Compact on Refugees and Regional Protection"

Semester 2

Unit Chief ExaminerTopic

LAW4184 International human rights law

Professor Sarah Joseph

"Critically analyse the scope of the right to political participation in international human rights law"

LAW4230 Animal Law

Dr Joanna Kyriakakis


LAW4671 Private Investment Law

Professor Stephen Barkoczy


LAW4704 Taxation Law

Professor Stephen Barkoczy


LAW4129 Law and discriminationDr Colin CampbellTBA
LAW4132 Employment lawTBATBA
LAW4162 Family property and financial disputesAssociate Professor Adiva Sifris"Some are of the opinion that when dividing property between parties on  relationship or marriage breakdown, the proportion of the asset pool which is being awarded to women is greater than what may be considered ‘just and equitable’ in the circumstances.  With reference to decided cases, assess and analyse the judiciary’s response to the financial position of women on relationship or marriage breakdown and whether this reaction is justified. In your answer you should consider whether the existing legislative provisions are adequate".
LAW4193 Biotechnology and the lawAssociate Professor Karinne LudlowTBA
LAW4199 International laws of armed conflictTBATBA
LAW4313 International environmental lawAssociate Professor Gerry Nagtzaam"How can international environmental law best deal with the issue of plastic pollution?"

LAW4322 Advanced taxation law

Professor Stephen Barkoczy


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: