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September 13, 2010 | by  | in News |
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New Core in Store for Third Year Law

From next year, Victoria University law students face an extra compulsory hurdle on their path to obtaining a law degree.

In an email to law students early this month, the Faculty of Law confirmed that from 2011, LAWS 312 Equity, Trusts and Succession will now be a compulsory paper for undergraduate law students.

LAWS 312 takes the place of one elective paper and must be taken in the same year as LAWS 301 Property Law.

Prior to 2011, equity and succession was taught as part of LAWS 301, in accordance with Council of Legal Education requirements.

Deputy Dean and Deputy Head of School, Faculty of Law Gordon Stewart says the decision to teach the requisite elements separately was made by both faculty and student
representatives.

“Faculty and student representatives felt that teaching the subject in two courses would enable better coverage.

“Student representatives were involved in faculty discussions of the proposed changes at both Curriculum Committee level and at Faculty Board level.”

Any student who has completed Property Law before 2011 is restricted from taking the new course.

Although Stewart is unaware of any problems caused by the changes, students spoken to by Salient had mixed feelings about the development.

One student believes making the paper compulsory is a good idea.

“It is fantastic that they are making a whole paper on equity and trusts… I am really interested in that area of law.”

Another student is less pleased with the change.

“I was looking forward to the idea that after next year, property would be the only compulsory paper I would ever have to do.”

The restriction of the course for those who have already completed Property is provoking anger from many students who are disappointed they cannot take 312 in the future.

“I’m pretty gutted… It’s one of the law topics I’ve really enjoyed and have actually been able to apply to real life,” one student says.

The change may not be quite as significant as some students think, as the material formerly taught in LAWS 301 is now spread across the two compulsory papers.

“LAWS 301 and LAWS 312 together comprise the Council of Legal Education requirement that there be a course on property law… they are essentially two parts of the one whole… as they were when all aspects were delivered in LAWS 301,” Stewart says.

Aside from the effect of the changes, students have been disappointed by the lack of communication on the issue.

“I had to find out about the changes through a friend, and it wasn’t until several of my other friends made enquiries to administration that they finally decided to send out an email the next day to inform us of the changes,” a student says.

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