OnlineSession 2N/A

Unit description

Explores the discursive conventions of Law, a discipline predicated on powerful narratives and solid rhetorical practices while simultaneously denying that it is anything other than the simple application of known and certain rules. As Wetlaufer notes “Rhetoric offers us a set of tools for thinking about the discursive conventions within which we work”.  Students will have the opportunity to explore Law’s rhetoric and the stories it tells about itself while developing their own rhetorical toolboxes, drawing upon classical traditions from Plato, Quintillian and Socrates to the new rhetoric identified by Chaim Perelman

Unit content

  1. Law as Rhetoric and its denial of its own rhetoric
  2. Discipline specific discursive conventions
  3. Law’s discursive conventions
  4. Law as syllogism
  5. The three appeals – pathos, ethos and logos
  6. The role of narrative and analogy in law
  7. Unpacking the Rhetorician’s toolbox – from Alliteration to Synedoche
  8. Tools and techniques for analysing and critiquing discursive conventions

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 2

  • Prescribed text information is not currently available.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
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Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 3

Fee paying courses
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