This course is an introduction to the common law system - the backbone of the Australian legal system and that of many countries around the world. The common law tradition stretches back to Medieval England but its guiding principles are still sound. The course provides an invaluable introduction to Australia’s common law system for students who have no formal knowledge of this area, including those with a legal qualification from countries with a civil code jurisdiction.

Highlights include the key features of the common law, the Australian legal system and its sources, and the role of case law and statutory law. This knowledge enables students to develop their understanding of the common law system of justice and see how it differs from other legal systems. Students visit a court and are encouraged to develop their legal research skills through an introduction to the methodologies involved in discovering and applying the law and comparing legal systems.

Topics covered include:

  • The Australian Legal and Political System and Constitutional Framework
  • The Development of the Common Law in Australia
  • Australian Courts of Law and other legal institutions
  • Operation of Case Law and Precedents
  • Relationship between Statute Law, the Common Law and Equity
  • Statute law - enactment and interpretation
  • Adversarial System; juries; and evidence
  • Access to Justice & Legal Pluralism: the Challenge of Inclusion
  • Indigenous Australians and the case of Mabo
  • Australian Courts and Proceedings (Discussion and Court Hearing Scenarios)
  • Future Directions and Overview

Dr Barbora Jedlickova​

Dr Barbora Jedlickova

Dr Barbora Jedlickova joined the TC Beirne School of Law as an Associate Lecturer in February 2011. Previously, she worked as a Lawyer in the Czech Republic and as a Contracts Officer/Assistant Contracts Manager at both the University of St Andrews and the University of Glasgow in the UK. In 2009, she was a trainee (a blue-book 'stagiaire') of DG Competition at the European Commission in Brussels and she was a visiting scholar at the University of Iowa in the USA. She holds degrees from the University of Glasgow in the UK (PhD in Law, 2012; and LL.M. with Commendation in International Competition Law and Policy, 2007) and from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic (2004).

Dr Jedlickova's research interests lie in the field of comparative competition law. Her research has focused primarily on vertical restraints; bargaining power; and economic and jurisprudential theories and arguments in competition law. Her research also includes analysis of specific markets with distinctive issues such the grocery retail market, the pharmaceutical market and the telecommunication market.

Dr Jedlickova is a Fellow of the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law at the TC Beirne School of Law.

Course information

Course code

Semester 1: 16, 17, 19, 26 Feb; 5, 12 March
Semester 2: 20, 21, 23, 30 July; 6, 13 August


This course may also be taken as a CPD course or a non-award course.