Expand your understanding with the Winter Law School at SCU

“In coming to the School of Law and Justice, you have taken your first, exciting step along the academic pathway that promises rich, intellectual, social, and professional rewards.” – Professor William P. MacNeil, Dean of Law, Head of School of Law and Justice

Southern Cross University’s (SCU) School of Law and Justice is dedicated to the success of future lawyers and paralegals. Here, programmes are comprehensive, relevant and rigorous, instilling students with the tools needed to shine in a competitive legal world.

This vibrant, contemporary and quintessentially Australian school boasts campuses in Lismore and the Gold Coast. With the attractions of Byron Bay close to Lismore, and views of the Pacific Ocean blessing Gold Coast campus windows, prospective students will be hard pushed to find a more inspiring location to pursue a law-based education.

Southern Cross University is proud to be an institution that stands out from the crowd. Acknowledging a sector rife with both demand and competition, SCU does all it can to give that something more. As such, the school has recently launched two brand-new programmes – the Bachelor of Laws and Creative Writing and the Bachelor of Psychological Science, Bachelor of Laws – offering trailblazing study pathways that give graduates an edge.

“Southern Cross University’s School of Law and Justice is a dynamic and stimulating place to study, whether online or on campus in picturesque Lismore and/or the vibrant Gold Coast,” Professor William MacNeil, Head of School, explains. “Our staff are committed to providing quality learning experiences for all of our students and we enjoy an enviable reputation for innovative teaching.”

As a counterpart of SCU’s Summer Law School which has been running for two decades, the Winter Law School at Southern Cross presents an unmissable venture into international law. The programme is socially poignant and intellectually stimulating, providing an unrivalled global insight into diverse legal contexts and dimensions.

SCU’s Winter Law School will see two units offered as Session Two intensives at the school’s Gold Coast campus, taking place from July 4-7, 2018. With 300 days of sunshine every year, you can rest assured that Winter in the Gold Coast is nothing short of stunning. Days are dry and mild, with temperatures ranging between 12.5 and 21.5°C. For potential students hailing from countries such as the UK, US and Canada, this is a warm and welcome retreat from what can often be underwhelming summer days.

The school’s Winter School units include:

Global Legal Pluralism


We live in an intricate world of interlinked communities. Some of these communities – including federal, state and municipal governments – are formal legal entities, driving coercive force in the service of bureaucratically-administered legal standards. Some, on the other hand, are non-state communities, built through religious, tribal, ethnic or other affiliations. All the while, others are transnational or international regulatory bodies that wield various degrees of coercive sanction or persuasive authority. The interweaving nature of these normative systems has often been described as ‘legal pluralism’. In a universal spectrum, it’s become ever more apparent that a single-minded focus on state-to-state relations or international norms is inadequate to describe the emerging global system, with its web of jurisdictional assertions by state, international and non-state normative communities.

Taught by one of the world’s most prominent theorists on the impact of globalization – Paul Schiff Berman of George Washington University – this module urges students to give a breadth and depth of thought toward the legal discipline, igniting curiosity about the way in which legal, quasi-legal and governmental systems best manage the interaction between law-constructing communities.


International Humanitarian Law


This unit offers an insight to the law of armed conflict. It delves into the fundamental principles of the concept, analysing such aspects as humanity, necessity, proportionality and distinction, all the while examining how these principles can be applied in practice. The course dives into specific legal topics such as targeting, detention and weaponeering, also studying various rules that are applicable in different contexts – including the distinction between global armed conflict and non-international armed conflicts, and the relationship between human rights law and the law of armed conflict. Here, students consider the accountability procedures for law of armed conflict violations, primarily war crimes, including investigation, criminal prosecution and war crimes. Participants will discuss revolutionary frontiers of the law, as well as issues caused by the use of autonomous weapons, privatization and cyber conflict.

This unit will be taught by George Washington University Professor, Laura A. Dickinson – expert in national security, human rights, foreign affairs privatization and qualitative empirical approaches to international law. The Professor is currently undertaking a one-year position as Senior Counsel to the General Counsel from the US Department of Defense and is renowned for her record of distinguished government service.

In addition to being academically rigorous and rewarding, SCU’s Winter Law School expertly blends those charmingly cooler Winter months with an unparalleled journey into the realm of global law. The programme will expand your horizons in the imaginative landscape of law, politics and culture, opening your eyes to a legal world you would never have previously discovered.

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