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LAWS353 The Law in the South Pacific

Introduction to the concept and the role of law in the context of Pacific island states (excluding New Zealand and Australia).

Paper title The Law in the South Pacific
Paper code LAWS353
Subject Law
EFTS 0.100
Points 15 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $710.30
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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96 LAWS points
Pre or Corequisite
Any 200-level LAWS paper not already passed
Limited to
LLB, LLB(Hons)

Teaching staff

Dr Lili Song

Paper Structure
  1. The South Pacific region and the law in the South Pacific before colonisation
  2. Colonisation, Decolonisation and Current Legal Systems in the South Pacific
  3. Legal Pluralism and Customary law in the South Pacific
  4. Courts, the Judiciary and the legal profession in the South Pacific
  5. Current issues

There is no prescribed textbook for this course, but the following two textbooks will be regularly referred to:

  1. Bernard Narokobi Lo Bilong Yumi Yet = Law and Custom in Melanesia (Institute of Pacific Studies of the University of the South Pacific & Melanesian Institute for Pastoral and Socio-Economic Service, Goroka(PNG), 1989)
  2. Jennifer Corrin and Donald Paterson Introduction to South Pacific Law (4th ed, Intersentia, Cambridge, 2017)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this paper, students will be able to:

  • Understand the historical evolution of the concept of law in South Pacific island countries
  • Understand and explain the current sources of law and their status in legal systems in South Pacific island countries
  • Understand and critically discuss the theory and practice of legal pluralism in the context of the South Pacific
  • Understand and critically discuss selected international law issues in the South Pacific
  • Critically reflect on the role of law in the context of the South Pacific

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-14, 16-22