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Law undergraduate studies

Apply for the Bachelor of Laws (LLB First Year) through the Dunedin campus in 2019

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Apply for the Bachelor of Laws (LLB Second Year and above) through the Dunedin campus in 2019

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Studying law at Otago has been the first step for some of New Zealand’s most prominent citizens, including former Prime Ministers, Governor-Generals and Chief Justices. Many high-profile business people have a law degree from Otago.

The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (LLB(Hons)) degrees are both four-year professional programmes. Most law students at Otago complete double degrees, using the flexible cross credit system, which opens up greater job opportunities.

Thinking of studying Law at Otago?


A good place to start is by reading the InfoSheet “Studying Law at Otago”. It explains LAWS 101 The Legal System, the paper you must take and what a law degree at Otago involves.

Read the Infosheet “Law at Otago”

Double Degrees

See what our students say about doing double degrees:

Otago Law Career Events

Meet our fantastic law lecturers and hear about studying law at Otago and the many opportunities that this will confer. The structure of the Otago law degree and the career opportunities the degree offers will be explained. These career opportunities are not limited to legal practice but range widely from business, through government departments to working for international organisations. Practical examples of how the law is taught will be a major feature of the session.

The career function is open to year 12 and 13 students. Parents are also invited to attend.

Find the events and times and register to attend one of these events online here.

Law Conundrum

The three videos below tell the story of the law conundrum taught by Professor Mark Henaghan in Laws 101. Professor Henaghan asks students to evaluate the legal and ethical implications of taking one life in order to save your own. This situation is based on a famous 19th Century UK court case known as Dudley/Stevens. This moral issue formed the basis of the 2014 Law television commercial which can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Watch the Faculty of Law, University of Otago advert.

Watch the YouTube clip of Otago Faculty of Law Dean Professor Mark Henaghan and students.

This video is a discussion on the morality and legality of taking the life of one person in order to save another or others. The discussion is used as an introduction to law and helps highlight the art of argument required to reach legal judgments.

The example in the video is based on a case from the 18th Century in which four British sailors, including Dudley and Stevens, were stranded at sea in a life raft after becoming shipwrecked. They managed to survive for a short time on rations, and caught some fish and used their clothes to collect rainwater.

After sometime their situation became desperate and three of the sailors (Dudley, Stevens and their counterpart Brooks) decided that action needed to be taken. The fourth occupant of the life raft, cabin boy Parker, had become ill due to excessive consumption of salt water and the decision was taken by the three sailors to kill him in order to consume his flesh to increase their chances of survival.

It was decided, though Brooks had a change of heart and pulled out, to say a prayer for Parker then take his life and this is what took place. Eventually the men were rescued and upon returning to the UK they were hailed as heroes, even by Parkers family. The authorities, however, took the view that they did not want a taboo subject, such as cannibalism, to be condoned and the court found them guilty on the basis that they should have sacrificed their lives as a group rather than take the life of the innocent Parker.

The example Professor Henaghan uses to illustrate this case is the movie Vertical Limit, which formed the basis for the climbing theme of the 2014 Law commercial and if you watch the third video (below) you will see this being taught to a 100 Level class.”

Watch a video of Professor Mark Henaghan teaching this to students.

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