Australian Legal Principles and Institutions is an introductory unit which seeks to provide tertiary students from a non-legal background with a basic understanding of the Australian legal system. The unit begins with an examination of the principal institutions of the legal system, particularly the courts, the legislature and the executive arm of government; the sources of Australian law; the origins of the common law, the doctrine of precedent, the jurisdiction of the various Australian courts and the principles of statutory interpretation. The unit then moves on to examine the basic principles of contract law and the law of torts. The unit concludes with a final module of study on the fundamental doctrines and principles which underpin our criminal law. It is hoped that, by providing an overview of the key elements of the Australian system of law and government, this unit will empower and enable students to participate confidently in that system, both by the assertion of their rights and through the recognition and fulfilment of their responsibilities.