Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


You are here:

Learning objectives

The New Zealand Curriculum does not state specific achievement objectives for legal studies at levels 6–8. Learning objectives have been developed to describe the intended outcomes for this subject.


The legal studies learning objectives are structured using two strands:

  • Legal concepts and principles
  • Legal systems and processes


A learner’s progression within each strand is driven by the student’s level of understanding and their increasingly complex thinking in the way they deal with the material, rather than additional layers of conceptual complexity at each level.

As they progress within each strand, students move from identifying and describing legal concepts and principles, to describing and explaining, and then to evaluating and analysing.

Learning objectives

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:
Strand Level 6 Level 7 Level 8
Legal concepts and principles Identify and describe legal concepts and principles. Describe and explain legal concepts and principles. Evaluate and analyse legal concepts and principles.
Legal systems and processes Identify and describe legal systems and processes. Describe and explain legal systems and processes. Evaluate and analyse legal systems and processes.

Legal studies contexts

Legal studies contexts can be drawn from the past or present and can be real or fictional. For instance, a concept of law could be the concept of a tort, or even more specifically the concept of negligence.

To apply the level 6 learning objective of 'identify and describe legal concepts and principles', students would identify and describe how the concept of negligence could be applied to a specific context. This could be:

  • a fictional context (for instance, the film Runaway Jury where a gun manufacturing company is the defendant in a lawsuit where the plaintiff alleges the company negligently manufactured and sold a gun to a madman who shoots her husband)
  • or a real historical context such as the story of Erin Brocovich where a chemical company negligently dumps waste resulting in harm to the workers and their families living nearby
  • or there may be contemporary local or national examples such as the victims of Auckland’s RSA shooting suing the Department of Corrections for granting parole to the shooters before the incident.

Whilst this guide suggests specific contexts to teach legal studies concepts, the selection of those contexts is a matter for each teacher or department to make for their own programme planning. Further guidance on this is provided in the learning programme design section.

Assessment tasks should require students to demonstrate their understanding of legal concepts through their application to specific issues and case studies.

Last updated February 3, 2011