The Rule of Law Education Centre presentation to the Legal Studies Association Annual Conference on 31 March 2022 on ‘The relationship between the Rule of Law and the HSC Syllabus using R v Skaf.’


The Rule of Law Education Centre is an independent, non political, not for profit organisation that promotes the Magna Carta and principles of the rule of law to Australian school students.

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Presentation Outline

This presentation seeks to assist teachers in deepening their understanding of the principles underpinning the Rule of Law, their relationship with and applicability to the Legal Studies Syllabus and an examination of the use of these principles by the legal system in a case study, R v Skaf.  


1. What is the Rule of Law?

The rule of law is one of the fundamental democratic principles that our Australian society is based upon.  The rule of law at its most basic level is the concept that both the government and the citizens know the law and obey it.   

The Rule of Law Education Centre uses the Rule of Law Wheel to help explain the different principles that ensure citizens are governed by laws, made by elected representatives that are administered justly and fairly.  

These principles can be mapped to the Legal Studies syllabus using the criteria for effectiveness.


2. The Skaf Case

The Skaf case considers how the legal system deals with the ‘worst of crimes’ and provides a considerable amount of material and contexts to teach different components in the legal studies course including:

– Jury Misconduct for a fair and prompt trial

– Law reform

– Sentencing

– Appeals

To Download the Skaf Casenote, click on the image above or go to

Student Activity for Preliminary Legal Studies Part I: Law Reform


The activities for use by teachers and students at Preliminary and HSC levels have been designed to help students to understand the use of Rule of Law principles in the syllabus dot points by applying both in the context of the same case.  

Student Activity 1

Teacher Notes

Student Activities for HSC Crime Unit

Student Activity 1

Student Activity 2

Teacher Notes

Classroom Posters

The Rule of Law Education Centre has created Posters to be used on Smartboards and a paper copy was provided to teachers attending the Conference.  All of the Rule of Law Posters can be found at our website