Skip Navigation
Online Bookstore Book Supplements Newsletter Subscription For Academics For Bookshops For Authors About Us JournalsHolt Prize
Legal Technique

Legal Technique

By Christopher Enright

This title is no longer stocked by us. It is now available directly from Christopher Enright:
How should lawyers go about their tasks in working with law, in making, interpreting, using, reading and writing law?

Enright's book describes clear and simple techniques for working with law. It explains why the technique is needed and what it achieves, and then provides a model for doing it. Each model consists of a step by step guide for performing the relevant task.

Legal Technique is structured to be the textbook in an introductory law course where the techniques are described, and intended for re-use in later courses on substantive law where these techniques must be further taught and practised in the context of those subjects.

Legal Technique is accompanied by a free Legal Technique eWorkbook (see Supplement) containing materials, questions and answers. Included are exercises for working with statutes, cases, legal texts and for solving legal problems; further exercises to practise approaches to common law and statutory law subjects generally; and specific exercises for the subjects 'Introduction to Law', 'Constitutional Law', and 'Property Law'.


The State
Philosophical Concepts
Things Lawyers Use
Matters Lawyers Perform
Making and Interpreting Law
Policy: Making Law
Policy: Interpreting Law
Precedent: Ratio Decidendi
Precedent: Stare Decisis
Precedent in Use
Other Sources of Reasons
Weighing Reasons
Displacing Reasons
Using Law
Tasks in Using Law
Organising Law
Micro Analysis
Legal Consequences
Check List of Elements
Macro Analysis
Organising Law: Illustrations
Establishing Facts
Proving Facts With Evidence
Versions of Truth
Probability of Truth
Standard of Truth
Creating Facts With Procedures
Applying Law to Facts
Interpreting Law
Writing and Reading Law
Writing Law
Reading Law

References/ Index


The author’s thesis in writing this book as a primer for law students is that “There is a distinction between implicit and explicit knowledge of a technique. When a person has explicit knowledge, they have the technique in their conscious mind so they are aware of what it is. With implicit knowledge, however, the technique is not in the person’s conscious mind and they are not aware of what it is. Therefore they are not conscious of how to do the task in question.”
This theme of seeking to make everything “explicit” underpins the whole book. Broadly the topics covered are making, interpreting, using, teaching and writing law.
Each chapter sets out in a logical way the analysis of the author’s argument. An example from chapter 27 deals with “Using Law’ illustrates the author’s methodology. In his opinion, there are four steps, namely:
  1. Organising law into checklists of elements and consequences which apply when those elements are satisfied.
  2. Establishing the facts of the matter, because only then can it be ascertained that they are the facts to which the law applies.
  3. Application of the law to the facts.
  4. Interpretation of the law if it is ambiguous.
All students would be taught to apply this schema to trying to resolve legal problems. No one would have any quarrel with that. The overarching question for this reviewer, however, is whether the author has overstated his thesis. … The teaching of law, particularly in its early years, should expose the student to a variety of approaches – historical background, social setting and jurisdictional underpinning.

Law Institute Journal (Vic), June 2003


Table of Contents

The full Table of Contents is provided as a PDF file (7 pages).

This extract is in PDF Format see below for instructions regarding PDF.


Legal Technique e-Workbook

This eWorkbook is available in PDF format. It is provided as a service to our clients, in particular to lecturers and students using Legal Technique as a text. The Federation Press hereby grants permission to all to download the eWorkbook free of charge for the purposes of private study.

How to View this eWorkbook
To work online, simply open the Table of Contents. You can then click through each of the four parts to the sub headings.
To work offline, download the Table of Contents and each of the four parts, and save them to your hard disc. You can then access all the files by opening the Table of Contents.

This supplement contains files in PDF Format see below for instructions regarding PDF.


To view PDF files you will require the Adobe Reader - free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files - which can be downloaded from the Adobe Web Site.

The following link will take you to the Adobe website. Click here to download the viewer if you do not have it.

Get Adobe Reader


Published March 2002
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862874121

No longer stocked by us

Law - Introduction to Law
Law - Legal Interpretation

        BACK TO TOP