Lessons in law from pop culture

gotPopular medieval fantasy Game of Thrones is giving Flinders University law students a vivid entry point for abstract points of law.

Short clips from the popular TV series are proving a helpful starting point in engaging with students, says Flinders University Law School lecturer Associate Professor Mary Heath.

“It references an historical period quite different from the period we live in, but with some similarities,” Associate Professor Heath said.

“The clips provide an accessible and very vivid and engaging way to open up concepts which you probably don’t think of when you watch Game of Thones.

“But they can spark increased awareness of rather ‘dry’ concepts in statutory interpretation, criminal law, legal philosophy and legal history, and give these subjects more relevance to students.”

Associate Professor Heath has also used clips from other series, including True Blood, Person of Interest, Dexter and Breaking Bad in these compulsory first and second-year subjects.

A summary of the novel approach to teaching law is outlined in an article in the Media and Arts Law Review co-written by University of Adelaide senior media lecturer Sal Humphreys.

“You can see how some students respond, with some who love the series bringing new ideas to the class, and others becoming more interested in going to the textbooks with greater understanding,” Associate Professor Heath says.

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