COMMLAW 1004 - Commercial Law I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

An introduction to the legal system including the roles of the Constitution, parliaments and courts. An introduction to the basic rules of commercial law including breach of contract, the tort of negligence, liability for unsafe products, misleading conduct and unconscionable conduct.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMLAW 1004
    Course Commercial Law I
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Quota A quota may apply
    Course Description An introduction to the legal system including the roles of the Constitution, parliaments and courts. An introduction to the basic rules of commercial law including breach of contract, the tort of negligence, liability for unsafe products, misleading conduct and unconscionable conduct.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr John Tretola

    Semester 2 Lecturer in charge

    Assoc Prof Christopher Symes
    Location:Room 2.23 Ligertwood Building
    Telephone: 8313 4452  
    Consultation: Thursdays 3 - 5pm.

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
     Course Learning Outcomes
    1. To understand and appreciate the functioning of law and legal systems;
    2. To understand legal citation conventions in the course of legal writing
    3. To be able to apply those principles to problem-solving exercises;
    4. To develop a knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of business law in Australia;
    5. To develop the capacity to analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources and experiences;
    6. To have an awareness of the incompleteness of law and the continuous state of development of legal principles; and
    7. To develop development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
    8. To apply good inter-personal and communication skills in both written and oral communication and independently and as a member of a team.
    9. To further enhance written and oral skills in the explanation of, analysis and synthesis of legal principle;
    10. To develop an ability to critically analyse and apply legislation, rules and cases in context.
    11. To develop the capacity to identify factual and legal issues.
    12. To develop competence in problem-based practice in the application of the law;
    13. To develop the capacity to identify factual and legal issues.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 12, 13
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1, 2 , 3 , 4, 5, 6, 7
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2 , 3 , 4, 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3 , 4 , 5 , 6, 7
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 6, 7, 8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Law in Commerce by Brendan Sweeney, Jennifer O’Reilly and Andrew Coleman, 5th edition, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2013.

    Recommended Resources
    A useful resource for legislation and cases in all Australian jurisdictions is:
    Online Learning
    Copies of the lecture slides, lecture recordings, tutorial questions and assignment instructions will be available on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    There will be two one hour lectures per week over the course of this semester in this subject and for the first week of lectures students will be given an understanding of the Australian legal; system such as the role of the courts and court structure and approaches to interpreting legislation. In weeks 2 to 6 students will be given the basic information necessary to determine whether a contract has been formed, what terms are included as part of that contract and what remedies exist if there is a breach of contract. 

    Two teaching weeks will be allocated to discussing the law of negligence and how it affects business relationships. The remainder of the course will focus on consumer protection legislation issues such as those surrounding the manufacture and sale of unsafe goods; misleading and deceptive or unconscionable conduct in trade and commerce and some basic issues concerning the law of agency.

    It is a requirement of this course that students undertake the prescribed preparation for tutorials and that every student speaks at every tutorial. 

    Please refer to Access Adelaide for your timetable and enrolment details.

    Classes will be held weekly commencing the week beginning Monday 10th March 2014. Membership of tutorial classes is to be finalised by the end of the second week of semester. Students wishing to swap between tutorial classes after this time are required to present their case to the lecturer-in-charge, but should be aware that such a request will be unlikely to be approved in view of attendance and preparation at tutorials being assessed.

    Tutorials are an important component of your learning in this course. The communication skills developed in tutorials by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from the Course Planner at

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (ie those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that, for this course, you are expected to commit approximately nine hours per week to private student, that is, study outside of your regular classes.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one tutorial class each week. Lectures will be 50 minutes each and will be held on Tuesdays at 12.10pm and Thursdays at 11.10am in the Florey Lecture Theatre.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Course Timetable

    Week Topics Tutorials

    1 Introduction/The Legal System/Statutory Interpretation -
    2 Contracts - Formation
    3 Contracts - Formation/Express Terms
    4 Contracts - Express terms/Implied Terms
    5. Contracts - Implied terms/Remedies
    6. Contracts-ending

    Mid semester break

    7. Class Test/Tort of Negligence
    8. Tort of Negligence
    9. Unsafe Goods
    10 Misleading conduct
    11 Unconscionable conduct/ unfair contract terms/ law of agency
    12. Exam Review
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Tutorial Papers                    10%

    This assessment task is both formative and summative and addresses learning objectives 1-4.

    Assignment                          20%

    This assessment task is both formative and summative and addresses learning objectives 1-4.

    Final Exam                            70%

    This assessment task is summative and addresses learning objectives 1-4.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment requirements are all compulsory and non-redeemable.
    Assessment Detail
    The assessment components are as follows:

    Tutorial Papers             10%

    Students will be assessed on the standard of the written answers submitted at the start of each tutorial. This is worth 10% of the final grade. Due Date: papers must be submitted at the start of each tutorial for the paper to be assessed. Papers submitted for assessment will be returned at the following week’s tutorial.

    Assignment                          20%

    The assignment will require a written answer to a legal problem of the type that will occur in the final exam. The assignment is worth 20% of the final grade.

    Due Date: 4.00pm on Thursday 1st May 2014.

    To be lodged in the Law School foyer, Ground Floor, Ligertwood Building in the assignment submission box. An assignment cover sheet must be attached and this must show the student’s number and be signed. The student’s name does not need to be shown on this assignment cover sheet. A copy of the assignment also needs to be lodged electronically on Turnitin.

    Final Exam                            70%

    There will be a three hour exam. It will be a closed book exam. The exam is worth 70% of the final grade.


    Assignment Submission
    · Please retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    · Please attach an ‘Assignment Cover Sheet’, which is signed and dated by you before submission.

    Lecturers can refuse to accept assignments, which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism.

    Late Submission
    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons. All requests for extensions must be emailed to the lecturer in charge of the course before the due date and must clearly describe the written evidence that will be attached to the assignment. Each request will be assessed on its merits. A late assignment (without prior arrangement) will be penalised by a 5% mark reduction for each day that it is late.

    Return of Assignments
    Lecturers aim to mark and return assignments to students within two (2) weeks of the due date. Students are responsible for collecting their marked assignments from their tutorial class. Assignments will be available for collection for up to two (2) weeks after the results have been released.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.