COMMLAW 1004 - Commercial Law I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course introduces students to the key features, institutions and principles of the Australian legal system, including the roles of the Constitution, parliaments and the courts. The course also exposes students to the basic rules of commercial law including: the formation, performance and termination of a contract; consumer guarantees; the tort of negligence; liability for unsafe products, misleading conduct and abuse of power; discussion of various legal structures used to operate a business ; and an introduction to ecommerce issues.

  • 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 Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible LAW1503, LAW1509, LAW1510
    Restrictions Not for LLB students
    Quota A quota may apply
    Course Description This course introduces students to the key features, institutions and principles of the Australian legal system, including the roles of the Constitution, parliaments and the courts. The course also exposes students to the basic rules of commercial law including: the formation, performance and termination of a contract; consumer guarantees; the tort of negligence; liability for unsafe products, misleading conduct and abuse of power; discussion of various legal structures used to operate a business ; and an introduction to ecommerce issues.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Colette Langos

    Course Coordinators - Semester 1

    Name: Dr Colette Langos
    Location: Room 221, Ligertwood Building
    Telephone: (08) 8313 9166
    Email: colette.langos@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Website: www.myuni.adelaide.edu.au
    Consultations: Appointments can be made by email only, at a mutually convenient time.

    Course Coordinator - Semester 2
    Name: Domenic Carbone
    Location: Room 4.16, Ligertwood Building
    Telephone: (08) 8313 4759
    Email: domenic.carbone@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Websitewww.myuni.adelaide.edu.au
    Consultations: Appointments can be made by email only, at a mutually convenient time.

    Contact details for other teaching staff can be found on the course website on MyUni.
    Course Timetable

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

    Each week there will be a two-hour lecture. Seminars commence in Week 2.

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Analyse the foundational principles of commercial law, undertake self-directed research at a foundational level, and evaluate (complex) legal and business-related information
    2. Apply commercial law to complex problems/issues, critique the operation of commercial law from a theoretical perspective, either individually or as part of a team
    3. Structure and sustain concise and cohesive written and/or oral arguments for a professional audience
    4. Conduct legal research and analysis at a foundational level independently in a professional/academic environment
    5. Analyse the impact/operation of commercial law from policy, comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives.
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3,4,5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,2,4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2,3,4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1,2,3,4
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1,3
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1,2,3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Business Law by Andy Gibson & Sarah Osborne, 11th ed, 2020 published by Pearson.
    Recommended Resources
    Additional resources are provided for each learning week via MyUni.
    Online Learning
    The MyUni course page for this course can be accessed at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/

    Besides this Course Outline, students can use MyUni to access copies of the lecture slides, recordings of lectures, assessment tasks and other course materials.

    Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one one-hour seminar each week.

    The lectures will offer an overview of the topics covered in the course, according to the schedule set out below. Each lecture will include opportunities for students to ask questions on the issues covered and engage in the discussion.

    The seminars involve small group discussion of selected issues covered in the course and are designed to encourage active engagement with the themes of the course. The seminars are meant to be more of a guided, open forum for discussion and analysis, and will help students to think critically about the many significant issues addressed throughout the course. The questions assigned for each seminar will assist in providing some direction for this discussion.
    Workload

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

    For 3-unit courses, students are expected to devote an average of 12 hours per week to their studies in it, including classes. Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus one one-hour seminar each week.

    The assigned readings provide not only a context for the material covered in the lectures but for the seminars.

    Copies of PowerPoint presentation slides used in the lectures will be made available on MyUni ahead of each lecture. These provide a basic outline of the points covered, though they should not be seen as a substitute for attendance or for the assigned readings. Some students may find it useful to print the slides out in advance of the relevant lectures and use them as a basis for taking notes.

    The lectures are intended to provide an overview of the relevant themes and principles and to put them into context. They are not meant to tell students everything they need to know, but to serve as a guide for their own study. That study should involve, at the very least, reading through the material in the Study Guide and any other directed readings, and preparation of answers to the questions set for seminars.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week Lecture Topic Seminar Topic
    1 The Australian Legal System NO SEMINARS
    2 Contracts: Formation The Australian Legal System (practice quiz)
    3 Contracts: Terms (focus on express terms) Contracts: Formation
    4 Contracts: Termination  Contracts: Terms (focus on express terms)
    5 Contracts: Damages Contracts: Termination
    6 Academic Integrity Contracts: Damages
    MID-SEMESTER BREAK NO SEMINARS
    7 Australian Consumer Law (focus on misleading or deceptive conduct) Academic Integrity Workshop
    8 Australian Consumer Law (focus on unconscionable conduct and selected other topics) Australian Consumer Law (focus on misleading or deceptive conduct)
    9 Business Structures other than Companies Australian Consumer Law (focus on unconscionable conduct and selected other topics)
    10 Business Structures (Companies) Business Structures other than Companies
    11 Tort of Negligence Business Structures (Companies)
    12 Lecture on Exam Preparation Tort of Negligence
    SWOT
  • 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
    Assessment Task Task Type Length Due Weighting Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Online Quiz Individual 20 questions Week 3
    Opens 17/3 at 9am and Closes 19/3 at 9am
    10% No 1-2
    Academic Integrity Module Individual Online engagement End of Week 6
    10/4 at 2pm
    5% No 1-2
    Online Quiz Individual 20 questions Week 7
    Opens 28/4 at 9am and Closes 30/4 at 9am
    10% No 1-2
    Assignment Individual 2000 words Week 8
    Monday 4th May at 2pm
    35% Yes 1-4
    Exam Individual 2 hours Exam Period 40% or 75% No 1,2,5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Each piece of assessment is compulsory.  The assignment is redeemable for submitted paper only.
    Assessment Detail
    The assessment components are as follows:

    1. Online Quiz

    First Quiz: Week 3 (10%) Second Quiz: Week 7 (10%)

    Release Dates:
    The first Online Quiz will be available from 9am on Tuesday 17th March 2020 to 9am on Thursday 19th March 2020 (Week 3) via the relevant link on MyUni.
    The second Online Quiz will be available from 9am on Tuesday 28th April 2020 to 9am Thursday 30th April 2020 (Week 7) via the relevant link on MyUni.

    Details:
    Each Online Quiz will comprise of 20 multiple choice questions. Quiz questions for each individual student are drawn from a larger bank of questions and randomised. 
    The first Online Quiz will test student knowledge of the Australian Legal System. The second Online Quiz will test student knowledge of contract law concepts (see lecture topics weeks 2-5). 

    2. Academic Integrity Module (5%)

    This online tool is a helpful way of introducing students to the University's policies surrounding Academic Integrity. Importantly, completion of the module enables students to understand the University's rules on plagiarism and collusion.

    The Module will be accessible from the MyUni course page and will be open from Week 1. Completion of the Module is due by the end of Week 6: 10 April at 2pm.

    4. Assignment (35%) (word limit:2000 words)

    Release Date: The Assignment will be released on Friday 10th April 2019 at 2pm (Week 6).

    Due Date: The Assignment must be submitted by 2pm on Monday 4th May 2020 (Week 8).
    Details: This exercise will require students to answer a legal problem question and a short research essay addressing material taught in Weeks 2-5. The Assignment must be submitted via the Turnitin submission box on MyUni. Further instructions regarding the Assignment will be contained in the question paper. It is redeemable for submitted papers only.

    3. Take Home Exam (40% or 75%)

    Release Date: University exam period (TBA).
    Due Date: N/A
    Details: The Exam will be two hours in duration, with course material (week 7-12) being potentially examinable. The exam will be open book. Further information regarding the Exam will be delivered to students closer to the date.
    Submission
    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. The assignment must be submitted via 'Turn-It-In' on MyUni. Details for electronic submission through Turnitin will be provided with the assignment instructions. By submitting your assignment you are agreeing to the following:
      1. I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. I have read the Policy on Cheating in Examinations and Related Forms of Assessment. I have also read the University's Plagiarism Policy.
      2. I give permission for my assessment work to be reproduced and submitted to other academic staff for the purposes of assessment and to be copied, submitted and retained in a form suitable for electronic checking of plagiarism.
    3. Late Submission: Where an assignment is submitted after the due date and without an extension, penalties of 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is one hour late, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 25 hours late, etc.  This penalty may be increased where the assignment is to be completed in a period of less than a week. 
    4. Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (i.e. with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information, separate bibliography or list of sources. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count. If the word limit is seriously misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    5. Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made via the ‘Application for Assessment Extension’ form
      available at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/forms/. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are NOT unexpected circumstances.
    1. Style of written work: All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. However, on account of the fact that this topic is taught into the Business School and is not law-specific, Harvard or APA referencing will also be accepted.
    2. Turnaround time: The assignment for this course will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the submission date. Written individual feedback will be provided on each paper.
    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.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

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

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    Moderation
    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • 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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.

    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 ongoing engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as CEQ 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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at least once every 2 years. 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 can be found at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/clpd/selt/aggregates/.

    Students will be encouraged to participate in the SELT survey, as an opportunity to provide feedback to the teaching staff in relation to the course.

     

  • Student Support
    Occupational Health and Safety Arrangements
    The School is committed to upholding the University’s Policy on Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). All staff and students have a legal responsibility to act in the interests of themselves and others with respect to OH&S. To assist us, and to comply with your responsibilities, you are required to become informed about emergency evacuation procedures and the evacuation areas for the classes you attend.

    Evacuation Procedures
    Staff and students must leave the building via the fire stairs once the notice to evacuate has been given. The lifts should not be used. Those experiencing difficulties leaving the building should notify the floor warden. Staff and students may return to the building only after the Warden has granted permission.

    Medical Emergencies & First Aid In a life threatening situation only- telephone 8303 5444.

    Representatives and Officers
    First Aid officers are trained to deal with first aid situations. School Safety Officers represent the Head of School in OH&S matters. The elected OH&S Representative can represent staff and students in OH&S issues.

    Accident and Incident Reporting
    OH&S legislation demands that all accidents and near-miss incidents be reported to the School Manager or Head of School. In the event of an accident or incident the person involved, and their supervisor, must complete an Accident/Incident Report and Investigation Form, within 48 hours of the accident/incident. A copy of the completed form is to be forwarded to the OH&S Safety Officer. Copies of the form are available from the OH&S Representative or Safety Officer. The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Academic Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • 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.