COMMLAW 1004 - Commercial Law I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 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 2
    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
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Domenic Carbone

    Course Coordinators - Semester 1

    Name: Dr Colette Langos
    Location: Room 221, Ligertwood Building
    Telephone: (08) 8313 9166
    Course Website:
    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
    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.

  • 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)
    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
    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
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    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
    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
  • 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

    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

    There will be one 2 hour lecture per week over the course of the semester.

    Lectures will be delivered "online" and will be recorded and made available on MyUni via Echo360.

    There will be one 1 hour tutorial class held weekly commencing the second week of teaching in the semester.

    Tutorials will be delivered in either "face to face" or "online" mode.  Students should check the Course Planner for further information on which mode applies for a particular tutorial.

    Tutorials are an important component of the learning in this course.  The tutorials will usually comprise practical problem type
    questions in which the law or “theory” from lectures is applied to arrive at a conclusion supported by appropriate reasoning.  This process of applying the  law to arrive at a reasoned conclusion is critical to doing well in the course.


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

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.  This means that students are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course of private study outside of regular classes.

    Learning Activities Summary
    1 Introduction to the Australian Legal System & Business Structures
    2 Contracts: Formation
    3 Contracts: Express Terms
    4 Contracts: Implied Terms
    5 Contracts: Ending
    6 Contracts: Remedies
    7 Contracts: E-commerce
    8 Business Torts: Negligence
    9 Australian Consumer Law: Misleading or Deceptive Conduct
    10 Australian Consumer Law: Unconscionable Conduct and Unfair Contract Terms
    11 Australian Consumer Law: Statutory Guarantees
    12 Business Structures
    Specific Course Requirements
  • 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
    Academic Integrity Module Individual Online engagement End Week 2
    Opens 31/7 at 9 am and closes 7 Aug at 9 am
    5% No 1-2
    Online Quiz 1 Individual 20 questions Week 3
    Opens 10/8 at 9 am and closes 17/8 at 9 am
    10% No 1-2
    Online Quiz 2 Individual 20 questions Week 6
    Opens 31/8 at 9 am and Closes 7/9 at 9 am
    10% No 1-2
    Online Test Individual 1 hour 8/10 at 12 pm 15% No 1-4
    Online Exam Individual 3 hours Exam Period 60% No 1,2,5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Each piece of assessment is compulsory.
    Assessment Detail

    The assessment components are as follows:

    1. Academic Integrity Module - 5%
    Academic honesty is fundamental to your academic studies.  It also has important implications for your careers.
    This module will introduce you to the foundational principles of academic honesty that apply to your studies. It opens 31 July at 9 am and closes 7 August at 9 am.

    2. Online Quizzes - 20%
    Each Online Quiz will require students to answer 20-question multiple choice questions.
    Quiz 1 will cover the Introduction to the Australian Legal System and Business Structures and will open 10 August at 9 am and close 17 August at 9 am.
    Quiz 2 will cover Contracts and will open 31 August at 9 am and close 7 September at 9 am

    3. Online Test - 15%
    The Online Test will cover all topics covered in the course from topic 1 to topic 7.  It will be held on 8 October starting at 12 pm and run for 1 hour.  It will be "open book".

    4. Online Exam - 60%
    The Online Exam will be held during the examinations period for semester 2 and run for 3 hours.  It will be "open book".  Further information about the Online Exam will be provided to students closer to the date.

    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 email to the course coordinator. 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).

    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 ( 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 ( 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:

    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.