LAW 7123 - Perspectives on Property Law & Society

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

Property law, in Australia as elsewhere, lies at the very heart of any society and its legal system. This subject aims to give students an understanding of Australian property law, using South Australian legislation as the example. The first week challenges students to ask 'what is property, how is it justified, and why is it so central to social relationships'? This theoretical background is then explored via a practical consideration of the varieties of property found in the legal system. Whilst the relationship and distinctions between non-property, personal property and real property are examined, the focus of the rest of the course is on the law relating to landholding and land occupation- the definition and boundaries of land, their creation and transfer at general law and mainly now under the Torrens system (including the current reform in South Australia as it and other states move towards electronic conveyancing), and the relationships within the main forms of landholding in Australia, particularly the landlord and tenant relationship. The course will also examine the law in relation to property financing, investment and security; planning and development, valuation, taxation (in outline) and (in outline) safety regulation and sustainability (e.g. energy efficiency, green building design, climate proofing, etc.) Perspectives integrated into the course and exercises will include negotiation and dispute resolution, and indigenous perspectives in relation to native title and development. Guest speakers are expected to be drawn from academics and practitioners in the fields of accounting, taxation and property valuation, as well as planning and commercial lease legal specialists. There will be an opportunity throughout the course, particularly in the research assignment, for comparative work in relation to other jurisdictions, and for students to draw on any interdisciplinary or other experience of the broader subject of Property.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7123
    Course Perspectives on Property Law & Society
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Students without a Bachelor of Laws must have completed LAW 7177
    Assessment 4,000 word paper 40%, exam 40%, class presentation 10%, class participation 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Brown

    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. Identify, explain and apply the fundamental concepts and principles of South Australian property law.
    2. Apply the above principles to solving legal problems, and analyse the law critically from theoretical and practical perspectives.
    3. Articulate legal arguments and perspectives both individually and working in teams.
    4. Identify the perspectives of property law transactions and negotiate basic commercial property documents.
    5. Identify and weigh social, policy and comparative perspectives and ethical and indigenous perspectives impacting upon property relationships and rules.
    6. Collaborate and debate the issues in the course.
    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
    Understanding Real Property Law, K Viglianti-Northway, LexisNexis 2015
    Recommended Resources
    The Required text will be supplemented with materials distributed through MyUni.
    Online Learning
    This course will make active use of MyUni for communications, exercises,content materials and assessment. Please ensure you check the course page regularly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will consist of lectures and problem-based activities and discussion in class each week. Lecturers will be by Associate Professor David Brown and specialist guest lecturers drawn from within Adelaide Law School, legal and real estate practitioners and other experts on the specialised topics covered in the course.

    MyUni will be used for communication, Discussion Board and additional materials and links. Students should check the MyUni course page regularly.

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

    University expectation for a 3 unit course is student workload (including class time) of 48 hours per week.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Week Topic
    1 Introduction- Introduction to Property; Presentation and Research Essay details, organising pairs/groups for presentations; resources 
    2 The Legal Structure of Landholding and Occupation in Australia 
    3 Cultural and Indigenous perspectives and native title 
    4 Climate change and sustainability 
    5 Boundaries and Encroachments 
    6 The Torrens system of land title
    7 Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing)
    8 Private and Public Land Use regulation: Easements, covenants and planning and development law 
    9 Leases 
    10 The 'Boundaries' of Property, real and personal property; boundaries, fixtures; the Torrens system- exceptions and priorities 
    11 In-class examination 
    12 Property Finance and Tax issues 
    ** This is a draft timetable and is subject to change. The guest lectures and final order of topics will be confirmed in 2019**
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • 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 Due Weighting Redeemable Length Learning Outcome
    Participation Individual N/A 10% No N.A 1-6
    Presentations in-class Individual at various dates to be arranged in week 1 10% No 1-6
    In-class examination Individual Monday 21 October 40% No 1-6
    Research essay Individual Monday 11 November, 5pm 40% No 4000 words 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    In-class examination- 40%- open book, 2 hours. The examination will consist of problem-based and short essay questions. Examinable material and topics will be those covered up to and including Week 10. Students may use any paper-based material in the class other than university library books.

    Research Essay- 40%- 4000 word limit. Further criteria and suggested topics will be distributed early in the course, and by arrangement, students may choose their own topics. A comparative element (with another jurisdiction) is encouraged. Submission will be via Turnitin/MyUni.

    Assignments which exceed the word limit will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks available per 100 words or part thereof (ie an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 4001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 4101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.

    Class Presentations- 10% (individual mark) Subject to final enrolment numbers, these will last 30 minutes and be undertaken either in pairs or in groups of three. Pairs/groups, and allocated weeks and topics, will be organised in Week 1's class. Presentations must be accompanied by a two-page (maximum) A4 synopsis, to be emailed to Associate Professor Brown,  by 5 pm the day before the presentation. Topics will relate to the material being studied that week, and may be a case or legislative analysis.

    Students may use powerpoint or other presentation aids, though should notify Assoc Prof Brown in advance if they wish to use anything other than powerpoint or paper materials. Please note that marks/grades will be allocated invidvidually, it is not a group assessment. Therefore you should try to divide the work equally (for example, dividing the time, or dividing into discrete points). Please see Assoc. Prof Brown if you are unclear about this.

    Participation- 10%
    Assessment will be based on attendance (students should attend all classes unless they have a medical or other similar extenuating circumstances notified and evidenced to the Course Coordinator), but will also be based on active participation in discussions in class, including discussion of others' presentation material,  and/or online through MyUni Discussion Board.
    Research Essays must be submitted via Turnitin, by 5 pm on the due date. Breaches of due date requirement, without an
    extension, may be penalized in accordance with Law School policy. Late penalties will be enforced at 5% of the marks available per day or part thereof. If seeking an extension the Law School policy must be followed.
    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.

  • Student Support
    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.