LAW 1506 - Property Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

This course will discuss the theoretical nature and justification of property and the important features of the Australian common law and statutory provisions relating to real and personal property, with emphasis being given to the former. The principal aim is to acquaint students with the fundamental proprietary interests and to teach students how to apply the relevant laws and concepts to practical situations where such interests are in dispute. The following topics will be considered: the theoretical nature and justification of common, private and public/state property; ownership and possession of real and personal property; adverse possession and limitation of actions legislation; limits to land (including fixtures, the ownership of airspace and subsoil, land boundaries and encroachments); estates and tenure; legal rights recognised in land (including bare and contractual licences; mortgages; co- ownership); future interests and equitable intervention; creation and enforceability of equitable interests, including assignments of property; the Torrens system of land title registration; leases; easements; and restrictive covenants.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 1506
    Course Property Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1503
    Incompatible LAW 1005
    Assumed Knowledge LAW 1502
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description This course will discuss the theoretical nature and justification of property and the important features of the Australian common law and statutory provisions relating to real and personal property, with emphasis being given to the former. The principal aim is to acquaint students with the fundamental proprietary interests and to teach students how to apply the relevant laws and concepts to practical situations where such interests are in dispute. The following topics will be considered: the theoretical nature and justification of common, private and public/state property; ownership and possession of real and personal property; adverse possession and limitation of actions legislation; limits to land (including fixtures, the ownership of airspace and subsoil, land boundaries and encroachments); estates and tenure; legal rights recognised in land (including bare and contractual licences; mortgages; co- ownership); future interests and equitable intervention; creation and enforceability of equitable interests, including assignments of property; the Torrens system of land title registration; leases; easements; and restrictive covenants.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Burdon

    Course Coordinator
    Peter Burdon
    2.04 Ligertwood Building
    peter.d.burdon@adelaide.edu.au
    +61 (08) 8313 4446


    Teaching Staff

    David Brown
    2.20 Ligertwood Building
    d.brown@adelaide.edu.au
    + 61 (08) 8313 4344

    Manuel Solis
    4.18 Ligertwood Building
    manuelpeter.solis@adelaide.edu.au
    +61 (08) 8313 9167



    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Property Law covers fundamental areas of legal knowledge as required for admission into practice. These areas of knowledge are known as the 'Priestley 11' and are set out in Appendix A of the Rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council 2004 (SA). According to the ‘Priestly 11’ Property Law must cover the following substantive areas:
    -Meaning and purposes of the concept of property.
    -Possession, seisin and title.
    -Nature and type (ie fragmentation) of proprietary interests.
    -Creation and enforceability of proprietary interests.
    -Legal and equitable remedies.
    -Statutory schemes of registration.
    -Acquisition and disposal of proprietary interests.
    -Concurrent ownership.
    -Proprietary interests in land owned by another.
    -Mortgages.

    With reference to these substantive areas, students who have successfully completed Property Law will have:
    1. understanding of and appreciation for the ethical dimensions of the role of lawyers, and the functioning of law and legal systems;
    2. understanding of legal citation conventions in the course of legal writing;
    3. an ability to apply those principles to problem-solving exercises;
    4. knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of the primary areas of Australian law as required to satisfy the academic standards for admission to practice law in an Australian jurisdiction;
    5. the capacity to analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources and experiences;
    6.  an awareness of the incompleteness of law and the continuous state of development of legal principles;
    7. an ability to engage in critical thinking and problem solving skills;
    8. good inter-personal and communication skills in both written and oral communication and independently and as a member of a team;
    9. written and oral skills in the explanation of, analysis and synthesis of legal principle;
    10.  an ability to critically analyse and apply legislation, rules and cases in context;
    11.  the capacity to identify factual and legal issues;
    12. excellent research skills; and
    13. competence in problem-based practice in the application of the law.
    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, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 7, 9, 10, 12
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 4, 5, 6, 7
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 4, 8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 4, 7, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    1. Seminar Guide (available from the ICC).
    2. Robert Chambers, An Introduction to Property Law in Australia (Thomson Reuters, 2013).
    3. Articles and extracts for the property perspectives component of the course are avialble online via Myuni.
    4. Law of Property Act 1936 (SA). The current version of this legislation can be found online at: http://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/LAW%20OF%20PROPERTY%20ACT%201936.aspx
    5. Real Property Act 1886 (SA). The current version of this legislation can be found online at: http://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/REAL%20PROPERTY%20ACT%201886.aspx
    6. In Property Law students are required to use their research skills to find case law. All cases can be found in hardcopy or online via the law library: http://www.law.adelaide.edu.au/library/research/. To find cases students will also need to familiarise themselves with legal abbreviations. A guide to legal abbreviations can be found at http://guides.lib.monash.edu/legal-abbreviations/
    Recommended Resources
    These will be discussed and, where necessary, distributed via MyUni during the course. Students may also like to look at a number of other textbooks and casebooks in this area. In particular the Course Coordinator recommends the following as useful resources:

    Adrian Bradbrook, Susan V MacCallum, Anthony P Moore and Scott Grattan, Australian Real Property Law (5th ed, 2011) (Textbook)

    Samantha Hepburn, "Australian Property Law, Cases, Materials and Analysis" Lexis Nexis Butterworths 2nd ed. 2012. ( The advantage of this book is that it combines a considerable amount of text in with the cases ie a textbook and casebook all in one)

    Peter Butt "Land law" 6th ed. Thomson Reuters Lawbook Co 2010.

    BJ Edgeworth,CJ Rossiter, MA Stone, PA O’Conner, Sackville & Neave Australian Property Law,8th ed.2008, Lexis Nexis, Butterworths

    Eileen Webb & Margaret Stephenson, Land Law, 2009, Lexis Nexis Butterworths

    Joycey Tooher & Bryan Dwyer, Introduction to Property law, 5th ed,2008, Lexis Nexis Butterworths

    Robert Chambers, An Introduction to Property Law in Australia, 2nd ed.,2008 Thomson LawBook
    Online Learning
    With the exception of the Casebook and Textbook, all course materials will be available on MyUni.

    MyUni will be used to post announcements, post additional lecture materials (including slides, and where available, audio recordings of lectures) and announce assignment tasks. It will also contain electronic copies of the Course Profile, Lecture and Seminar Guides, and 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

    In Week One, the entire weekly contact will be devoted to introducing the concept of property and its use in law (see Learning Activities Summary, Week 1, below). While Week 1 will be divided as outlined here, starting in Week 2, this division will begin to take more shape. The focus of Weeks 2 to 12 will split between two aspects of property—the first its use as a doctrinal legal concept, and the second the theoretical dimension of property so as to provide students with context and perspective as to the way in which property works in law and in society. The four hour block of time is therefore divided as follows:

    1. Property Law—This component of the course will build the structure of Anglo-Australian property law. It consists of a two-hour block of time, typically divided into a one (1) hour revision session involving discussion lead by the lecturer of key questions in the relevant area, twenty to thirty (20-30) minutes of group work involving an assigned problem, and a 30-40 minutes of interactive dialogue during which the problem will be discussed and possible answers outlined. This component is intended as an aid to the prescribed Textbook readings.
    2. Property Perspectives—This component of the course will endeavour to provide various answers to the question ‘what is property?’ It is intended as context for and perspective on the doctrinal material covered in the first component, although there will not always be a precise correlation between the topics covered each week. This consists of a two-hour block of time, divided into a one (1) to one-and-a-half (1.5) hour period for presenting an alternative teaching resource that outlines an aspect of property, such as a movie, audio-recording, or a reading. The second hour will be devoted to an interactive dialogue on the materials presented in the first hour.
    These arrangements will be fully explained during the first weekly contact.
    Workload

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

    Contact time: attend 2 hour general overview lecture plus (within the designated weekly contact group) 2 hours lectures/seminar plus 2 hours of seminar/discussion each week. This amounts to 60 hours of formal class time across the semester.

    Preparation time: In addition to attending formal classes it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for classes and to complete the course assignments. The University expects full time students (those undertaking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week PL (lecture) PL (seminar) PP
    1
    1. Meaning of Property and its Role in Society
    2. Introduction to Property Rights
    Introduction & House Keeping N/A
    2 Possession Introduction to Property Rights The Case for Private
    Property
    3 Tenure and Estates Possession Possession
    4 Native Title Tenure & Estates The Politics of Mabo
    5 The Origins and Nature of Equitable Interests Native Title Native Title
    6 Leases The Origins and Nature of Equitable Interests Property and the Homeless
    7 Easements, Profits a
    Prendre, and Co-Ownership
    Leases Libertarian Perspectives
    8 Mortgages Easements, Profits a
    Prendre, and Co-Ownership
    N/A
    Mid Semester Break
    9 Torrens System – Indefeasibility Mortgages The Ethics of Interest/Usury
    10 Torrens System – Exceptions to Indefeasibility Torrens System – Indefeasibility Property and Genetic Material
    11 Torrens System – Priorities Torrens System – Exceptions to Indefeasibility Restrictions on the Use of Land
    12 Course Overview and Exam Notes Torrens System – Priorities Property and Climate Change

    Some of these topics may be subject to change.

    There are no additional requirements for completion of this course other than described elsewhere in this document.

  • 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 item % of final mark Due dates Group or individual assessment Redeemable Learning
    Objectives
    Critical Case Log 20% Friday 30 October, 2pm Group No 1-13
    Take-Home Assignment 30% Friday 18 September, 2pm Individual No 1-13
    Take-Home Exam 50% TBA Individual No 1-13
    Assessment Related Requirements
    It is important that students read and understand the assessment. There are three aspects of assessment for this course, each of which are compulsory. Failure to complete an item of assessment will result in course failure.

    ALL ASSESSMENT COMPONENTS ARE COMPULSORY
    Assessment Detail
    1. Critical Case-Log (20%)

    The critical case log is a compulsory small group assignment. In the first seminar students will be placed in small groups (no more than 5 people per group). Each week groups will be required to select one case from the week’s material and put together a two-page entry for the case log.

    At the end of the semester groups are required to submit their completed Critical Case-Log. The Case-Log must contain 11 completed entries (one from each week). Groups need to self-nominate 5 entries for assessment.

    The case log should contain the following headings:
    -Material Facts
    -Issue Before the Court
    -Ratio of the Case
    -Dissenting Remarks (if relevant). What are the major points of difference between the
    judges? Which position to you find the more convincing?

    The case log is also an opportunity to learn how to critically read a case. Critical analysis should constitute at least half of the total entry for each case (1 page). It is often helpful to structure a critical reading around general categories of questions. Asking questions like the examples illustrated below provides a template for the critical analysis of a judgement that makes this activity less daunting.

    Students should respond to four of the following questions:
    -How would you describe the interpretative methodology used by the different judges? Why do you think  judges have adopted a particular methodology? Do they justify it?
    -To what extent does the judgement seem culturally biased? For example, does the judge make universal claims that are drawn from a small number of case-studies?
    -Whose voices are heard in the judgement? Whose voices are excluded?
    -To what extent does this judgement challenge or confirm existing ideologies, values and structures?
    -To what extent is the majority approach consistent with the previous authority in the area? If it is not consistent, why do you think there has been a shift?
    -Did the practical consequences of the outcome inform the judgment? If so, how?
    -Does the judgment reveal anything about the judge/s conception of the role of the Court? What about their values and politics?
    -Does the case reflect tensions that exist in the broader community? How will the decision affect government and the community? Will their be groups who benefit from the decision, and groups who will be disadvantaged?

    This assignment is due: 2pm, Friday 30th of October 2015.


    2. Mid Term Assignment (30%)

    The mid-term assignment assesses knowledge from the property law and property perspectives components of the course. In the first part of the paper, students will be required to provide legal advice to a client in answer to a problem question. Following this, students will be asked to reflect on the broader social, ethical and political context of the problem. This part of the assessment will be assessed as a short-essay.

    The assignment will be distributed on Monday 11 August through the assignments panel in MyUni. The assignment is due at 2pm on Friday 18th September 2015.

    This is an individual piece of assessment and must not be written in collaboration with any other student.

    The answer must comply with standard Law School citation and submission requirements and must be no more than 3,000 words.

    *The best papers will be identified and requests sent to their authors for permission to display on Myuni to assist the cohort in their revisionf or the final take-home exam. 


    3. Take-Home Exam (50%)

    The take-home exam mirrors the format of the mid-term assignment. Specifically, the take-home assignment is designed to assess knowledge from the property law and property perspectives components of the course. In the first part of the exam, students will be required to provide legal advice to a client in answer to a problem question. Following this, students will be asked to reflect on the broader social, ethical and political context of the problem. This part of the assessment will be assessed as a short-essay.

    Every component of the course is examinable for the purpose of the take-home exam.

    Because the take-home exam is only open for a limited period of time, requests for extensions to work on the paper cannot be granted. Students who qualify for Replacement/Additional Assessment (R/AA) will be given an alternative take-home exam during the R/AA period (7-18 December 2015).

    This is an individual piece of assessment and must not be written in collaboration with any other student.

    The answer must comply with standard Law School citation and submission requirements and must be no more than 3,500 words.
    Submission
    All asignment must be submitted electronially by the due date. The electronic copy must be submitted to a software program, Turnitin that checks your submission for plagiarism. Instructions on how to electronically submit your assignment to Turnitin will be provided with the assignment instructions.


    Extensions

    Extensions beyond the due date will only be granted in the case of serious and unforeseen incapacity. 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. If you require an extension, you will need to use the on-line application form available on the law school website (http://www.law.adelaide.edu.au/student/forms/) as soon as you are aware of the need for an extension, and before the due date of the assignment.

    The course coordinator will reply by email, determining whether an extension is warranted, what evidence is required to verify the student’s incapacity, and the length of the extension. Evidence of the incapacity must be submitted with the assignment, and must be consistent with details in the email requesting the extension. If the details of the request for an extension, and the medical or other evidence verifying the extension are not consistent in all respects, the extension is nullified, and the assignment may be penalised.

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    Penalties:

    Late Submission: 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 that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    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 (ie 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. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/

  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    https://unified.adelaide.edu.au/group/law-school/policies-and-procedures

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide 2014, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse 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.