LAW 2502 - Equity

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

The course will begin by considering the historical basis and development of equity. The following areas will then be examined in detail: 1) equitable estoppel; 2) fiduciary obligations; 3) express trusts; (4) resulting and constructive trusts. Particular attention will be paid to the creation of express trusts, the rights, powers and duties of trustees, and remedies for breaches of trust and fiduciary obligation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 2502
    Course Equity
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1503 or LAW 1510
    Incompatible LAW 2005
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description The course will begin by considering the historical basis and development of equity. The following areas will then be examined in detail: 1) equitable estoppel; 2) fiduciary obligations; 3) express trusts; (4) resulting and constructive trusts. Particular attention will be paid to the creation of express trusts, the rights, powers and duties of trustees, and remedies for breaches of trust and fiduciary obligation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Francesco de Zwart

    Course Co-coordinator:
    Dr Francesco de Zwart
    Room 2.13 Ligertwood Building

    Phone: (08) 8313 8304

    Mr David Wright
    Room 2.19 Ligertwood Building


    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. Apply and evaluate the principles of equity, engaging actively with both primary and secondary materials.
    2. Resolve complex equity problems, engaging in advanced critique of the operation of equity from a theoretical perspective.
    3. Structure and sustain concise and persuasive written arguments for a legal audience.
    4. Exercise appropriate judgement in conducting and analysing legal research and applying principles of equity.
    5. Analyse the impact and operation of equity from a social and policy perspective, in the context of social and cultural diversity.
    6. Research, apply and evaluate the principles of express trusts, including the duties, rights and powers of trustees and the consequences of breach of trust and the remedies available to, and respective rights of, beneficiaries, engaging actively with both primary and secondary materials.

    The Legal Practitioners' Education and Admissions Council (LPEAC) sets rules for the
    academic requirements for admission to legal practice in South Australia.
    Students must demonstrate a satisfactory level of understanding and application
    of 11 core areas of legal knowledge. This course teaches the following topics
    within these core areas:

    The nature of equity
    Equitable rights, titles and interests
    Estoppel in equity
    Fiduciary obligations
    Unconscionable transactions       
    Equitable remedies.

    Trusts, with particular reference to the various types of trusts and the manner and
    form of their creation and variation. The duties, rights and powers of trustees should be included, as should
    the consequences of breach of trust and the remedies available to, and respective rights of, beneficiaries.  (It
    is expected that about half the course will be devoted to trusts.)


    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, 6
    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
    2, 3, 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
    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, 4, 6
    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
    2, 5
    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
    2, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The required textbook for this course is:

    Radan and Stewart, Principles of Australian Equity and Trusts (3rd edition, LexisNexis, 2015).

    Recommended Resources
    Students might also find it useful to refer to the following:

    1. Heydon, Leeming and Turner, Meagher, Gummow & Lehane's Equity: Doctrines and Remedies (5th edition, LexisNexis, 2014)
    2. Ford and Lee, The Law of Trusts (Thomson Reuters Online, 2012)

    Online Learning
    It is the intention of this course to record all lectures and place them on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Learning and teaching in this course will take place through both lectures and seminars. Lectures will be supported and more fully developed by problem-solving seminars, so as to develop material introduced in lectures and aid students' understanding of the concepts.

    Seminars will be held weekly, beginning in Week 2.  Seminars will both consolidate material covered in earlier lectures and canvas new material which will not be addressed in lectures.  Seminars are an important component of students' learning in this course. The communication skills developed by regular and active participation in seminar discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.

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

    In this course, each student will receive two (one hour) lectures plus a one (one hour) seminar per week. It is essential to realize that the University expects full-time students (that is, those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. As Equity is a 3 unit subject, a student should devote approximately 12 hours to it a week (obviously this is an average figure, as some weeks will be very busy with the assignment or preparing for the exam, while other weeks will be less busy). As students can see, the total contact hours per student totals 3 hours per week. Therefore, a student in this course would be expected to do approximately 9 hours work per week for this course in addition to the lectures and seminars times. It is very important that students begin working on their own (in addition to attending lectures and seminars) from the very start of this course. Without doing this, students are compromising their own learning outcomes.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule of Lecture Topics
    Week 1 History and Nature of Equity (David Wright)
    Week 2 Express Trusts (David Wright)
    Week 3 Express Trusts (cont'd) (David Wright)
    Week 4 Resulting Trusts (FdZ)
    Week 5 Fraud in Equity (FdZ)
    Week 6 Fraud in Equity (cont'd) (FdZ)
    Week 7 Fiduciary Relationships (FdZ)
    Week 8 Fiduciary Relationships (cont'd) (FdZ)
    Week 9 Constructive Trusts (FdZ)
    Week 10 Constructive Trusts (cont'd) (FdZ)
    Week 11 Remedies (FdZ)
    Week 12 Summary and Revision (FdZ)
    There may be changes in content and to the order in which the various topics are taught.
  • 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 Weighting Assessment Type Due Length Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Problem Question Assignment


    2pm Friday 12th April 2019

    2,500 words Yes, provided a mark of 40 % is achieved or a bona fide effort (as assessed by the course co-ordinator) has been made in respect of it 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Final Exam
    60% Individual June-July Exam Period 2 hours (plus reading time) No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    It is NOT compulsory to attend lectures and/ or seminars. However attendance is strongly advised.The mark(s) a student receives for the problem question assignment is redeemable by the exam provided that a mark of 40 per cent is obtained or a bona fide effort (as assessed by the course co-ordinator) has been made in respect of it.
    The mark for the exam is NOT redeemable.

    Assessment Detail

    1  Problem Question Assignment (Compulsory)
    40%  - 2, 500 word limit - Due by
    2pm on Friday 12 April 2019

    This item of assessment will examine material covered in the first 3 weeks of lectures (and any material covered in tutorials up to the end of week 4). It will constitute 40% of the student’s final mark. A 2,500 word limit applies. This assignment is redeemable, provided a mark of 40 % or more is achieved or a bona fide effort (as assessed by the course co-ordinator) has been made in respect of it. 

    2  Final Exam (Compulsory)
    60 % - June-July Examinations Period - 2 hours (plus reading time)

    The final exam is compulsory. It will examine the material covered in the lectures from weeks 4 - 12 (and in tutorials from week 5 - 12). The usual exam criteria apply.  There will be two compulsory questions. The exam will last 2 hours (plus reading time) and will be open book. Any material (except library books) can be taken into the exam.    

    Exam period: Semester 1

    Submission process:  You will be informed of all submission procedures when the assessment question is distributed.  Where possible, students will be requested to submit a copy of their assignment through Turnitin on MyUni.  By submitting a copy of your assignment through Turnitin you are agreeing to the following: (a) 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; (b) 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.

    Late submission penalties: When an assessment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 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 and public holidays. 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 penalties: 5% of the total mark possible for a written assssment will be deducted for every 100 words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5 % deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3,100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10 % will be deducted for a final mark of 53%, etc. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations, but exclude citations in footnotes. Any separate cover page, table of contents, bibliopgraphy or list of sources is excluded from any word limit. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.

    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 (available electronically at: AGLC).

    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.