LAW 2521 - Property Theory

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

This course considers historical, legal, political and philosophical theories of property and their applicability to the contemporary social context. The course may consider, among others, theorists such as John Locke, William Blackstone, JW Harris, CB Macpherson, Stephen Munzer, Margaret Jane Radin, Carol Rose, Joseph William Singer and Laura Underkuffler. Using a range of theories of property, the course explores the role and justification of property as law and as theory. The course will make use of inter- and cross-cultural and interdisciplinary resources.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 2521
    Course Property Theory
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    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 1506 or LAW 1511
    Incompatible LAW 2074
    Restrictions Available to LLB and B.Criminology with B.Laws and BArts Advanced with B.Laws students only
    Course Description This course considers historical, legal, political and philosophical theories of property and their applicability to the contemporary social context. The course may consider, among others, theorists such as John Locke, William Blackstone, JW Harris, CB Macpherson, Stephen Munzer, Margaret Jane Radin, Carol Rose, Joseph William Singer and Laura Underkuffler. Using a range of theories of property, the course explores the role and justification of property as law and as theory. The course will make use of inter- and cross-cultural and interdisciplinary resources.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Paul Babie

    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 advanced principles of property theory, undertake self-directed legal research at an advanced level, and evaluate complex legal and theoretical information.
    2. Apply the theory of property to complex problems/ issues, critique the operation of property law from a theoretical perspective, individually and as part of a team.
    3. Structure and sustain concise and cohesive written and/or oral arguments for a legal/professional/general/mixed audience.
    4. Conduct legal research and analysis both independently and cooperatively in a professional/academic environment.
    5. Analyse the impact/operation of property law from a theoretical perspective, and in the context of social and cultural diversity.
    6. Reflect on their abilities to effectively undertake work as a member of a team.
    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
    All reserouces will be outlined in the Reading Guide and will be available online.
    Recommended Resources
    These will be discussed and, where necessary, distributed during the course.
    Online Learning
    All course materials will be available on MyUni and all students must check MyUni and your student e-mail as course-related announcements are communicated simultaneously through both electronic means.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course is a RESEARCH SEMINAR and will be treated as such. Each session, with the exception of the first session, will be organised as follows:

    50 minutes devoted to an interactive presentation given by the seminar leader. By interactive is meant that while the seminar leader will present the material to be covered, it is expected that students will make contributions during this time. In other words, this is intended to familiarise students, through the form of a directed discussion, with the material which the seminar leader deems to be significant.

    Assigned students will make a 20 minute presentation on the materials assigned for that week. This presentation is intended to highlight these students’ thoughts about the materials. There is no set form to this presentation, other than that it MUST NOT BE a reading out of the materials themselves. It MUST BE a reflective and critical assessment of the materials. This will be explained further during the initial sessions of the course.

    40-50 minutes devoted to a roundtable discussion in which ALL STUDENTS MUST participate. Implications, problems, criticisms, etc, of the materials will be addressed at this time.

    The continuing development of good inter-personal and communication skills is widely recognised as important for all graduates. This course specifically seeks to develop students’ abilities to work in groups and make a group presentation.

    It is assumed that students will be "active" learners and not passive recipients of information. It follows that it is absolutely essential that you do the work that is set each week.

    These arrangements will be fully explained during the first meeting of the subject.

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

    Students in this course are expected to attend all contact times throughout the semester.

    To pass this course, you will need to allocate an appropriate time commitment to your study. In addition to the formal contact time, you will need to allocate non-contact time. Non-contact time will be required for a range of activities which may include, but are not limited to, assessment tasks, reading, note-taking, revision, writing, consultation with staff, and informal discussions with other students. While the relative proportion of contact and non-contact time may vary from course to course, as a guide, a full-time student should expect to spend, on average, a total of 48 hours per week on their studies during teaching periods. For a 3 unit course like Property Theory, you would therefore be expected to spend 12 hours per week on your studies during teaching periods.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Introductory Matters
    Week 2 Thinking About Property
    Week 3 What Judges Do
    Week 4 Liberalism and the Liberal Conception of Property
    Week 5 Private, State and Common Property
    Week 6 Justification and Critique
    Week 7 Green Property
    Week 8 Critiques of Liberalism and of the Liberal Conception
    Week 9 Expanding the Critique
    Week 10 Social Relations and Community
    Week 11 Proposals for Rethinking Property, Other Perspectives and Other Inputs
    Week 12 Some Ideas about the Idea and Individual Choice
  • 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 % of final mark Dates (week) Length Task Type
    Redeemable in the exam Learning outcomes
    Class Participation 10% Weekly Seminars N/A Individual N 1-3
    Class Presentation 30% One student group per week 20 minutes Group N 1-3
    Final paper 60% DUE DATE (outline/synopsis): 21 September
    DUE DATE (Final Paper): 16 November
    4,000 words (500 word outline/synopsis) Individual N 1-3
    Assessment Related Requirements
    It is important that students read and understand the assessment for this course. There are three components of assessment for this course, each of which is compulsory. This means that if any of the items of assessment are not undertaken/submitted/satisfactory, the marks assigned for that assessment will be irrevocably lost, and the final mark obtainable will be reduced by that amount.

    Assessment Detail
    A. Final Paper (60%)

    The paper will be in the form of an essay. This assessment is designed to assess students’ ability critically to examine and evaluate a topic that addresses the issues covered by the course.

    The paper must be written in prose style (using complete sentences) adhere to grammatical rules, and use correct spelling. It should be typed, using double spaced paragraphs, on one side of A4 paper.

    Each student must choose a topic in consultation with the lecturer and based upon the materials presented in the course and MUST submit an outline/synopsis of the topic agreed upon and the methodology to be employed to the Course Coordinator on 21 September 2020.

    Word Limit (outline/synopsis): 500 words
    Word Limit (Final Paper): 4,000 words

    DUE DATE (outline/synopsis): 21 September 2020
    DUE DATE (Final Paper): 16 November 2020

    B. Class Presentation (30%)

    The course is divided up into small and large group sessions. For the purposes of a class presentation, the class will be divided into two member sub-groups. This will be done based upon student interest in a given topic (see Learning Activities Summary).

    The University has emphasised the significance of group work in its Graduate Attributes and this component of assessment is designed to develop your interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication skills. You will be expected to work consistently within your group and to overcome any communication and/or co-operation issues. If you feel that your group is not working appropriately, you are to contact the Course Coordinator in the first instance. A meeting will be set up between the Course Coordinator and members of the group. Every effort will be made to overcome the problem and facilitate successful group work.

    The class presentation, based upon your group work, will involve reading, reflecting upon, synthesising, and presenting your thoughts on the materials assigned for a given week. Each student will receive the grade assigned to the group presentation.

    As noted above, the reflection is intended to highlight the thoughts of the students making the presentation about the materials. There is no set form to this presentation, other than that it MUST NOT BE a reading out of the materials themselves. Rather, it MUST BE a reflective and critical assessment of the materials. This will be explained further during the initial sessions of the course.

    C. Class Participation (10%)
    Students must contribute to the class discussion during the final session of each class. To this end, the lecturer will address each student directly as to their thoughts on the assigned materials.
    Students must retain a copy of submitted work.

    The Final Essay and its outline/synopsis must be written in prose style (using complete sentences) adhere to grammatical rules, and use correct spelling. It should be typed, using double spaced paragraphs, on one side of A4 paper. Students should submit their final essays with the standard Law School cover sheet (obtained from the Front Office, Law School). Each paper must be clearly marked with the student’s University of Adelaide number. A word count should be noted on the cover sheet and the cover sheet should be signed in relation to the student’s certification that the paper is his or her own original work.

    Markers can refuse to accept assignments that do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism (below).
    Words in excess of the limit will not be read. Students must indicate the word count of each assignment on the front cover of their assignment sheet.

    Essays handed in after the due date will not be read or graded. Extensions are only available on medical or compassionate grounds.
    Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the course co-ordinator.

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation 4.
    Final essays will be returned to students within THREE (3) weeks of the due date and feedback will be given pursuant to Law School Policy.
    Students should collect their essays from the Law School Office following notification that they have been graded and are available for collection.

    Replacement assessment is available for the Final Paper only, in the form of a resubmission.

    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. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised accordingly.

    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.

    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.

    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 ( 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 feedback The course is constantly being updated and revised to reflect the evolution of the law, to respond to student feedback, and to engage with the latest teaching practices. Student feedback is collected each time the course is run, including through SELT reports. Previous SELT reports, and staff feedback on them, are posted on the course MyUni site for students to view and consider.
  • Student Support
    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.