LAW 7115 - Insolvency Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The course information on this page is being finalised for 2016. Please check again before classes commence.

The course will cover insolvency of corporations and individuals, and will include: (1) An introduction to the theory, policy and history of insolvency law, and to its fundamental principles; (2) An introduction to the main forms of insolvency procedure for individuals (bankruptcy and its alternatives) and corporations (liquidation, voluntary administration, and receivership); (3) Issues in relation to personal insolvency including consumer bankruptcy, the property of the bankrupt 'estate', and the rights of bankrupts and restrictions upon them; (4) The role and duties of directors; (5) The regulation and reform of insolvency law and the profession, and 'globalisation' of insolvency law and practice through involvement of international bodies; (6) An introduction to cross-border insolvency. By the end of the course students should have a grounding in the basic principles and rules of Australian insolvency law, an understanding of, and ability to evaluate, the key theoretical and policy issues affecting insolvency law and its reform, an appreciation of contemporary international developments, and an ability to research and analyse problems on Australian insolvency law.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7115
    Course Insolvency Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Typically will include either a research essay or examination.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Christopher Symes

    Professor (Dr) Christopher Symes
    Room 2.23 Ligertwood Building
    Phone 8313 4452
    Course Timetable

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

    Note this course is intensive over two wekeends 09-10 April and 30 April - 01 May 2016.

    Teaching will commence at 9.30am each day. 

    Material covered each day is found under  'Learning Activities Summary'.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1. To further the student’s knowledge and understanding of personal and corporate insolvency law, practice and regulation
    2. To further the student’s ability to understand, analyse and solve practical issues and problems associated with the personal and corporate insolvency law
    3. To evaluate selected Australian personal and corporate insolvency law issues in the global context
    4. To gain awareness of international developments in selected personal and corporate insolvency law issues
    5. To develop critcial thinking using personal and corporate insolvency law
    6. To apply excellent research skills
    7. To further develop the capacity to evaluate and synthesis personal and corporate insolvency law from a wide variety of sources and expereinces.
    8. To apply goog inter-personal and communication skills in the research for and delviery of oral presentations as a member of a team.
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    As this is a Master level course there is no one text book that covers all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency at the depth explored in this course.

    However, the undergraduate text Symes & Duns Australian Insolvency Law 3rd ed (2015)is certainly a useful, perhaps essential read.
    There is also a companion casebook: Symes Brown - Welland Australian Insolvency Law Cases Materials.
    Practitoners will often refer to Keay's Insolvency Personal and Corporate Law and Practice 8th ed (2013) by Murray and Harris - Australia

    Insolvency law is dynamic so books can become out of date as far as detail is concerned, and some books are overseas texts, so bear that in mind when reading (e.g UK, US) . 

    Key relevant general texts are:

    Finch, Corporate Insolvency Law, Perspectives and Principles, 2nd ed Cambridge (2009), UK

    O’Donovan, Company Receivers and Administrators (looseleaf, 2 volumes)- (Aus) This is a practitioner book frequently updated

    Australian Corporations Law (CCH, looseleaf)

    Annotated Bankruptcy Act 1966 5th ed
    by Paul Nichols (Lexisnexis)

    Fletcher, The Law of Insolvency 4th ed (2009) UK

    Other leading Australian Company Law textbooks (e.g. Ford, or Lipton, Herzberg and Welsh) will contain introductory chapters on insolvency law.
    Recommended Resources
    Journals that are important in Insolvency Law include

    Insolvency Law Journal (Thomson Reuters, Aus)

    Insolvency Law Bulletin (Lexisnexis, Aus)

    International Insovlency Review (INSOL published in UK)

    Insolvency Law and Practice (UK)

    Insolvency Intelligence (UK)

    Australian Insolvency Journal (Jounral of IPA/ARITA

    Company and Securities Law Journal (Aus)

    On-line sites that are important include

    Large lawfirms in Australia will have webpages dedicated to Restructuring and Insolvency matters.

    For example see

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    April 9th 2016 Day One (Morning)
    (1) An introduction to the theory, policy and history of insolvency law, and to its fundamental principles;
    Day One (Afternoon)

    (2) An introduction to the main forms of insolvency procedure for individuals (bankruptcy and its alternatives) and corporations (liquidation, voluntary administration, and receivership);
    April 10th 2016 Day Two (Morning)

    (3) Issues in relation to personal insolvency including consumer bankruptcy, the property of the bankrupt ‘estate’, alternatives to bankruptcy, and the rights of bankrupts and restrictions upon them;

    Day Two (Afternoon)
    (4) The role and duties of directors;

    April 30th 2016Day Three (Morning)
    (5) The position of security and rights and duties of secured creditors;

    Day Three (Afternoon)
    (6) The regulation and reform of insolvency law and the profession, ethical issues, and ‘globalisation’ of insolvency law and practice through involvement of international bodies.

    May 1st 2016 Day Four (Morning)
    (7) An introduction to cross-border insolvency

    Day Four (Afternoon)
    Group Presentations
  • 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
    Class Participation 10% ongoing April - May 1st 2016
    Presentations 30% May 1st 2016
    Research Essay 60% June 4th 2016
    Assessment Detail
    Participation in Class – 10%

    Students are expected to attend all classes, other than where there is a medical or similar reason (work commitments are not acceptable as an excuse). Where you are unable to attend class you should ring or email me in advance.

    Participation will be assessed in terms of overall contributions to class discussion and/or online. Further details of criteria for participation will be made available at the start of the course and on MyUni course site.

    Group Presentations -30%

    Assessment will be based on the oral presentation (further advice and guidance to follow on criteria and format) and accompanying written paper of a maximum 1500 words, which paper must be distributed to all class members and myself in class on May 1st 2016 at 9.30am.

    Presentations will be allocated from a list of topics distributed by me in the first class.

    Research Assignment - 60%

    Word limit: 6000 words.

    The research paper may be on any aspect of insolvency law you choose, and can build upon your earlier presentation/paper if you wish. The precise topic/title must be approved by me, and advice will be given to those who need help choosing or framing a topic. Further criteria for the research assignment will be notified at the start of the course.

    Due Date: 2 pm on Monday 4th June

    No information currently available.

    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.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    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.

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    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, 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.
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