LAW 7115 - Insolvency Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

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 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Assessment Typically will include either a research essay or examination.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Christopher Symes

    Associate 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 an intensive one begining Monday September 29 2014 and finishing on Friday October 3 2014.

    Teaching will commence at 9:30 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

    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. 1,2,3,4,6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 7
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 8
  • 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 2nd ed (2012)is certainly a useful, perhaps essential read.
    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

    September 30th 2014 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);

    October 1st 2014 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;

    October 2nd 2014 Day 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.

    October 3rd 2014 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 September 29 - October 3 2014
    Presentations 30% October 3 2014
    Research Essay 60% November 3 2014
    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 October 3 2014 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 3rd November

    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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