LAW 7153 - Personal Property Security Law

North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2014

This course concerns the system for creation and enforcement of security interests over personal property, and as such falls within the areas of banking, commercial, corporate and/or finance law. The course will focus on the Personal Property Securities Act (Cth) 2009, which will implement a new National system for attachment and perfection of security interests, with an online registration system providing rules for notice and priorities. This legislation effects a sea-change in the approach to familiar concepts of common law and equity such as title and charges, and the traditional understanding of 'security', as well as the method, and effect, of enforcement of security. The course involves complex problem-solving and builds on existing undergraduate knowledge of commercial law. The course may cover the following topics and will be taught comparatively in some aspects, drawing on New Zealand and Canadian case law: (i) The history and policy of personal property security legislation (ii) The interaction of PPSA with other Federal and State commercial, property ,and consumer law (iii) The concept and function of security (iv) Policy of registration (v) Validity of security agreements and the rights of the parties (vi) The impact of the PPSA on third parties (vii) PPSA and insolvency (viii) Priorities (ix) Default and enforcement The nature and mix of assessment tasks may vary from year to year according to the format in which the course is taught, and/or the teacher(s) involved.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7153
    Course Personal Property Security Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Winter
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Prerequisites LAW 7157 or its equivalent for Bus Law and Non Award students
    Assessment Assessment in a course of this kind would typically include one or more of the following: an exam (either invigilated or take-home), a research essay, a class presentation, and/or assessment of contributions to class discussion.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Brown

    Associate Professor Thomas Telfer 
    Western University, London Ontario
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 This course builds on existing undergraduate knowledge of commercial law. Students who complete this course will have a thorough knowledge of secured transactions legislation generally, and in particular the PPSA. Students will be provided with the knowledge of both conceptual principles and the practical rules that will enable to solve legal problems arising under PPS legislation based on the North American and New Zealand models. The course will provide students with a conceptual framework to understand personal property security legislation.
    2 The course involves complex problem-solving in relation to security transactions.
    3 Participation in discussions in seminars will be encouraged and expected in relation to problem-solving and policy issues.
    4 Presentation, oral and written communication, co-operation.
    5 Students will undertake a written research assignment on a PPSA-related topic to be agreed with the course teachers, and this will equip them to conduct further research in the area.
    6 Comparative analysis of issues in personal property security 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. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,5,6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,5,6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2,3,4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The following legislation will need to be referred to throughot the course:

    Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth)- essential to have access to this.

    Corporations Act 2001 (as amended by Personal Property Securities (Corporations and other Amendments) Act 2010

    Personal Property Securities Regulations 2010

    The government website, and the PPSR (Attorney-General’s) website, are sources for retrieving the legislation. The ppsr website contains a wealth of introductory information about the PPSA and the Register. Legislation can also be purchased, either online or from the SA Government Service Centre in North Terrace.

    All other required reading will be available on the Course Materials tab of the MyUni page prior to the start of the coruse.

    Required pre-reading. You are required to read this material, and it is strongly recommended to read it prior to the course classes.

    (1) Anthony Duggan & David Brown, Australian Personal Property Securities Law (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2012) pp. 1-41. [Duggan & Brown]

    (2) Case and Materials Extracts (prepared by Thomas Telfer)- see Course Materials, Pre-reading. Students are required to read all extracts found in Part I. “The Rationale for Reform and the Objectives of the PPSA” and the extract found in Part II. “Nature of Secured Credit”.
    Recommended Resources
    In addition to the Government ppsr website, and Duggan & Brown, listed above, the library has a small collection of Canadian, US, UK and New Zealand texts on PPS legislation and security in personal property. A reading list has been placed behind the library counter and these books have been placed on reserve for the duration of the course.

    In addition two sources are available electronically:

    Personal property securities law in Australia/James O’Donovan. Available on WestlawAU

    Personal property securities in Australia/edited by Craig Wappett. Available on LexisNexis AU
    Duggan & Brown is a required text for this course and students will be assigned readings from this text for each day of class.
    Online Learning
    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
    This intensive course will consist of lecturing, in the initial phases, then classroom discussion of problem-based questions and policy discussion building on introductory lectures.

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

    This is a three-unit course and the university workload measurement for students on this course, including class contact time, is 156 hours. This includes any required pre-reading before the classes commence, and any research and writing of assignments after the end of formal classes.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Thursday 3 July The Evolution and History of Personal Property Security Legislation

    The Rationale for Reform and the Objectives of the PPSA

    Nature of Secured Credit

    Overview and Scope of PPSA

    The Structure of the Australian PPS Legislation
    Friday 4 July Formalities
    Unperfected Security Interests
    Monday 7 July Basic Priority Regime

    Purchase Money Security Interests (PMSI)

    Protection of Buyers or Lessees
    Tuesday 8 July Insolvency procedures and the PPSA

    Enforcement of Security Interests

    Class Presentations

    The Relevance of New Zealand and Canadian Jurisprudence
    Specific Course Requirements
    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 Task Due Weighting
    Class Participation


    Oral Presentation Tuesday 8 July 10%
    1000 Word Paper Tuesday 8 July 15%
    Research Essay (5600 words) 22 July 2pm 70%
    Assessment Detail
    1. Class participation (5%).
    2. Oral presentation (10%) and preparation of 1000 word paper (15%). In addition to general participation and responding to questions in class students will be expected to make a class presentation in pairs or groups on a topic to be determined on day 1 of the course. The presentation will take place on the last day of the course. Students will prepare (in pairs or groups) a 1000 word paper on the presentation topic. The 1000 word paper will be due on Tuesday July 8, 2014 at 9:00am. In order to facilitate discussion students have the option of emailing the 1000 word paper to their classmates by Tuesday July 8, 2014 at 9:00a.m.
    3. Research Essay 5600 words (70%), due date 22nd July 2pm


    1. Written assignments must be typed on double-spaced A4 paper with a 10 or 12 point font such as Ariel or Times New Roman, and should be printed double-sided where possible, for environmental reasons. The quality of English expression is considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in any written assessment because of spelling, grammar and presentation.

    Please Note: All written work in the Law school is required to comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation available at

    2. The class comprises law and non-law graduates. Although the assessment tasks are the same for all students in the course, students will be assessed according to whether they are law or non-law graduates respectively. This will be done by taking into account the extent to which some aspects of the task involve the exercise of skills that law graduates can be expected to have practised or refined over a longer period or to a greater degree than their non-law counterparts, and therefore a higher standard of performance may legitimately be expected from the law graduates in the course.
    1. All essays must be submitted via the electronic drop box on MyUni.

    2. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted. It is also advisable to keep a copy of written work after it has been assessed and returned.

    3. Where an assignment is submitted after the due date, and without an approved extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every day or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. This penalty may be increased where the assignment is to be completed in a period of less than a week.

    4. Extensions are granted at the discretion of course coordinators. Extensions beyond the due date are usually only granted in the case of significant unforeseen incapacity. Pressure of employment or other study commitments will not be treated as grounds for extension. If you have health or other issues which may impact on your study or assessment, you are advised to talk to the co-ordinator at an early stage where possible.

    5. Students can apply for an extension by emailing the course co-ordinator. The application must give details of the extent and length of incapacity, and the length of the extension sought. The course co-ordinator will email the student with the outcome of their request as soon as possible after it is received. If an extension is granted, it is only provisional pending receipt of formal evidence satisfactory to the co-ordinator, and consistent with the details provided by the student. If the details of the request, and the medical or other evidence verifying the extension are not consistent in all respects, the extension may be nullified, and the co-ordinator may in his discretion decide not to accept the assignment, or impose a penalty for late submission.

    6. 5% of the total mark possible for a written assignment will be deducted for every 10% (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, and in footnotes, though not in any separate bibliography or list of sources. If the word limit is seriously misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    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.

  • 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
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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