LAW 7153 - Personal Property Security Law

North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2019

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 implemented a new National system for attachment and perfection of security interests, with an online registration system providing rules for notice and priorities. This legislation effected 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 students existing 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
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Students without a Bachelor of Laws must have completed LAW 7177
    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

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Brown
    Room 2.20, Ligertwood Building
    Phone: 8313 4442
    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 extend knowledge from undergraduate courses to more complex and novel situations

    (2) develop and employ a sound understanding of the history, policy, provisions
    and principles of secured transactions law and its international context

    (3) sustain legal argumentation in novel and complex contexts

    (4) apply written and oral skills to identify evaluate and synthesise legal principles from both practical and policy perspectives including adoption of a comparative approach where relevant

    (5) develop an ability to identify and critically analyse policy and theoretical arguments relevant to secured transactions, and apply legislation and caselaw in a professional and practical context

    (6) apply excellent research skills to practical problem-solving and critical analysis of law and policy of secured transactions in a domestic and international context
    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
    Required text

    Anthony Duggan and David Brown, Australian Personal Property Securities Law (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2nd ed. 2015). Softback.

    The following legislation will need to be referred to throughout 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.

    There is a Lexis Nexis book, Essential PPS Law (3rd edition), Craig Wappett et al., which is the key texts above, with useful annotation of the statutes, and some explanatory material.

    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, 2nd ed. 2015) Chapter 1 and 2. [Duggan & Brown]

    (2) Course Materials, Pre-reading specified on MyUni.
    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.

    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
    Those students taking this course fully online will need to engage with MyUni for the duration of the course. Students can also email at any time.

    All students should check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with communications, materials and assessment.

    MyUni will be used to post announcements, post additional lecture materials (including slides, and where available, audio recordings of lectures) and announce assignment tasks and to conduct the quiz and submit other assessments via Turnitin. It will also contain electronic copies of the Course Outline.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is being offered in two parallel formats. (1) Fully online (2) Face to face. The face to face sessions will be on Friday 5th July, Saturday 6 July, Friday 12 July, Saturday 13 July between 9-4

    This intensive course will consist of lecturing, in the initial phases, then classroom discussion of problem-based questions, preseantations 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
    Friday 5 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

    International Aspects
    Saturday 6 July Attachment and Enforceability
    Registration and Ineffective Registration
    Priority Regime including PMSIs
    Transfers of collateral, taking free rules
    Friday 12 July Insolvency; Enforcement; Conflict of Laws
    Capstone application of prior learning through case studies and problems
    Saturday 13 July
    Class Presentations

    Research Essay preparation/consultation
    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 Task Type Due Weighting Length Redeemable Course Learning Outcome
    Class Participation Individual Assessment


    5% No 1-5
    Quiz Individual Assessment Sunday 7th July 5 pm 15% No 1,2
    Case comment and group presentation Group presentation but Individual Assesment for Presentation and Paper combined Paper: Wednesday 10 July 12 noon
    Presentation: Saturday 13th July 4 pm
    15% 1000 words No 1-5
    Research Essay Individual Assessment Saturday 27th July 5 pm 65% 5500 words No 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    1. Class participation (5%). This will be assessed at the end of the course based on ongoing participation in class (physically or virtually depending on whether students are taking the course by face to face or online method) and in all cases also through contributions via MyUni Discussion Board .
    2. Quiz (online) (15%). The quiz will test fundamental knowledge acquired in the first two days of the course.
    3. Case Comment- Oral presentation and 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 case to be allocated on day 1 of the course. The presentation will take place during class on Saturday 13th July. Any students in the online stream will give their presentation virtually via Zoom. Students will prepare an individual paper to be submitted to the Instructor via Turnitin/MyUni by Wednesday 10 July 12 noon. The instructor will distribute these papers to the whole class later that day. Please note that although the presentation will be in pairs/groups, assessment for the presentation + paper combined is Individual Assessment, not a group mark.
    4. Research Essay 5500 words (65%), due date 27th July 5pm


    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. The quiz is conducted online under Assignments tab on MyUni page.

    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. Extensions are granted at the discretion of course coordinators. The Law School and University Policy applies. 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.

    4. Exceeding word limit- Once the word limit is exceeded, additional
    sentences commencing after the word limit is reached will be ignored and
    not marked.

    5. Lateness- 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 issubmitted 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.
    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.

    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 Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.

    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.

    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
    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.