LAW 7157 - Introduction to Business Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This subject is the foundation subject for all other study for the Master of Business Law, Professional Certificate in Arbitration, Graduate Diploma in Business Law and Graduate Certificate in Business Law programs. The subject commences with an introduction to Australian law and its legal system, including: - basic jurisprudential perspectives; - legal system taxonomy, including public and private law, other families of legal systems, including the international legal system and the common law/civil law divide; - the historical background and the development of the Australian legal system; - the roles of the courts in Australia, court processes (including an introduction to civil and criminal procedure) and hierarchies in Australia and the operation of the doctrine of precedent; - the separation of powers in Australia; and - the legislative system in Australia, law making processes and statutory interpretation. Through an in depth consideration of the law of contract, students will be introduced to issues of supremacy of law (legislation vs common law), the law of agency, corporations law and the law of torts. The following topics will be covered in depth: - creation and content of a contract (formation, privity, agency, terms); - statutory remedies for misleading and deceptive conduct in trade and commerce; - misrepresentation, unconscionable dealing, improper pressure; - performance and discharge of obligations (performance, breach, frustration, variation and discharge by agreement); and - remedies (enforcement, compensation and restitution).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7157
    Course Introduction to Business Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact up to 6 hours per week
    Incompatible student who currently hold a B.Laws or equivalent are not eligible to enrol in this course
    Course Description This subject is the foundation subject for all other study for the Master of Business Law, Professional Certificate in Arbitration, Graduate Diploma in Business Law and Graduate Certificate in Business Law programs. The subject commences with an introduction to Australian law and its legal system, including:
    - basic jurisprudential perspectives;
    - legal system taxonomy, including public and private law, other families of legal
    systems, including the international legal system and the common law/civil law divide;
    - the historical background and the development of the Australian legal system;
    - the roles of the courts in Australia, court processes (including an introduction to civil and criminal procedure) and hierarchies in Australia and the operation of the doctrine of precedent;
    - the separation of powers in Australia; and
    - the legislative system in Australia, law making processes and statutory interpretation.

    Through an in depth consideration of the law of contract, students will be introduced to issues of supremacy of law (legislation vs common law), the law of agency, corporations law and the law of torts. The following topics will be covered in depth:
    - creation and content of a contract (formation, privity, agency, terms);
    - statutory remedies for misleading and deceptive conduct in trade and commerce;
    - misrepresentation, unconscionable dealing, improper pressure;
    - performance and discharge of obligations (performance, breach, frustration, variation and discharge by agreement); and
    - remedies (enforcement, compensation and restitution).
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Beth Nosworthy

    Course Coordinator: Dr Beth Nosworthy
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A student successfully completing the course will be able to:

    1.     Understand the sources of law in Australia including the development and operation of common law, precedent and court hierarchy, and the roles of parliament and the courts, and the role of the law of contract in particular within the Australian legal system;

    2.     Read and analyse cases, with an understanding of ratio and obiter dictum, and a knowledge of the methods that can be used to apply and distinguish cases;

    3.     Understand some basic strategies that can be used to solve legal problems;

    4.     Read, analyse and apply statutes using the appropriate methods of statutory interpretation;

    5.     Conduct basic legal research, including by using legal databases to research case law, legislation and scholarly journal articles;

    6.     Appreciate the ethical dimensions of the role of lawyers, and the functioning of law and legal systems;

    7.     Understand and discuss core legal theories;

    8.     Work in groups to solve problems and contribute to class discussions;

    9.     Work individually to prepare and present a debate on a topic in class; and

    10.  Use legal citation conventions in the course of legal writing.

    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. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,3,4,5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3,5,8,9
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5,10
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3,6,8,9
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,3,5,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Reading/Texts
    The required readings (the Course Materials) for this course are available either online on MyUni or can be picked up in hard copy from The Law School Front Office.
    Recommended Resources

    Recommended Resources

    Butterworths Concise Australian Legal Dictionary (3rd ed, Butterworths, 2004)***

    Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3rd ed, Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc, 2002)*** (Soft copy available at http://mulr.law.unimelb.edu.au/go/aglc)

    JW Carter, Carter’s Guide to Australian Contract Law, LexisNexis Butterworths (2010) ***

    *** Strongly Recommended

    Recommended Reference Texts

    Catriona Cook, Robin Creyke, Robert Geddes, David Hamer, Laying Down the Law (7th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2009) (Please note, the older edition of Laying Down the Law is also helpful for the course)

    Prue Vines Law and Justice in Australia (2nd ed, Oxford, 2009)

    Patrick Parkinson Tradition and Change in Australian Law (4th ed, Thomson Lawbook Co, 2009)

    Elizabeth Ellis Principles and Practice of Law (2nd ed, Thomson Lawbook Co, 2009)

    Michelle Sanson, David Worswick and Thalia Anthony Connecting with Law (2nd ed, Oxford, 20092010)

    Sue Milne and Kay Tucker, A Practical Guide to Legal Research (2nd ed, Thomson Lawbook Co, 2010)

    Bruce Bott, Jill Cowley, Lynette Falconer, Nemes and Coss’ Effective Legal Research (4th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2009)

    J Gooley and P Radan, Principles of Australian Contract Law (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2006)

    J Paterson, A Robertson and P Heffey, Contract; cases and materials (Thompson, 2005)

    NC Sneddon and MP Ellinghaus, Cheshire and Fifoots Law of Contracts (Australia) (8th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths)

    Online Learning

    In addition to the use of MyUni as outlined in the “Learning and Teaching Modes” below, 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 will be expected to access copies of the Australian and South Australian Constitutions and the Acts Interpretation Acts as linked on MyUni.

    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 course will be taught through a combination of online and face-to-face teaching components.

    (A) INTRODUCTORY ONLINE COMPONENT

    The Study Guide and Introductory Readings, which will be contained in the Course Materials (available online on MyUni and in hardcopy from the Front Office) will provide students with a guide through the introductory principles of Australian law. These include: Law & Society, Foundations of the Australian Constitutional System, the Court Hierarchy and the Doctrine of Precedent and the Legislative Process.

    Students will be required to complete online tutorials and exercises, and contribute to online discussion of a number of issues to assist them in the development of their knowledge and critical thinking. This component should be completed prior to the first face-to-face intensive teaching component, listed at (B) below.

    Students will be required to complete an online quiz that reviews these introductory principles, shortly after the first face-to-face intensive teaching component. This aspect of the assessment is designed to provide students with early feedback regarding their understanding of key issues, terminology and process.

    (B) FIRST TEACHING COMPONENT

    The first face-to-face teaching component of this course will occur in the first week of semester, on Monday 3, Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 March 2014 in Room 1.10 of the Ligertwood Building. Each face-to-face teaching day will run from 9am to 4pm, with breaks for morning tea and lunch.

    This component will allow students to discuss and review the introductory principles from the online component with the Course Coordinator and their peers. It will then focus on a number of legal skills that are necessary for study of law. These are:

    • Case Law: Interpretation of cases, the identification of ratio decidendi and obiter dicta, the application of the doctrine of precedent through factual analysis and applying and distinguishing previous cases.
    • Statutory Interpretation: The rules of statutory interpretation and how to read and apply statutes to new factual situations.
    • Legal Research and Writing: Students will be provided with an introductory tour of the library and the electronic research databases, and a brief presentation on what is expected when writing a legal essay.

    Students will be required to complete:

    • An online tutorial which will review the application of the doctrine of precedent and case analysis skills.
    • An online tutorial which will review the rules of statutory interpretation.
    • An online quiz reviewing the Australian Guide to Legal Citation referencing technique.
    • An online tutorial, Writing and Speaking at Uni (Law Writing).

    (C) SECOND ONLINE COMPONENT

    The Study Guide and Introductory Readings, which will be contained in the Course Materials (available online on MyUni and in hardcopy from the Front Office) will provide students with a guide through the introductory principles of the law of contract. These include: Formation of Contract, Rescission and Discharge, and Remedies.

    Students will be required to complete online tutorials and exercises, and contribute to online discussion of a number of issues to assist them in the development of their knowledge and critical thinking. This component should be completed prior to the second face-to-face intensive teaching component, listed at (D) below.

    Students will be required to complete an online quiz that reviews these contractual principles, shortly after the second face-to-face intensive teaching component. This aspect of the assessment is designed to provide students with early feedback regarding their understanding of key issues and terminology.

    (D) SECOND TEACHING COMPONENT

    The course will reconvene and conclude with two further days of face-to-face teaching on Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 March 2014. This component will allow students to discuss and review the introduction to principles of Contract Law gained from the online component on this topic, and apply these principles within problem based exercises. This will develop their ability to analyse legal problems and prepare them for the research tasks within the assessment.

    This session will also allow students to review and discuss any concerns they have with the skills learnt in the course prior to the final assessment.

    Workload

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

    For a 6-unit course, the workload requirement is 312 hours. For Introduction to Business Law, this will be structured as 24 hours of face-to-face teaching, scheduled over four intensive teaching days, 48 hours of guided online learning run via MyUni, and 240 hours of personal study, including the completion of assessment.
    Learning Activities Summary
    FIRST ONLINE COMPONENT:
    Introduction to Law and the Common Law System in Australia
    TOPIC 1 Law and Society 1. Introduction to western legal theory
    2. Classification of law
    3. Some basic skills – statute and case reading
    TOPIC 2 Foundations of the Constitutional System 1. Common law in Australia
    2. Other legal systems compared
    3. Introduction to Australian constitutional system
    TOPIC 3 Case Law 1. Court hierarchy in Australia
    2. Introduction to Doctrine of Precedent
    3. Ratio Decidendi & Obiter Dicta
    TOPIC 4 Legislative Process 1. Parliamentary processes
    2. Division of legislative power in a federal system
    3. Constitutional restrictions on legislative power
    FIRST TEACHING COMPONENT:
    Revision and Consolidation of Introductory Legal Skills
    TOPIC 5 Case Analysis and Problem Solving 1. Operation of the Doctrine of Precedent and Court Hierarchy
    2. Skills – Case analysis
    TOPIC 6 Statutory Interpretation 1. Principles of Statutory Interpretation
    2. Skills – Statutory interpretation
    TOPIC 7 Introduction to Legal Research & Writing 1. Introduction to writing an academic paper
    2. Discussion of citation using the AGLC
    3. Introduction to electronic databases
    SECOND ONLINE COMPONENT:
    Introduction to Contract Law in Australia
    TOPIC 8 Formation of Contract 1. Intention to Create Legal Relations
    2. Agreement
    3. Consideration
    4. Privity of Contract
    5. Terms of a Contract
    TOPIC 9 Rescission and Discharge 1. Grounds for Recission:
    a. Misleading or Deceptive Conduct
    b. Misrepresentation
    c. Unconscionability
    d. Undue Influence and Duress
    e. Mistake and Illegality
    2. Discharge:
    a. for Breach
    b. by Frustration
    c. by Agreement
    TOPIC 10 Remedies 1. Compensation
    2. Enforcement
    3. Restitution
    4. Statutory Remedies
    SECOND TEACHING COMPONENT:
    Revision and Consolidation of Introductory Contract Law, Introduction to Legal Research and Writing
    TOPIC 11 Formation, Breach and Remedies 1. Problem Based Learning Exercises
    TOPIC 12 Problem Solving 1. Contract as part of the common law
    2. Problem Based Learning Exercises
    Specific Course Requirements
    None.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The online materials encourage students to engage with the subject matter individually before attending the first intensive teaching session in week 1.  During the initial online topics, there are discussion board questions which enable students to interact in an informal setting, and learn a little about one another through the lense of their legal experiences prior to entering the intensive teaching sessions.  An integral part of the intensive face-to-face sessions involves small group discussion, student-led review of materials and problem-based learning, directed by the class.
  • 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 item % of final mark Due date Individual or Group Redeemable Learning outcomes
    Online Quiz - Introduction 10 7 March 2014 Individual No 1, 2, 4, 7
    Online Quiz – Contractual Principles 10 28 March 2014 Individual No 1, 2, 4, 7
    Research Assignment 25 14 April 2014 Individual No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10
    Take Home Test 55 5 May 2014 Individual No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Each piece of assessment is compulsory. None of the assessment is redeemable.
    Assessment Detail

    The University’s policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following five principles:

    1) assessment must encourage and reinforce learning;

    2) assessment must measure achievement of the stated learning objectives;

    3) assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance;

    4) assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned; and

    5) assessment must maintain academic standards (see: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/700/)

    1. Online Quiz – Introduction (10%)

    Date: Must be completed by 5pm Friday, 7 March 2014.

    The quiz will be available electronically, and will comprise 10 short answer and multiple choice questions relating to the material covered in Topics 1-4 of the Course. Further instructions regarding the Quiz will be provided on MyUni.

    2. Online Quiz – Contractual Principles (10%)

    Date: Must be completed by 5pm Friday, 28 March 2014.

    The quiz will be available electronically, and will comprise 10 short answer and multiple choice questions relating to the material covered in the Topics 8-12. Further instructions regarding the Quiz will be provided on MyUni.

    3. Legal Research Assignment (25%)

    Due Date: 2:00 pm, Monday, 14 April 2014.
    Word Count: 2000 words (see below for penalties applicable to word count).

    The research skill exercise will require students to answer questions that will demonstrate the skills learned in the ‘Introduction to Legal Research’ Topic as well as their skills in case analysis and statutory interpretation and knowledge of the principles of the Australian legal system. It will highlight a particular facet of the material covered in Topics 7-11 and require students to demonstrate their understanding of the skills covered in Topic 12.

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    3. Take Home Examination (55%)

    Release Date: 9:00 am, Friday 2 May 2014 on MyUni

    Due Date: 2:00 pm, Monday 5 May 2014

    Maximum Length: 4,500 words

    The exam provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to analyse cases and legislation and solve problems associated with their application to factual scenarios.

    The examination will consist of three (3) questions, each of which must be attempted. The exam will be in the following form:

    • one statutory interpretation problem
    • one case analysis problem
    • one contract law problem question

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    Submission
    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. To gain a pass, students must submit each part of the assessment.
    3. All assignments must be submitted via 'Turn-It-In' on MyUni. Details for electronic submission through Turnitin will be provided with the assignment instructions. By submitting your assignment you are agreeing to the following:
      • I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. I have read the Policy on Cheating in Examinations and Related Forms of Assessment. I have also read the University's Plagiarism Policy.
      • I give permission for my assessment work to be reproduced and submitted to other academic staff for the purposes of assessment and to be copied, submitted and retained in a form suitable for electronic checking of plagiarism.
    4. Late Submission: Where an assignment is submitted after the due date and without an extension, penalties of 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 graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is one hour late, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 25 hours late, etc. This penalty may be increased where the assignment is to be completed in a period of less than a week.
    5. 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, separate bibliography or list of sources. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count. If the word limit is seriously misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    6. Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made via email to the course coordinator. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.
    7. When undertaking an assessment task, students are to be assessed according to whether they are law or non-law graduates respectively. Where the nature of the task involves 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, an assessor may legitimately expect a higher standard of performance from the law graduates in the course.
    8. All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
    9. Turnaround time: The interim assignment for this course will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the submission date. Group feedback, together with written, individual feedback will be provided, from which students can learn from in the final assignment. The final assignment will be returned to students within 4 weeks of the submission date with written individual feedback. Students will be notified by email when assignments are ready for collection from the Law School Front Office.
    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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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
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