COMMLAW 7012 - Business and Corporations Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

This course will introduce students to a range of legal issues that impact on business. Students will learn to identify areas of legal liability and risk and how to minimise legal risk. The topics covered in the course include an introduction to the legal system, the law of business structures, contract law, intellectual property law, law of business torts, consumer protection law, competition law, corporate governance including directors and officers duties,the concept of corporate personality, the corporate constitution and Replaceable Rules, company contracts, financial reporting requirements, members rights and external administration.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMLAW 7012
    Course Business and Corporations Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description This course will introduce students to a range of legal issues that impact on business. Students will learn to identify areas of legal liability and risk and how to minimise legal risk. The topics covered in the course include an introduction to the legal system, the law of business structures, contract law, intellectual property law, law of business torts, consumer protection law, competition law, corporate governance including directors and officers duties,the concept of corporate personality, the corporate constitution and Replaceable Rules, company contracts, financial reporting requirements, members rights and external administration.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Colette Langos

    Contact details:
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    This course is designed to develop:
    1. An understanding of the Australian legal system and how it applies to commerce, the application of Common Law and Statute law relevant to commerce and the basic principles of Contract Law and Corporate Law
    2. The ability to identify fundamental legal issues in commercial scenarios (including Contract Law, Corporate Law)
    3. The student's critical thinking and problem solving skills
    4. A reasonably high level of literacy and the ability to verbally communicate information and ideas effectively 
    5. The ability to work effectively both as an individual and as a team member in small groups
    6. The opportunity to practically implement concepts
    7. The ability to use modern technology
    8. The ability to evaluate and synthesis information and existing knowledge of business and corporations law from a number of sources
    9. An appreciation of the importance of lifelong learning in the ever-changing field of legal regulation of commerce
    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)
    1, 2
    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
    3, 6
    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
    2, 8, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The textbook for this course is Business and Corporations Law 2nd edition Lexis Nexis by Fitzpatrick, Symes, Veljanovski and Parker
    Recommended Resources
    Students may find the following textbooks helpful but are not expected to purchase them:

    Latimer Australian Business Law 35th (or any recent) edition CCH

    Lipton Herzberg & Welsh Understanding Company Law 17th ed Thomson Reuters

    Hanrahan Ramsey and Stapeldon Commercial Applications of Company Law 17th (or any recent) edition CCH

    The Corporations Act is available to purchase. It is also available free at legislation or at Commlaw.

    Online Learning
    Electronic copies of the powerpoint slides, tutorials and assignment questions will be provided on MyUni.

    Students are strongly encouraged to regularlay check myUni for updates and course communication such as Announcements.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Business Law component Week 1-6:

    Week 1
    Lecture - Course Information/Introduction; Australian legal system; IRAC

    No Seminar

    Week 2
    Lecture Topic: Contract formation

    Seminars begin!

    Seminar Topic: Practice Quiz on Australian legal system

    Week 3
    Lecture Topic- Terms of a contract

    Seminar Topic: Contract formation

    Week 4
    Lecture Topic: Contract termination and remedies

    Seminar Topic: Terms of a contract

    Week 5
    Lecture Topic: Australian Consumer Law

    Seminar Topic: Contract termination

    Week 6
    Lecture Topic: Revision workshop for Assignment

    Seminar Topic: Australian Consumer Law

    Week 7

    Seminar Topic: Business Law Revsion Quiz or Q&A session
  • 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 Overview for Business and Corporations Law 7012

    Business Law Component

    20% of total mark - Online Quiz (multiple choice) based on Week 1  - Australian Legal System

    30% of total mark - Business Law Assignment based on content from Weeks 2-5

    Corporate Law Component

    50% of total mark - Corporate Law Exam based on content from Week 7-12

    [NOTE: Students are NOT required not attain 50% for each half of the course to pass. An OVERALL mark of 50% is required.]

    Assessment Detail
    The assessment format for this course is as follows:

    1. Online Quiz - 20% of total mark

    Scheduled for Week 3 (precise dates to be determined)

    This assessment item requires students to complete a multiple choice quiz online. The quiz will consist of 20 multiple choice questions on the Australian Legal Sysytem. The quiz portal will be open for 48 hours. No extensions will be granted. Students may only submit answers once during the 48 hour period.

    Questions will be based on Chapter 1 of the text book 'Business and Corporations Law' (Fitzpatrick, Symes, Veljanovski and Parker) and the practice quiz which will take place in Seminar 1 (seminars commence in Week 2).

    Further instructions about this assessment will be given during lectures.

    2. Business Law Assignment - 30% of total mark

    Due date: 19th September at 9am

    This assessment item requires student to solve three legal problems using the IRAC method (IRAC method taught in Lecture 1 and in seminars). The problems will be based on lecture content covered in Weeks 2-5 of the Business Law component of the course. The maximum word length is 1750 words.

    Further instructions will be given closer to the due date.

    3. Corporate Law Exam - 50% of total mark

    Exam period commences 5th November 2016 (exact date yet to be determied)

    The exam is based on the Corporate Law component of the course covered in Weeks 7-12. Exam is 2 hours duration with 10 minute reading time. Exam is an OPEN BOOK Exam. This means students may bring any paper-based materials into the exam, excluding books borrowed from University of Adelaide Library.

    Further information about the exam will be given towards the end of the course.


    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.

  • 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.

    This course is being offered for the first time in 2016 and as such no SELTS have been conducted in prior years.
  • 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.

    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.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro and . Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    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.
  • 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.