PROJMGNT 7012 - Business & Contract Legal Studies

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

Description of the common law process, theoretical basis of contracts; Contract formation including the requirements for intention on the part of the contracting parties, agreement, formalities and consideration, contractual capacity, consent and legality. Operation of contracts including rules for interpretation of written documents; Discharge of contracts by performance; express agreement, frustration, election after breach; Remedies for breach of contract; Rules for assessment of the measure of damages; Variation of existing contracts including a discussion of the principles of promissory estoppel; Introduction to the law of torts; Historical development of the law relating to negligence; Extension of the law of negligence into situations involving negligent misstatement; The evolution of the concept of proximity; Standard of care, remoteness of damage and defences to actions for negligence; Actions for negligence based on a duty of care arising out of a contract. The statutory regulation of transactions for the provision of goods and services; Dispute resolution including commercial arbitration, mediation and expert determination; Discussion of how the matters discussed in the course impact on the procurement procedures; Arbitration with the course participants assuming the roles of litigants, counsel, witnesses and the arbitrator; Implications for contract administration. The context of the course is engineering, technology and information technology design and production, operations and processes, which include consulting, production, procurement, maintenance and logistics supply for technology-based operations, including defence, construction, and manufacture, and IT provision for ongoing businesses, assessment of efficiency, risk and quality management, and related aspects.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PROJMGNT 7012
    Course Business & Contract Legal Studies
    Coordinating Unit Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innov Centre
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive: 36 to 40 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PROJMGNT 5021
    Assessment Individual and group assignments, quiz
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Graciela Corral de Zubielqui

    Program Director Contact Details:
    Project Management
    Name: Dr Graciela Corral de Zubielqui

    Teaching Staff:

    Trimester 1/Semester 1
    John Twyford

    Short Bio:
    Admitted as a solicitor after completing the Diploma of Law course at the Solicitors Admission Board in 1965
    Completed the Master of Laws by course work at the University of Technology, Sydney
    Awarded the Doctor of Juridical Science in 2002
    Awarded the Master of Arts (Ancient History), Macquarie University in 2005

    Employment history
    2000–Now Editor, Australian Construction Law Newsletter
    1992–2008 Lecturer in the Faculty of Design Architecture and Building UTS
    2001–2003 Director of the Project Management Program. This Program amalgamated the disciplines of Construction Management, Construction Economics and Project Management
    1969–1992 Employed by the Master Builders Association of NSW as Legal Director. The duties of that position included: giving detailed advice to members of the Association on legal problems arising out of building contracts and the impact of legislation on the building industry; and 1980-1992 administered the system of commercial arbitration in the construction industry
    1966–1969 Private legal practice
    Miscellaneous matters
    Member of Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia
    Life Member Rundle Foundation for Egyptian Archaeology
    Supervised four doctoral students who have been awarded degrees


    Phone: +61 2 9660 7225
    Course Timetable

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

    Opening intensive:
    Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th March 2016
    8am to 5pm
    Marjoribanks 126 Santos Lecture Theatre

    Closing intensive:
    Thursday 7th and Friday 8th April 2016
    9am to 6pm
    Marjoribanks 126 Santos Lecture Theatre

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1  To familiarize the students with the legal background to the procurement of goods and services.
    2 To give the students an understanding of the common law and statutory obligations of vendor and purchaser in a typical situation.
    3 To enable the students to understand how the common law and statutory obligations of the parties to a transaction might be varied by agreement
    4 To give an overview of law relating to international transactions.
    5 To give participants an overview of the law relating to corporations, intellectual property, negotiable instruments, employment contracts and project management contracts.
    6 To have some knowledge of the Contracts Code of the People’s Republic of China
    7 To give an understanding of the principles of modern dispute resolution.
    8 To give students the appropriate skills to consult legal resources related to the solution of a particular legal problem. The resources needed to be understood by students are textbooks, statutes and reports of decided cases. This information is to be found in electronic databases, law reports, textbooks and periodical literature.
    9 As most legal information is now available on electronic databases students should develop the ability to access, search and interpret this information.
    10 Students should understand the true nature of a professional relationship and distinguish it from other commercial relationships. Here it is necessary to understand the way the ethical rules of professional bodies impact on commercial conduct.
    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, 3, 4, 5
    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

    Australian Commercial Law, Clive Turner 27th or later edition,
    Publisher Thomson Reuters.

    Recommended Resources
    G Moens& P Gillies International Trade and Business: Law, Policy and Ethics, 2nd Edition, Routledge& Cavendish (2006)

    Australian Standard AS4915-2000

    The New York Convention (1958)

    United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

    Australasian Legal Information Institute website: 

    Library Resources
    The University of Adelaide’s Barr Smith Library provides a range of learning resources including texts, journals, periodicals, magazines, and access to online databases and information services. It also offers a virtual library which is accessible via the University’s website. The University Library web page is: 
    From this link, you are able to access the Library's electronic resources.

    Other Resources
    If you are a member of the PMI ( you will “gain exclusive access to PMI publications and our global standards*, networking options with our chapters and online communities of practice, and leadership and volunteer opportunities. You’ll also receive discounts on certification exams and renewals, as well as our professional development offerings.” Student membership is USD$40 to join and USD$30 to renew.

    * Log in to access complimentary read-only PDFs of all of PMI's published standards or take advantage of discounts on paperback editions
    Online Learning
    MyUni is the University of Adelaide's online learning environment. It is used to support traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and workshops at the University. MyUni provides access to various features including announcements, course materials, discussion boards and assessments for each online course of study (see:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is offered in blended learning mode with the face-to-face component offered as intensives.

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

    As a guide, a 3 unit course comprises a total of 156 hours work (this includes face-to-face contact, any online components, and self directed study).
    Learning Activities Summary

    This is a draft schedule and session dates are a guide only. The timetable may be changed during the course delivery if necessary.

    Intensive Content Readings/Activities
    1 1: Introduction, description of the common law process, theoretical basis of contracts (why certain promises are treated by the law as binding) Course Notes

    Textbook Chapters 1-12
    2: Contract formation including the requirements for intention on the part of the contracting parties, agreement, formalities and consideration, contractual capacity, consent and legality
    3: Continuation of the matters referred to in session 2
    4: Operation of contracts including rules for interpretation of written documents, express term and implied terms
    5: Discharge of contracts by performance; express agreement, frustration, election after breach and operation of the law
    6: Remedies for breach of contract including injunctions, decrees for specific performance and damages – Assessment of damages
    7: Variation of existing contracts including a discussion of the principles of promissory estoppel, waiver, recent developments in the law relating to the doctrine of consideration, retention of title clauses and tendering contract
    2 8: Statutory regulation of transactions for the provision of goods and services including a discussion of: Sale of Goods Act 1895 (NSW) and Contracts Review Act 1980 (NSW); Course Notes

    Textbook Chapters 13-18, 28
    9: Introduction to the law of torts. Is there a law of tort or a law of torts?
    10: Historical development of the law relating to negligence
    11: Extension of the law of negligence into situations involving negligent misstatement.
    12: Discussion of exercise. The evolution of the concept of proximity and the likely future development in the law in this area
    13: Standard of care, remoteness of damage and defences to actions for negligence
    14: Actions for negligence based on a duty of care arising out of a contract
    3 15: Comparative law, an overview of the contract laws of Europe and the Peoples’ Republic of China Course Notes
    Textbook Chapters 23-27
    16: Legal personality, partnerships and corporations
    17: Negotiable instruments
    18: Intellectual property
    19: Insurance contracts
    4 20: The legal relationship between principal and project manager

    21: Dispute resolution including commercial arbitration, mediation and expert determination – International Arbitration

    Course Notes

    Australian Standard AS4915-2000

    The New York Convention (1958)

    United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

    FIDIC Contract.

    Specific Course Requirements
    Prior to attending the formal lectures, students are advised to read carefully the lecture notes provided and the corresponding chapters in the textbook (as shown above).
  • 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

    An overview of the course assessment appears in the following Table. Details appear in the following section:

    #AssessmentLengthWeightingDue DateLearning Outcomes
    1 Written assignment 1 1,000 words 20% See MyUni 1, 2, 3
    2 Written assignment 2 1,000 words 20% See MyUni 7
    3 Multiple choice test 2 hours 20% See MyUni 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9
    4 Final written assignment 3 2,000 words 40% See MyUni 10
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students should attend all classes in order to pass the course. There is considerable experiential learning in workshops during the intensive classes that build your knowledge and thus enable you to be successful in this course.  

    Course results are subject to moderation by the ECIC Board of Examiners

    Appropriate use of the Internet in assignments

    The purpose of this document is to assist students with appropriate use of the material they have accessed on the Internet in assignments. The Internet is a wonderful source of information and sometimes students are not aware of how to use it properly. For example, a recent case had over 70% of words copied from over 20 other sources. Furthermore, many students think this is the appropriate use of the Internet.

    IT IS NOT.

    Due to an increasing number of students infringing the University’s Academic Dishonesty Requirements within the Master of Applied Project Management, a more rigorous method of checking assignments is used.

    There is a hierarchy of penalties, the lowest of which is the loss of some assignment marks and the student’s name being placed on the Faculty’s Academic Dishonesty Register for six months. This only occurs if I believe this occurred through error. The second level penalty is more significant which is loss of all marks for the assignment and being placed on the University’s Academic Dishonesty Register for the remainder of their time at the University. Even higher penalties can involve the University deciding the student should not graduate. This has occurred in the Master of Project Management.

    Appropriate use of the Internet is to include all directly copying of sections of other reports in ‘inverted comas’, as a quotation, and note the source of the quote. To include a group of words without use of inverted commas and without noting where the words came from is an example of academic dishonesty.

    Students may not be aware that the University has use of an international database called Turnitin in which all direct use of other material can be traced.

    On a more positive note students need to understand the points made in any paper they access on the Internet and integrate these thoughts into their argument rather than just copying large passages. Of course this takes more work but this is what tertiary education requires and, in the end, make students into better thinkers and more able to express their ideas in their assignments.

    Assessment Detail

    Assessment 1: Written assignment 1
    Weighting: 20%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    Students are required to look up and read the following decisions of the Courts:

    Aiton v Transfield  NSWSC 996 (1 October 1999)
    Streller v. Albury City Council [2012] NSWSC 729 (28 May 2012) [Note: use 2012 case not 2013 case for this assignment]
    Seven Network (Operations) Limited& Ors v James Warburton No 2) [NSWSC 386 (12 May 2011)
    Wilcox v Wilcox (No 2) [2014] NSWSC 88 (21 February 2014)
    Clemett v NSW Lotteries Corporation Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 373 (2 April 2014)

    Each of these cases applies the law and students are required to write an essay describing the facts of one of the cases and the legal principle that were used for deciding the case. The transcripts of each of the judgments are to be found on the Australasian Legal Information Institute website:

    This assignment will assess your understanding of the structure of the common law.

    Length and Presentation:
    1,000 words

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    · Ability to identify and explain legal principles
    · How the answer covers all issues
    · Logical development of the legal arguments
    · Citation of appropriate cases
    · Original research
    · Clarity of expression
    · Appropriate referencing

    Assessment 2: Research assignment
    Weighting: 20%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    At the end of the first intensive session students will have covered the basic principles of the law of contract in the Australian, English and Singapore jurisdictions. As has been explained these principles are derived in the main from the decided cases. There are jurisdictions in the world where the law has been proclaimed as a code. The Peoples Republic of China is such jurisdiction. Parts of the Peoples Republic contract code are reproduced in the course notes. The task is to read the code and compare it to the common law you have studied. Identify a number of rules from the code that you consider to be similar or identical to the common law. In addition identify examples that differ from common law principles. Add a short comment on the similarities or differences. In total eight examples will suffice.

    This assignment will assess your ability to compare legal principles from one legal system with those of another (comparative law).

    Length and Presentation:
    Should not exceed 1,000 words.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    · Ability to identify and explain legal principles
    · Clarity of expression
    · Appropriate referencing

    Assessment 3: Multiple choice test
    Weighting: 20%
    Submission Details: Open book, multiple choice test in class.

    There will be forty questions taken from the lecture notes.

    This multiple choice class test will assess your familiarity with, and understanding of, the course material.

    Length and Presentation:
    Two-hour class test.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    A correct answer will score half a mark. There may be more than one correct answer and if so, students will be required to identify all correct answers.

    Assessment 4: Written assignment 3
    Weighting: 40%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    John is a wine merchant and the owner of Broadway Cellars. At a wine tasting he displayed a bottle of Grange Hermitage wine with a card attached which read:
    Special, Grange Hermitage for only $500 per bottle, lodge a written order together with a cheque to purchase this rare wine.’

    Peter tasted the wine and decided to purchase a quantity. The next day he posts an order together with a cheque for $30,000 stating that he will purchase five cases (60) bottles. Grange Hermitage is a famous Australian wine and the true market price for the wine that Peter ordered was $1,000 per bottle. The order and the cheque arrived at the cellars the three days later but by then all of John’s stock had been sold. One week later John wrote to Peter saying that he could not fill the order and returned the cheque. Before receiving the letter Peter had invited his business associates to a luncheon where he proposed to serve the Grange Hermitage. He was highly embarrassed and cancelled the luncheon Peter was offered five cases of the same Grange Hermitage by Mary for $35,000. He refused the offer because he had cancelled the luncheon. Peter alleges that because of the cancelled luncheon he has lost business valued in excess of $40,000. Peter now wishes to take legal action against John to recover his losses. Give your opinion as to Peter’s chances of success against John discussing the principles involved.

    This assignment will test the students’ ability to construct a legal argument and carry out detailed legal research.

    Length and Presentation:
    Should not exceed 2,000 words.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    The standards by which the assignment will be assessed include:
    · Ability to identify and explain legal principles
    · How the answer covers all issues
    · Logical development of the legal arguments
    · Citation of appropriate cases
    · Original research
    · Clarity of expression
    · Appropriate referencing

    All text based assignments must be submitted via MyUni.
    Please refer to step by step instructions:

    There are a few points to note about the submission of assignments:
    • Assignment Submission:  Assignments should not be emailed to the instructor; they must be lodged via the MyUni Course site (unless specified to do both). Note that assignments may be processed via TURNITIN, which is an online plagiarism prevention tool.
    • Cover Sheet:  Please submit, separate to your assignment, the completed University of Adelaide Assessment Cover Sheet providing details of yourself and your team members (if applicable), your assignment, the course, date submitted, etc. as well as the declaration signed by you that this is your (your team’s) work.  Note that the declaration on any electronically submitted assignment will be deemed to have the same authority as a signed declaration.
    • Backup Copy of Assignments:  You are advised to keep a copy of your assignments in case the submitted copy goes missing.  Please ensure that all assignment pages are numbered. If your assignment contains confidential information, you should discuss any concerns with the Course Lecturer prior to submission.
    • Extensions of Time:  Any request for an extension of time for the submission of an assignment should be made well before the due date of the assignment to the Course Lecturer.  Normally, extensions will only be granted for a maximum of two weeks from the original assignment submission date.  Extensions will only be granted in cases of genuine extenuating circumstances and proof, such as a doctor’s certificate, may be required.
    • Failure to submit: Failure to submit an assignment on time or by the agreed extension deadline may result in penalties and may incur a fail grade.  Note that a late penalty of 5% of the total available marks for that assessment item will be incurred each day an assignment is handed in late (Unless otherwise stated in 'Assessment Related Requirements' or 'Assessment Detail' above) Assignments handed in after 14 days from the due submission date will fail even if a 100% mark is granted for the work.

    Resubmission & Remarking

    Resubmission of an assignment for remarking after reworking it to obtain a better mark will not normally be accepted.  Approval for resubmission will only be granted on medical or compassionate grounds.
    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

    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.

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