LAW 1511 - Property Law

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This course will discuss important features of the Australian common law and statutory provisions relating to property, with a focus on land law. The principal aim is to acquaint students with the fundamental proprietary interests and to teach students how to apply the relevant laws and concepts to practical situations where such interests are in dispute. The following topics will be considered: Meaning and purposes of the concept of property; an overview of chattels and persona l property; possession, seisin and title; the nature and type of proprietary interests; creation and enforceability of legal and equitable interests in land; creation and enforceability of equitable interest; statutory schemes of registration i.e. the Torrens system of land title registration; native title law; acquisition and disposal of proprietary interests; concurrent ownership; subsidiary interests in land (especially, easements, mortgages and restrictive covenants.)

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 1511
    Course Property Law
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1509 or LAW 1503
    Incompatible LAW 1005, LAW1506
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description This course will discuss important features of the Australian common law and statutory provisions relating to property, with a focus on land law. The principal aim is to acquaint students with the fundamental proprietary interests and to teach students how to apply the relevant laws and concepts to practical situations where such interests are in dispute. The following topics will be considered: Meaning and purposes of the concept of property; an overview of chattels and persona l property; possession, seisin and title; the nature and type of proprietary interests; creation and enforceability of legal and equitable interests in land; creation and enforceability of equitable interest; statutory schemes of registration i.e. the Torrens system of land title registration; native title law; acquisition and disposal of proprietary interests; concurrent ownership; subsidiary interests in land (especially, easements, mortgages and restrictive covenants.)
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Burdon

    Peter Burdon (course coordinator)
    3.28 Ligertwood Building
    +61 (08) 8313 4446

    David Brown
    Room 2.20, Ligertwood Building
    +61 (08) 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. Determine, explain and apply the principles of Australian property law to resolve complex problems and theoretical questions.
    2. Analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources and experiences to answer complex
    legal questions in a principled manner.
    3. Apply property law to complex problems and critically examine its operation from a range of cultural, theoretical and social perspectives.
    4. Prepare convincing written arguments for a legal audience.
    5. Embody professionalism and ethical behaviour in providing legal advice in an academic environment.
    6. Identify and analyse cultural, theoretical and social factors impacting on property law.

    Property Law covers fundamental areas of legal knowledge as required for admission into practice. These areas of knowledge are known as the 'Priestley 11' and are set out in Appendix A of the Rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council 2004 (SA). According to the ‘Priestly 11’ Property Law must cover the following substantive areas:

    1. Meaning and purposes of the concept of property.
    2. Possession, seisin and title.
    3. Nature and type (ie fragmentation) of proprietary interests.
    4. Creation and enforceability of proprietary interests.
    5. Legal and equitable remedies.
    6. Statutory schemes of registration.
    7. Acquisition and disposal of proprietary interests.
    8. Proprietary interests in land owned by another.
    9. Mortgages.

    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, 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
    2, 3, 5, 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
    4, 6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4, 5
    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
    3, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students will be supplied, through MyUni, with weekly study guides that outline the material and issues to be covered in both lectures and seminars.

    The prescribed textbook for the course is: The Boundaries of Australian Property Law, ed. H Esmaeili and B Grigg (Cambridge University Press, Australia, 2016).

    Here are some other texts that students might wish to use for reference, in addition to the prescribed text:
    1. Robert Chambers, An Introduction to Property Law in Australia (3rd ed, Law Book Co of Australasia, 2013)
    2. BJ Edgeworth, CJ Rossiter, MA Stone, PA O’Conner, Sackville & Neave Australian Property Law (10th ed, Lexisnexis Butterworths Australia, 2016)
    3. Anthony Moore, Scott Grattan, Lynden Griggs, Australian Real Property Law (6th ed, Thomson Reuters, 2015)
    4. Adrian Bradbrook, Susan V MacCallum, Anthony P Moore and Scott Grattan, Australian Real Property Law (6th ed, Thomson Reuters, 2016)
    5. Samantha Hepburn, Australian Property Law (3rd ed, Butterworths, 2014)
    6. Eileen Webb & Margaret Stephenson, Land Law (24th ed, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, 2015)

    During the course, you will also need to consult the following online material:
    1. Law of Property Act 1936 (SA). The current version of this legislation can be found online at:
    2. Real Property Act 1886 (SA). The current version of this legislation can be found online at:

    In Property Law students are required to use their research skills to find case law. All cases can be found in hardcopy or online via the law library:

    To find cases students will also need to familiarise themselves with legal abbreviations. A guide to legal abbreviations can be found at
    Online Learning
    With the exception of any books mentioned, all course materials will be available on MyUni or on university law databases (cases required).

    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. The online quizzes will be done through MyUni too.

    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
    In week one, the entire weekly contact will be devoted to introducing the concept of property and its use in law as well as organisational information in the seminar.

    Each week there will be a two-hour lecture and a one hour seminar. Online activity will consist of optional quizzes which are used for personal revision.

    All arrangements will be fully explained in week one.

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

    The University expects full-time students (ie those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means we expect students enrolled in Property Law to spend 12 hours per week studying this course. Students in this course are expected to attend seminars. In addition, students should allocate time to private study in the course across the 12 week semester and the period before the exam – this includes reading the material, watching the videos, attending/watching lectures, preparing for seminars and undertaking the assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Provisional topic guide (subject to change)

    Week Lecture Seminar
    1 Introduction to Property Rights Course Introduction
    2 Possession, Seisin, Tenure and Estates Introduction to Property Rights
    3 Native Title Possession, Seisin, Tenure and Estates
    4 The Origin and Nature of Equitable Interests Native Title
    5 Leases The Origin and Nature of Equitable Interests
    6 Easements, Profits a Prendre and Covenants Leases
    7 Co-ownership and Strata Title Easements, Profits a Prendre and Covenants
    8 Mortgages Co-ownership and Strata Title
    9 Indefeasibility Mortgages
    10 Exceptions to Indefeasibility Indefeasibility
    11 Priorities Between Unregistered Interests and Remedies Exceptions to Indefeasibility
    12 Course overview and exam revision Priorities Between Unregistered Interests and Remedies
  • 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 Length Redeemable Weighting Learning Outcome
    Quizes (10) Individual Throughout semester,
    starting in week 3.
    N/A No 10% (10 x 1%) 1, 2, 3
    Interim assignment Individual 2pm, Friday of week 8. 2,000 words Yes 30% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
    Exam (invigilated) Individual Exam Period 2 hours, plus 10 minutes
    reading time
    No 60 or 90% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    All assessment components are compulsory. Failure to complete any component will lead to failure of the course.
    Assessment Detail
    1. Online quizzes (10%)

    Students will be expected to complete 10 online quizzes, released over Weeks 3-12. Each quiz will involve 10 multiple-choice questions on material and issues previously covered in lectures. To complete a quiz, students must answer all questions correctly. Each quiz may be attempted as many times as is necessary to complete it. Each quiz successfully completed will be worth 1% of the total mark for the course. Each quiz must be completed before the start of the week following its release.

    Interim Assignment (30%) Compulsory and redeemable

    Description: The interim assignment will consist of a problem question and short answer question, similar to the questions to be set in the Final Exam.

    Release Date: Monday, Week 5 (via MyUni)

    Due Date: 2pm, Friday week 8. Assignments submitted late will incur a penalty of 5% for every day, or part thereof, that the assignment is late.

    Length: The assignment is to be a maximum of 2000 words, including footnotes. Footnotes are to contain references only and additional text will not be read. The interim assignment mark is redeemable, for those who get a mark of at least 45%. If a student gets at least that mark for the interim assignment, but does better on the final exam, only their final exam mark will count towards their overall result.

    Final Exam (60% or 90% depending on whether assignment mark is redeemed)

    There will be a 2 hour final exam, plus 10 minutes’ reading time. The exam will be open book, meaning that any notes, materials or books (excluding University library books) may be taken into the examination room. The exam will be consistent in format to the Interim Assignment.

    The weighting of the final exam will vary as follows:
    • for a student who gets below 45% for the assignment or does better on the assignment than the final exam – 60%
    • for a student who gets at least 45% for the assignment but does better on the final exam – 90%

    The interim assignment must be submitted electronically by the due date. The electronic copy must be submitted to a software program, Turnitin that checks your submission for plagiarism. Instructions on how to electronically submit your assignment to Turnitin will be provided with the assignment instructions.

    Further instructions for the interim assignment:
    1. The assignment is to be presented in typed form using Times New Roman 11-point font and using single spacing. The margins of the paper (right, left, top and bottom) must be no less than 2.5cm. The paper is not to include appendices or a bibliography.
    2. Citation must comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed) available at:
    3. The assignment must be written in prose style (using complete sentences), adhere to grammatical rules, and use correct spelling.
    4. Penalties: Late submission 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 that is submitted 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.
    5. Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated word length will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 2,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 2001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 2101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
    6. Marked answers will be returned to students within 3 weeks with written feedback.

    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.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    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.

    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 Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • 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.