LAW 1509 - Commercial Transactions

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

This course introduces students to a variety of subjects relevant to commercial transactions, and provides a foundation for subsequent courses addressing related concepts. The course introduces students to commerce in Australia, including the various business structures and regulators, and provides an overview of contract law (a subject covered in more detail in other courses). Other subjects to be covered may include sale of goods; commercial leases; contracts of guarantee and insurance; electronic commerce; personal property and the Personal Property Securities legislation; competition regulation and the Australian Consumer Law; basic concepts of taxation; and international commercial transactions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 1509
    Course Commercial Transactions
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1501
    Corequisites LAW 1501
    Incompatible LAW 1003; LAW 1503
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description This course introduces students to a variety of subjects relevant to commercial transactions, and provides a foundation for subsequent courses addressing related concepts. The course introduces students to commerce in Australia, including the various business structures and regulators, and provides an overview of contract law (a subject covered in more detail in other courses). Other subjects to be covered may include sale of goods; commercial leases; contracts of guarantee and insurance; electronic commerce; personal property and the Personal Property Securities legislation; competition regulation and the Australian Consumer Law; basic concepts of taxation; and international commercial transactions.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Mark Giancaspro

    Location: Room 3.04, Ligertwood Building
    Telephone: (08) 8313 0879 (work)
    Course Website:
    Consultations: Appointments can be made (on short notice) by email or telephone, at a mutually convenient time.

    Course Timetable

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

    Each week there will be a two-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar. The timetable will be staggered so that the lecture theme in one week is the seminar theme for the subsequent week. This ensures that students have had the advantage of attending the lecture and absorbing the relevant material for that week's theme prior to engaging with it on a deeper level in the seminars. There will be no seminars in Week 1.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Analyse and apply in a principled manner the foundational principles of property and corporate law related to commercial transactions. Undertake legal research at a foundational level, and evaluate and apply a range of legal sources to resolve complex commercial problems;
    2. Apply the law related to commercial transactions to resolve legal problems;
    3. Develop well-structured and persuasive written arguments for a mixed legal and non-legal audience. Communicate effectively individually and as part of a team;
    4. Interact with peers in an ethical manner, appropriate to an academic environment. Exercise professional judgement in completion of in-class activities and assessments;
    5. Analyse the impact of the law related to commercial transactions from a policy perspective;
    6. Reflect on their ability to effectively undertake work as a member of a team. Use feedback to inform individual skills development.

    The Legal Practitioners' Education and Admissions Council (LPEAC) sets rules for the academic requirements for admission to legal practice in South Australia. Students must demonstrate a satisfactory level of understanding and application of 11 core areas of legal knowledge. This course teaches the following topics within these core areas:

    Content and construction of contract; Formation, including capacity, formalities, privity and consideration;  agency; vitiating factors; discharge; remedies

    Unconscionable transactions, equitable remedies

    Proprietary interests in land owned by another

    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)
    2, 5, 6
    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
    1, 2, 3
    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
    3, 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
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    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
    4, 5
    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
    4, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The prescribed textbook for this course is Dilan Thampapillai et al, Australian Commercial Law (Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 2019) *forthcoming. The textbook will be supplemented with additional readings, which will be provided on MyUni and available in a printed compilation on demand from the Image & Copy Centre.

    Recommended Resources

    A series of recommended readings and resources may be provided for each learning week. These will be outlined in MyUni.

    Online Learning

    The MyUni course page for this course can be accessed at MyUni will be used for communication, including the posting of announcements. Besides this Course Profile and the Study Guide, students can also use MyUni to access copies of the PowerPoint slides used in lectures, recordings of lectures, assessment tasks, and other course materials. 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

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures and seminars throughout the semester. The lectures will offer an overview of the topics covered in the course, according to the Learning Activities Summary. There will be some opportunities for students to ask questions on the issues covered and engage in the discussion throughout the lectures.

    The seminars will involve a combination of activities including small group discussions and problem-solving exercises, class discussions and reflections, use of media, and more. The seminars will address selected issues covered in the course and are designed to encourage active engagement with these issues. The seminars are more of a guided, open forum for discussion, problem-solving and critical thinking. The questions assigned for each seminar provide direction for the sessions.


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

    The course requires a combined weekly commitment of 3 hours attending lectures and seminars, equating to a total of 36 hours of formal class time across the semester. In addition to the time spent attending the lectures and seminars, there is a requirement that students prepare for the seminars. To actively and productively participate, students will have to do reading and preparation. The assigned readings and lecture slides provide a context for the material covered in the lectures and seminars. Students should expect to devote an average of 12 hours per week to their studies in the course.

    Learning Activities Summary

    LAW 1509 Commercial Transactions

    Semester 1, 2019
    Week Dates Lecture topic Seminar topic
    1 March 4-8 Foundations of commerce in Australia NO SEMINARS
    2 March 11-15 An introduction to contracts and their regulation Foundations of commerce in Australia
    3 March 18-22 Commercial leases An introduction to contracts and their regulation
    4 March 25-29 Contracts of guarantee and insurance Commercial leases
    5 April 1-5 Sale of goods Contracts of guarantee and insurance
    6 April 8-12 The law of personal property Sale of goods
    7 April 29-May 3 Personal property securities The law of personal property
    8 May 6-10 Competition and consumer law Personal property securities
    9 May 13-17 Competition and consumer law (cont.) Competition and consumer law
    10 May 20-24 Electronic commerce Competition and consumer law (cont.)
    11 May 27-31 Basics of taxation Electronic commerce
    12 June 3-7 International commercial transactions Basics of taxation
    13 June 10-14 NO LECTURE International commercial transactions
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable.
  • 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 Length Due Weighting Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Online quizzes Individual 10 questions Throughout semester 10% (5 x 2%) No 1, 2, 4
    Assignment Individual 2000 words 29 April 30% Yes 1-4, 6
    Exam Individual 2 hours Exam period 60% or 90% No 1-5
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Each piece of assessment is compulsory. The assignment will be redeemable by the final exam for a mark of at least 40%.

    Assessment Detail

    1. ONLINE QUIZZES x 5 (10%, 5 x 2% each)

    Release Date: The Online Quizzes will be released in Weeks 2, 3, 10, 11 and 12 via Canvas on MyUni.

    Due Date: Students will have 48 hours from the time of release in which to complete the quiz.

    Details: This exercise will require students to answer 10 short questions in five separate quizzes on issues arising in the corresponding teaching weeks. To clarify, the material assessed in each quiz is drawn from the teaching and learning materials (including lecture slides and prescribed readings) from the respective teaching week, but does not include specific content covered in the seminars. Students will only be permitted to attempt each quiz once.

    Word Limit: N/A.


    3. ASSIGNMENT (30%)

    Release Date:
    The Assignment will be released at 2:00pm on Friday 5 April.

    Due Date:
    The Assignment must be submitted by 2:00pm on Monday 29 April.

    Details: This exercise will require students to answer problems based upon contracts of guarantee and insurance (Week 4) and sale of goods (Week 5). The assignment will be redeemable by the final exam for a mark of at least 40%.

    Word Limit: 2000 words.

    4. EXAM (60 or 90%)

    Release Date:
    University exam period (TBA).

    Due Date:

    Details: The Exam will be two hours in duration (plus 10 minutes reading time), with all course material taught in Weeks 6-9 being potentially examinable. The exam will be open book. Further information regarding the Exam will be delivered to students closer to the date.


    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. The short problem and assignment papers must be submitted via 'TurnitIn' on MyUni. Details for electronic submission through Turnitin will be provided with the task instructions. By submitting your papers you are agreeing:
      1. That all material in the assessment is your own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others;
      2. That you have read the Policy on Cheating in Examinations and Related Forms of Assessment and the University's Plagiarism Policy; and
      3. To give permission for your 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.
    3. Late Submission: When an assignment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend and public holidays. For example, an essay 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.
    4. Word Length: 5% of the total mark possible for a written assessment will be deducted for every 100 words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3.100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations, and all substantive discussion in footnotes, but exclude citations in footnotes. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    5. Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made using the appropriate 'Assessment Task Extension' form available on Unified (go to Unified > Forms and Downloads > Assessment Task Extension). Extensions will be granted only for limited medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances in accordance with University Policy.
    1. Style of written work: All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the most recent edition of the approved Law School style guide, the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
    2. Turnaround time: All written works for this course will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the submission date. Individual feedback will be provided on each paper.
    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.