LAW 7186 - Directors' Duties and Relational Corporate Governance (MBA)

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 3 - 2018

This Course introduces students to the complex area of the directorship and governance of the modern for-profit corporation in a 'law and economics' approach. A large body of knowledge is associated with the duties imposed on directors of corporations by the law - under the Common Law, Equity and the Corporations Act 2001(Cth). This Course examines the significant duties under the Common Law and Equity including the duty to act in good faith in the best interests of the company, the duty to use their powers for proper purposes, the duty to avoid a conflict of interest and the duties of care, skill and diligence. Then follows the examination of directors' duties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) including the duty to prevent insolvent trading. The world-wide crisis in financial markets and, in particular, the repercussions on equities markets around the world consequent on the 'credit crunch' of 2008-9 and beyond has once again focused attention on corporate governance. Indeed, the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) continues to have dramatic regulatory, social, economic and political effects around the world. The crux of the GFC is widely acknowledged as a combination of failures in regulatory supervision, 'gate-keeping' by intermediaries, greed and fundamental failings of internal corporate governance. Yet, pre-GFC corporate collapses such as those of Enron and WorldCom in the US, HIH Insurance in Australia and collapses in other countries painted a similar picture. More recently, collapses such as that of the Hastie Group in Australia in 2012 prompt us to examine what lessons from these collapses have failed to be learnt? And what measures could have been taken - prospectively - to avoid the abyss?

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7186
    Course Directors' Duties and Relational Corporate Governance (MBA)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Trimester 3
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Course Description This Course introduces students to the complex area of the directorship and governance of the modern for-profit corporation in a 'law and economics' approach.
    A large body of knowledge is associated with the duties imposed on directors of corporations by the law - under the Common Law, Equity and the Corporations Act 2001(Cth). This Course examines the significant duties under the Common Law and Equity including the duty to act in good faith in the best interests of the company, the duty to use their powers for proper purposes, the duty to avoid a conflict of interest and the duties of care, skill and diligence. Then follows the examination of directors' duties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) including the duty to prevent insolvent trading.
    The world-wide crisis in financial markets and, in particular, the repercussions on equities markets around the world consequent on the 'credit crunch' of 2008-9 and beyond has once again focused attention on corporate governance. Indeed, the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) continues to have dramatic regulatory, social, economic and political effects around the world.
    The crux of the GFC is widely acknowledged as a combination of failures in regulatory supervision, 'gate-keeping' by intermediaries, greed and fundamental failings of internal corporate governance. Yet, pre-GFC corporate collapses such as those of Enron and WorldCom in the US, HIH Insurance in Australia and collapses in other countries painted a similar picture. More recently, collapses such as that of the Hastie Group in Australia in 2012 prompt us to examine what lessons from these collapses have failed to be learnt? And what measures could have been taken - prospectively - to avoid the abyss?
    Course Staff
    Course Coordinator

    Dr Francesco de Zwart
    Lecturer
    First-Year Coordinator
    Adelaide Law School

    Ligertwood Building
    Level 2, Room 213

    Telephone: +61 8 8313 8304
    Email: francesco.dezwart@adelaide.edu.au
    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.   Identify, critically analyse, apply and communicate the factual, structural, economic and legal issues in relation to the principal duties imposed on directors by law under the Common Law, Equity and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) including:

    ·   the civil andcriminal consequences of those breaches including the Civil Penalty Provisionsof the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and

    ·   seeking relief from those consequences


    2.   Identify ,critically analyse and apply the principal ‘law and economics’ theories and models of the firm relating to the separation of ownership from management and the role of corporate governance including:

    ·  How the pre-eminent models balance the interests of ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ to the corporation

    ·  The ‘nexus of contracts’, agency costs and the Shareholder Model

    ·  The shareholder wealth-maximisation principle

    ·  The shareholder primacy model of corporate governance

    ·  The stakeholder model of corporate governance and

    ·  The director primacy model of corporate governance

     
    3.   Identify, critically analyse and apply how these theories and models were undermined in the case of corporate collapses like Enron and Hastie including:

    ·  The structural features of the Enron and Hastie corporate collapses in pre- and post-GFC times and how they operated at the relevant time and

    ·  The lessons they provide for regulators, policy-makers, law reformers and corporate actors and their advisors relating to the long-term survival or sustainability of the corporation


    4.   Identify and be able to critically analyse the regulation of corporate governance through the ‘soft’ law mechanism of international/cross-border Governance Codes and schemes of practice including:

    ·  The Governance Variables which have developed overtime and across sectors (international/cross-border and national) to form the central planks of Governance Codes and schemes


    5.   Identify, critically analyse and apply how individual Governance Variables operate in the real world to enhance or reduce the effects of corporate actors such as the board, individual directors, the CEO and management on shareholder wealth measures such as firm value/share price, firm operating performance/profit and the probability of earnings manipulation including:

    · The effectiveness of individual corporate Governance Variables in affecting the long-term efficiency and sustainability of the corporation

    · The factors that intervene to reduce the operation and effectiveness of these corporate Governance Variables and

    · The relative importance of individual corporate Governance Variables inter se in reducing (or increasing) agency costs and enhancing (or reducing) the long-term efficiency and sustainability of the for-profit firm

     
    6.    Apply knowledge of the above directors’duties, corporate governance theories, corporate collapses, Governance Code regulation and behaviour of individual Governance Variables that underlie corporate governance regulation to assess and propose solutions for directors’duties and corporate governance problems.

    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, 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, 4, 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
    1, 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
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    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
    1,2 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Students are required to purchase or borrow the following:

    ·      Francesco de Zwart, Enhancing Firm Sustainability Through Governance, The Relational Corporate Governance Approach, (Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA, 2015)

    ·      Link to the Book on Edward Elgar Publishing website:
    http://www.e-elgar.com/shop/enhancing-firm-sustainability-through-governance

    ·      Electronic version ofthe Book on Elgaronline:
    http://www.elgaronline.com/abstract/9781784715519.xml
     
     Any further information and materials for students - including Session Slides/Power-Points - will be posted on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    •  Jean Jacques du Plessis, Anil Hargovan, Mirko Bagaric and Jason Harris, Principles of Contemporary Corporate Governance (3rd ed, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2015)
    • Phillip Lipton, Abe Herzberg and Michelle Welsh, Understanding Company Law, 17th edition, Thomson Reuters, 2014
    • Christopher Symes & John Duns, Australian Insolvency Law, (3rd ed, LexisNexis, 2015)
    • Micklethwait and Wooldridge, The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea (Modern Library, New York, 2003)
    • Matt Peacock, Killer Company: James Hardie Exposed (ABC Books, Sydney, 2009)
    • Gideon Haigh, Asbestos House (Scribe, Melbourne, 2006)
    • Andrew Main, Other People's Money: The Complete Story of the Extraordinary Collapse of HIH, (rev ed, Harper Collins, Sydney, 2005)
    • Caroline Overington, Kickback: Inside the Australian Wheat Board Scandal (Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, 2007)
    • John Farrar, Corporate Governance in Australia and New Zealand, (2nd ed, OUP, Melbourne, 2001)
    • Elizabeth Boros and John Duns, Corporate Law (3rd ed, OUP, Melbourne, 2013)
    • RP Austin and IM Ramsay, Ford’s Principles of Corporations Law (16th ed, LexisNexis, Chatswood, NSW, 2014)
    • Paul Redmond, Companies and Securities Law: Commentary and Materials (6th ed, Lawbook Co, Sydney, 2013)
    • Joan Loughrey, Corporate Lawyers and Corporate Governance (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Days 1 and 2

    A mix of teaching (by lecture), group exercises and problem-solving in the course is primarily directed to giving students

    ·   Subject area information, fields of enquiry and current issues

    ·   An introduction to the principal regulatory instruments

    ·   Analytical skills and

    ·   Legal research skills

    in each case for preparingstudents for the 4 assessment tasks:

    ·   In-class participation in discussion, group-work exercises and problem-solving

    ·   Summary paper (1,000 words)

    ·   Presentation on summary paper topic (10 minutes)

    ·   Research-paper of 3,000 words.

    The first two-day intensive sessions will be divided into 8 sessions as shown below, each of which will start with a lecture/workshop introducing the relevant topic, and then students will move to concentrate on in-depth consideration of questions in group-work and exercises including problem-solving.  The overall aim of Days1 and 2 is to introduce the principal duties imposed on directors of corporations under the common law, equity and the Corporations Act 2001(Cth).  This will begin with anintroduction to the nature of the corporation as a separate legal entity under the general law, types of companies and the definitions of directors and officers.  Students are then introduced to an examination of the significant duties under the Common Law and Equity including:

    ·   The duty to act In good faith in the best interests of the company including:

    o    The duty to act in good faith/honestly for the benefit of members as a whole
    o    To take into account the interests of creditors when the company is insolvent or near insolvency

    ·   Duty to use their powers for proper purposes

    ·   Duty to avoid a conflict of interest including:

    o    Interets in contracts with the company
    o    The use of position or information for personal profits and

    ·   The duties of care, skill and diligence and

    ·   The consequences of breach and seeking relief.

    Then follows the examination of directors’ duties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) including:

    ·   Good faith and proper purpose

    ·   Care and diligence including:

    o    The Business Judgement Rule

    ·   Improper use of position and

    ·   Improper use of Information

    ·   The duty to prevent insolvent trading

    ·   The consequences of breach including the Civil Penalty Provisions and seeking relief

    ·   Criminal Penalties

    ·   The statutory duty to disclose and

    ·   Restrictions on voting and being present.

    At the end of Day 2, session 8 will include a skills session on the steps for legal researching to prepare students for the student presentation, summary paper (relating to the presentation) and the main research-paper including:

    ·   Possible areas for research topics

    ·   Research essay guidelines and suggestions

    ·   Rubric for assessment

    ·   Access to staff for assistance with the main research-paper.

    The focus of the steps for lega lresearch will be to emphasise identification of issues and critical analysis beyond mere descriptiveness.

    Students are expected to read the textbook and other materials set prior to the sessions.

     
    Days 3 and 4

    The second two-day intensive sessions will be divided into 8 sessions as shown below, each of which will start with a lecture/workshop introducing the relevant topic, and then students will move to concentrate on in-depth consideration of questions in group-work and exercises including problem-solving. 

    The overall aim of Days 3 and 4 is to introduce the Relational Corporate Governance Approach and its components as an analytical tool for analysing a complex system which is regulated in what would otherwise appear as a number of different and separate areas and instruments. These include ‘hard’ law legislation, ‘soft’ law governance codes, case studies of corporate collapses and empirical studies of the effectiveness of Governance Variables.

     
    Days 5 and 6

    The third of the two-day intensive sessions will be a mix of, to open Day 5, the student presentations (which are assessable) in sessions 17-19. Then, in session 20, a lecture/workshop topic continues the on-going approach of the Course of describing the components comprising the Key Fields of the Relational Approach with Board and audit committee factors and earnings manipulation.

    Day 6 completes the review of the Key Fields of the Relational Approach with an introduction to the controversial area of board, CEO and executive compensation and then summarises the Relational Approach. 

    Attendance at all six days is compulsory, due to the reliance on the first four days, including the sessions for legal researching, for content and approachfor the student summary papers and related presentations on Day 5.  Then, at the end of Day 6, there is a review session during session 24 of Q & As for again preparing the students for the principal assessment task of the main research-paper.  Again, there is access to staff for discussing the students’ ideas and approaches to the main research-paper.

    Students are encouraged to contribute and ask questions during the teachingsessions as marks are awarded for participation.

    Workload

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


    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 156 hours to a 3-unit course.

    Contact time:

    The face-to-face teaching structure in the Course takes a variety of forms spread across 6 days of Trimester 3 of 2018 with intensive teaching split into blocks of 3 x 2 days which run from 9.00 am – 4.00pm with a break from 12.30pm – 1.30pm for lunch.  The dates are:

    Days 1 and 2        

    Friday 28 September 2018 and
    Saturday 29 September 2018 (Week 39)

    Days 3 and 4

    Friday 12 October 2018 and
    Saturday 13 October 2018 (Week 41)

    Days 5 and 6

    Friday 9 November 2018 and
    Saturday 10 November 2018 (Week 45)

    To successfully pass your courses, you will need to allocate an appropriate time commitment to your study. In addition to the formal contact time required for each of your courses, you will need to allocate non-contact time. This includes taking time for activities including assessment tasks, reading, researching, note-taking, revision, writing and informal discussions with other students.


    Learning Activities Summary
    Day Session Topic
    1. Sessions 1 - 2
    Introduction to the Nature of the Corporation and Directors including:

    ·   The ‘separate legal entity’ concept of the corporation
    ·   Types of companies
    ·   Directors and Officers

    Sessions 3 - 4
    The Principal Duties of Directors under the Common Law and Equity including:

    ·   The duty to act In good faith in the best interests of the company including:

        o    The duty to act in good faith/honestly for the benefit of members as a whole

        o    To take into account the interests of creditors when the company is insolvent or near insolvency

    ·   Duty to use their powers for proper purposes

    ·   Duty to avoid a conflict of interest including:

        o    Interets in contracts with the company

        o    The use of position or information for personal profits

    ·   The duties of care, skill and diligence and

    ·   The consequences of breach and seeking relief.

    2. Sessions 5 - 6

    The Principal directors’ duties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) including:

    ·   Good faith and proper purpose

    ·   Care and diligence including:

        o    The Business Judgement Rule

    ·   Improper use of position and

    ·   Improper use of Information

    ·   The consequences of breach including the Civil Penalty Provisions and seeking relief

    ·   Criminal Penalties

    ·   The statutory duty to disclose and

    ·   Restrictions on voting and being present.

    Session 7
    The Duty to Prevent Insolvent Trading under s 588G of the Corporations Act

    Session 8
    Skills Session on the Steps for Legal Researching

    ·   Possible areas for research topics

    ·   Research essay guidelines and suggestions

    ·   Rubric for assessment

    ·   Access to staff for assistance with the main research-paper.

        3. Session 9
    The Challenge of Corporate Governance including

    ·   An introduction of the separation of ownership from management and the role of corporate governance

    ·   Separation of ownership, ‘nexus of contracts’, agency costs and the shareholder primacy model

    ·   ‘Core’ areas of corporate governance and corporate failures

    ·   The ‘Key Fields’ of the Relational Corporate Governance Approach

         Session 10
    Introduction to the framework of the Relational Corporate Governance Approach including:

    ·   Overview of the firm-specific (micro) and macro-economic benefits of ‘good’ corporate governance

    ·   The components of the Relational Corporate Governance Approach

    ·   Introduction to the Governance Variables

    ·   Introduction to the Governance Factors

    ·   Interrelationships between the Governance Factors

    ·   Operational measures of the Relational Approach – governance variable ‘coverage’ and ‘relational proximity rating’
     
      Session 11
    Key Field No. 1 - The Application of the Principal Theories of the Firm

    Session 12
    Key Field No. 2 – Case Studies of the Enron and Hastie Corporate Collapses

    4. Session 13
    Key Field No. 3 – Comparative corporate governance codes of the major cross-border/international and national sectors of the US, UK and Australia

    Sessions 14 - 15
    Empirical Studies Key Field No. 4 – Part 1 – National shareholder protection scheme and
    Board factors I including:

    ·  
    Firm-specific effects of ‘good’ corporate governance – firm value and operating performance

    ·   ‘overall’ governance structure and the level and strength of the national shareholder protection regime

    ·   Board Factors I – ‘independence’, the proportion of non-executive/independent directors and the effects of equity ownership
     
    Session
    16

    Empirical Studies Key Field No. 4 – Part 2 – Board Factors 2 and other firm-specific variables including:

    ·  
    Board size and outside board positions

    ·   Anti-takeover mechanisms and the market for corporate control – whole board and staggered board elections

    ·   Audit sub-committee – presence, independence and expertise

    ·   ‘Block’ and institutional shareholdings

    · 
      Division in the CEO/Chairperson roles

    5. Session
    17

    Student Presentations Part 1

    Session
    18

    Student Prersentations Part 2

    Session
    19

    Student Presentations Part 3

    20
    Empirical Studies Key Field No. 4 – Part 3 – Board and audit committee factors and earnings manipulation including:

    ·   Principal aim of reporting – to reduce information asymmetry and agency risk

    ·   Transparency and the ‘trade-off’ effect on the quality of board and market monitoring

    6. Sessions
    21 - 22

    Empirical Studies Key Field No. 4 – Part 4 – ‘Good’ corporate governance and director, CEO and management compensation

    Session
    23.

    Summary of the Relational Approach conclusions including:

    (1)   the new definition of corporate governance known as the Three Relational Axes of Good Governance

    (2)   Creation of a simulated corporate governance environment which represents the ‘real world’ sphere of corporate governance. These are the four Key Fields introduced above;

    (3)   Identify, describe and map diagrammatically the interrelationships, themes and tensions underpinning these four Key Fields.  These are the eight Governance Factors and the Interrelationship Schemes are combined to create a relational effect path for each Governance Variable;

    (4)   Create a comparative table or scheme system upon which to compare across sectors and over time the Governance Variables utilised in the major US, UK, Australian and international/cross-border for-profit corporate Governance Codes or schemes. 

    (5)   As an over-arching aim, to propose an approach or tool for regulators, policy-makers, law reformers and corporate actors to predict, measure and enhance the relative importance of Governance Variables inter se in reducing (or increasing) agency costs and enhancing (or reducing) the long-term efficiency and sustainability of the for-profit firm.

    Session
    24.

    Review: Question & answer 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
    TASK
    COLLABORATIVE / INDIVIDUAL WEIGHTING WORD COUNT / TIME DUE DATE LEARNING OUTCOME
    Class Participation Individual 10% In-class time Days 1 - 6 CLO 1, 2, 3, 4
    Class Presentation Individual 10% 10 minutes
    Day 5

    CLO 1, 5, 6
    Summary Paper (on same topic as Presentation) Individual 15% 1,000 words Prior to Day 5 CLO 1, 5, 6
    Research Paper Individual 65% 3,000 words Friday, 16 November 2018 at 5.00pm CLO 1, 5, 6
    Assessment Detail
    All assessment tasks are COMPULSORY.   

    All assessment tasks are NOT REDEEMABLE

    You are expected to attend all classes. A failure to do so will adversely affect your participation mark. You are strongly encouraged to speak with your lecturer if you have any particular difficulties with regularly attending. Marks are awarded for class participation which includes attendance.
    All items of assessment must be submitted. To pass this course students must receive an overall result of 50% or more.

    Research-Driven Inquiry, Organisation, Learning and Assessment Tasks

    The Course Coordinator has read "Commonly known, commonly not known, totally unknown: a framework for students becoming researchers" by John Willison and Kerry O’Regan, Centre for Learning and Professional Development, University of Adelaide, South Australia, accessed 11 April 2016 at:


    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/rsd/framework/explanation/video/

    (final and definitive form published in the Higher Education Research and Development 26(4)December 2007 pp393-409)


    Four forms of assessment all based ondeveloping research skills are the building blocks for the development of the student's research skills.  Each form requires students to embark on an inquiry which:

    - needs the student to determine the nature, source, form and breath of knowledge/understanding pertaining to the assessment
    task

    - use appropriate methodology to find or generate information/data in a form suitable to produce the research output required by the assessment task

    - to organise the information collected/generated so it may be logically synthesised for critical evaluation

    - develop critical evaluation skills (beyond mere descriptiveness) to address the assesssment criteria (see below)

    - communicate factual, structural, economic, legal and ethical issues in relation to corporate governance arrangements and
    problems

     
    1.  CLASS PARTICIPATION (10%)


    The Course has allocated 10% of the total marks of the Course for class contribution. As most of the reading and in-class material will be research-based from a scholarly/research monograph which has been published, this is to reflect the importance of class participation in the teaching and research programme. Much of the research-based material to be presented is a spring-board for the student's own research activities in the Course.  The criteria by which participation will be judged are attendance, preparation, quality of contribution, and contribution to group process.


    Preparation — involves planning and managing the student's time to read the assigned material for each class and making an effort to understand those materials and to respond to the questions raised.


    Quality of contribution — means the student's ability to ask or answer questions in an informed way, to apply knowledge gained from the student's preparation to the issues raised in the classes, and to offer ideas or opinions which have been informed by their reading and participation.


    Contribution to group process — refers to the student's interaction with others in the lectures, both students and teachers. It involves listening to others, responding appropriately, being constructive in the student's dealings with them, and assisting in their learning. It also reflects the student's willingness to participate to the best of their ability, and their level of interest and engagement in the class and the material.


    2. CLASS
    PRESENTATION (10%) AND


    3.  SUMMARY PAPER (15%)

    Students will be asked to make a short presentation on a topic to be agreed with the Course Coordinator. A non-exhaustive list of possible topics will be included in the course materials. Each presentation should take 10 minutes, be based on thorough research and be accompanied by a brief paper (of no more than 1000 words) which must be submitted electronically by a date to be fixed.

    Presentations are worth 25% of the total mark for the Course.

    Assessment of presentations will consist of 2 components:

    - a Presentation mark awarded by the Course Coordinator (10%), and

    - a mark awarded for the Summary Paper on the topic (or equivalent) distributed to the class (15%).

     
    Presentation -10%

    The Presentation will be marked in accordance with the grade descriptors which are set out in the Course Outline. Legal and/or theoretical content, depth of analysis, quality of research and presentation skills will all be relevant to the assessment. Students are encouraged to discuss their presentation format with the Course Coordinator in advance, and facilities can be made available for overheads, PowerPoint slides etc.

    Assessment criteria for Presentation

    •  development of logically compelling thesis

    •  level of insight and innovative thought

    •  depth of analysis and level of critical examination of the issues raised

    •  clarity of expression

    •  logical planning and sequence

    •  evidence of comprehensive research and consideration of the relevant literature

    •  demonstrated understanding of relevant legal materials

    •  demonstrated ability to critically evaluate and synthesize information and existing knowledge from a number of sources and experiences.

    •  correct application of relevant material

    •  overall presentation, including speed of delivery, clarity and any visual aids
     

    Summary Paper -15%

    The Summary Paper accompanying the student's Presentation will also be marked in accordance with the grade descriptors in the Course Outline. Legal and/or theoretical content, depth of analysis, quality of research and quality of written communication will all be relevant to the assessment. The paper may be in essay form or, if a student wishes, the student can negotiate that the paper presented to the class be in a format other than essay form, for instance the student may wish to create a pamphlet etc. The paper must be properly referenced (see below).

    Assessment criteria for Summary Paper

    - development of logically compelling thesis

    - level of insight and innovative thought

    - depth of analysis and level of critical examination of the issues raised

    - clarity of expression

    - logical planning and sequence

    - evidence of comprehensive research and consideration of the relevant literature

    - demonstrated understanding of relevant legal materials

    - demonstrated ability to critically evaluate and synthesize information and existing knowledge from a number of sources and experiences.

    - correct application of relevant material

    - overall presentation, including use of correct grammar, spelling and punctuation

    - use of resources in formulating the paper including proper acknowledgment and correct referencing.

     
    Feedback

    Oral feedback on the student's Presentation will be given by the Course Coordinator on the day of the Presentation. The student will also receive written feedback on their Presentation and handout within two weeks of the date of the Presentation.


    Presentation Feedback and Assessment Form

    Written feedback on the student's oral Presentation will be given on a specific form which has the following assessment criteria:

    -  development of logically compelling thesis

    -  level of insight and innovative thought

    -  depth of analysis and level of critical examination of the issues raised

    -  clarity of expression

    -  logical planning and sequence

    -  evidence of comprehensive research and consideration of the relevant literature

    -  demonstrated understanding of the relevant legal materials

    -  demonstrated ability to critically evaluate and syntheisise information and existing knowledge from
    a number of sources and experiences

    -  correct application of relevant material

    -  overall presentation, including speed of delivery, clarity and any visual aids 

     
    4. RESEARCH PAPER (65%)

    The final assessment element will be a Research Paper on a topic to be negotiated with the Course Coordinator. A non-exhaustive list of possible topics will be included in the course materials. The topic of the Research Paper cannot be the same as the Presentation. Students will have an opportunity to discuss their topic with the Course Coordinator.

    Each Research Paper will have a strict word limit of 3,000 words.

    The paper must be written in prose style, adhere to grammatical rules, and use correct spelling. The paper should be typed, using double-spacing, on one side only of A4 paper. Each paper must be clearly marked with the student’s University of Adelaide student number. A word count should be included on the cover sheet. The cover sheet should be signed with each student certifying that the paper is his or her own original work.

    Word Length: the word limit of 3,000 words will be strictlyenforced.

    Due Date: Friday 16 November 2018 at 5.00pm

     
    Notes on Assessment

    The quality of English expression is considered to be an integral part of the assessment process.Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.  Extensions are only available in accordance with the Law School policy. The policy is available at:

    http://www.law.adelaide.edu.au/students/assessment/#submission

    Assessment marks prior to the final assessment will be displayed on the course website. Students are encouraged to check their marks and notify the lecturer-in-charge of any discrepancies.Style Guide The University of Adelaide Law School has adopted the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, published by Melbourne University Law Review Association as the standard for all written submissions at the Law School. The Guide aims to provide a uniform standard of legal citation. The Guide is available
    online at:

    http://mulr.law.unimelb.edu.au/aglcdl.asp

    or via the law library website at:

    http://www.law.adelaide.edu.au/library/research/.

    Hard copies are also available at the Law Library.

     

    Submission

    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments must be submitted to the Digital Dropbox on MyUni.

    Markers can refuse to accept assignments which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism (refer to policy on plagiarism).

    A 5% penalty will be deducted for every day, or part thereof, an assignment is late.

    A 5% penalty will also be deducted for assignments over the specified word limits. This penalty will be applied for every 100 words that the assignment is over the word limit. This means that the penalty will be imposed as soon as the assignment is one word over the limit, and then cumulatively at 100-word increments. Incorrectly declaring the word count of your assignment may result in a breach of the Academic Honesty and Assessment Obligations for Coursework Students policy. For more information see:

    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/230/
    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

    Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy

    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:

    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/


    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. 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:

    https://www.adelaide.edu.au/counselling_centre/

     

     

  • 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.

    Students should read the University's Academic Honesty Policy which may be found at:

    https://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/230/

  • 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.