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LAW2203 Torts A

Semester 1, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Law
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Craig Burgess
Moderator: Anton La Vin


Pre-requisite or Co-requisite: LAW1201

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


The law of civil wrongs, known as torts, sets the standards of behaviour between members of society. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the theoretical basis on which the law of tort in general has developed and, in particular, the tort of negligence. Students will gain an understanding of the circumstances in which an action for the tort of negligence may lie, the elements of the cause of action, the remedies available and possible defences to the action.


On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  1. understand the theoretical and historical basis on which the law of torts has developed
  2. identify the various categories of tort - intentional, strict and negligence
  3. apply general policies underlying the law of negligence in Australia in order to evaluate those laws, in particular for the topics considered in this course
  4. locate and analyse primary law materials and secondary materials (as relevant) while critically reviewing an issue in law relevant to the topics considered in this course
  5. explain the legal principles relevant to the topics considered in this course
  6. apply such legal principles to given fact situations in order to determine the likely outcome to issues raised
  7. demonstrate satisfactory communication skills.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to the law of torts, in particular the tort of defamation 10.00
2. Defamation 20.00
3. Negligence standard of care, duty of care and damage 30.00
4. Contributory negligence, voluntary assumption of risk and joint tortfeasors 20.00
5. Damages 10.00
6. Statutory provisions affecting actions for negligence 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Sappideen C, Vines P, Grant, H & Watson, P 2009, Torts commentary and materials, 10th edn, Thomson, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • Legislation - Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Fricke, G 1958, Criterion of defamation, Australian Law Journal, vol. 32.
  • Gardiner, D & McGlone, F 1998, Outline of torts, 2nd edn, Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • Luntz, H & Hambly, D 2009, Torts cases and commentary, 6th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  • McGlone, F & Stickley, A 2009, Australian torts law, 2nd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  • Richards, B, Ludlow, K & Gibson, A 2008, Tort law in principle, 5th edn, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
  • Sappideen, C & Vines, P 2010, Fleming's the law of torts, 10th edn, Lawbook Co, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • CCH IntelliConnect [electronic database]: Torts & Personal Injury Law Library - accessible via USQ Library Databases.
  • LexisNexis AU [electronic database]: Australian Defamation Law and Practice, Torts Law Journal - accessible via USQ Library Databases.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 50.00
Private Study 75.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CMA TEST 20 20 26 Mar 2012
ESSAY 20 20 04 May 2012
2-HOUR EXAMINATION 60 60 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date after the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes if any are offered at your campus. For all other students, there are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This will be an open examination. Candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments: Students studying this course as part of a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. Students who are not enrolled in either of these programs may use either Harvard (AGPS) or the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at, or contact the Law librarian. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at