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LAW5201 Commercial Law

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Law

Contents on this page


Examiner: Michael Maguire
Moderator: Liam Scott

Other requisites

Pre-requisite: Enrolment in an approved postgraduate program. 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 //


Law provides the framework within which commerce operates. An appreciation of the legal system and the judicial process is necessary for those involved in the commercial world. This applies particularly to accountants in that the law impacts on so many areas in which they must work.


This course is designed to introduce students to the impact of law on business. To do this it commences with a review of the components of the Australian legal system, the judicial process and the means by which disputes are resolved or litigated. Civil liability in contract law, negligence and other tortious actions are examined in some detail. Criminal law is also briefly covered as well as the law of agency.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the Australian legal system particularly as it relates to the application of the principles of precedent, statutory interpretation and dispute resolution
  2. demonstrate introductory level legal problem solving skills by describing, explaining and applying the principles of law studied in this course in order to determine the likely outcome to issues raised
  3. explain, interpret, illustrate and assess the role and application of the criminal law, torts, the law of contract, and the law of agency
  4. provide appropriate illustrations of the principles of law dealt with in this course and the ability to apply those principles to actual scenarios in order to determine the likely outcomes to the issues raised.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to the Australian legal system including sources of law; constitutional framework and hierarchy of courts 14.00
2. Judicial process
  1. statutory interpretation
  2. precedent
  3. litigation and alternate dispute resolution
3. Principles of legal liability
  1. criminal (7%)
  2. civil (a) contract (35%); (b) torts (20%)
4. Agency 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. (

  • Turner, C, Australian commercial law, Lawbook Co, Sydney, New South Wales.
    (latest edition is required.)

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.
  • Cane, P, Trindade, F & Lunney M, The law of torts in Australia, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria. (Module 6).
  • Crosling, GM & Murphy, HM, How to study business law: reading, writing and exams, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales. (General reference).
  • Ellis, E, Principles and practice of Australian law, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, New South Wales. (General reference).
  • Graw, S, Introduction to the law of contract, Lawbook Co, Rozelle, New South Wales. (Modules 7 - 9).
  • Ipp, I & Weerasooria, WS (eds) 2002, Butterworths business and law dictionary, 2nd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales. (General reference).
  • Khoury, D & Yamouni, YS, Understanding contract law, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales. (Modules 7 - 9).
  • Latimer, PS, Australian business law, CCH Australia, Sydney, New South Wales. (Modules 2 - 10).
  • Macken, CE, The law student survival guide: 9 steps to law study success, Thomson Reuters, Rozelle, New South Wales. (General reference).
  • McCrae, H, Nettheim, G & Beacroft, L, Indigenous legal issues: commentary and materials, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales. (Modules 2 & 3).
  • Pearce, DC & Geddes, RS, Statutory interpretation in Australia, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales. (Module 4).
  • Seddon, N, Cheshire & Fifoot's law of contract, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales. (Modules 7 - 9).
  • Smith, M, Butterworths' student companions: contracts, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales. (Modules 7 - 9).
  • Vermeesch, RB & Lindgren, KE, Business law of Australia, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales. (Modules 2 - 10).

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 22.00
Directed Study 52.00
Private Study 91.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE TEST 1 10 10 06 Aug 2012 (see note 1)
ONLINE TEST 2 10 10 13 Aug 2012
ONLINE TEST 3 10 10 03 Sep 2012
EXAM PART A (MULTI-CHOICE) 10 10 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. Students are required to complete each online test by the due date. Each online test will be available from the USQConnect Study Desk. Students will not be permitted to attempt any online test after its respective due date. Failure to submit the online test does not result in an automatic failure for the course but does result in the loss of marks for that item.
  2. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date for Exam (Parts A and B) after the timetable has been finalised. The total working time for Exam (Parts A and B) is 2 hours.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and 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 aggregate of the weighted marks 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. Assignments: (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the examiner. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) In accordance with university policy, the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. (iv) Assignments are to be submitted in the appropriate assignment folders. (v) The examiner will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media. (vi) Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner to negotiate such special arrangements. (vii) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience.

  2. Course weightings: Course weightings of topics should not be interpreted as applying to the number of marks allocated to questions testing those topics in an examination paper. The examination may test material already tested in assignments.

  3. Referencing in assignments: In this course students may use either Harvard (AGPS) or the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC). Students should consistently use one of these systems in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at // For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at //, or contact the Law librarian.

  4. Dishonest actions: (i) Any student who is alleged to have performed a dishonest action relating to any assessment in the course will have a course of action taken against him/her as outlined in the academic regulations. (ii) Pieces of assessment should be the work of individual students. Joint pieces of assessment are not permitted unless written approval has been obtained from the examiner. (iii) Dishonest action in relation to assessment includes: copying or attempting to copy the work of others; use of or attempting to use information prohibited from use in that form of assessment; submitting the work of another as your own; consciously committing acts of plagiarism, that is, taking and using another's thoughts or writings as one's own with intent to deceive, which occurs when paragraphs, sentences, a single sentence or significant parts of a sentence which are copied directly, are not enclosed in quotation marks and appropriately footnoted or referenced in the text; direct quotations are not used, but text is paraphrased or summarised, and the source of the material is not acknowledged by footnoting or other reference in the text.

  5. Deferred work: Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

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 //