Teaching organisation4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.
Unit rationale, description and aim
The Rule of Law, and access to legal advice, are the basis of free, democratic, and just societies which promote personal dignity, thriving communities, and the Common Good. Law graduates working in legal practice, in business, in government, and in the community play an essential role in promoting and upholding the Rule of Law in Australia and across the world. LAWS105 Contract Law is a professional unit that requires development of particular attributes for accreditation purposes. These are included in the Learning Outcomes. The Bachelor of Laws degree has been approved by accreditation authorities as a prerequisite for admission to legal practice in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, and is recognised for the purposes of admission in other Australian states and territories.
Contract Law is a fundamental and practical subject. It provides the mechanism for parties to exchange goods or services and thus satisfies the needs or wants of society. Contract law deals with the law relating to contractual agreements including their formation, content, avoidance, performance and discharge and the remedies available to the parties where contractual obligations are not performed properly, or at all. Its focus is on the underlying principles and rules of law that apply to all contracts, unless otherwise provided by statute or the common law. As such, its study is a prelude to embarking upon those areas of law that have at their core contractual agreement between two or more parties. The unit’s over-arching aim is a clear understanding and application of contract law principles to resolve contractual disputes.
To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.
Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the Attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.
Explore the graduate capabilities.
|Learning Outcome Number||Learning Outcome Description|
|LO1||Explain key principles on formation, content, avoidance and discharge of contracts|
|LO2||Identify relevant legal issues and apply Contract law to factual situations and proffer legal solutions to problems; and thereby advise clients and others of their contractual rights and obligations in those situations|
|LO3||Present legal opinions on contractual liability to a professional standard applying research and/or writing skills.|
|LO4||Compare and contrast Australian Contract Law with that in certain other jurisdictions and evaluate its effectiveness|
This content reflects the academic areas of knowledge required for accreditation, Schedule 1, Legal Profession Admission Rules 2015.
- Formation, including capacity, formalities, privity and consideration.
- Content and construction of contract.
- Vitiating factors.
or topics of such breadth and depth as to satisfy the following guidelines:
Some variation may be expected in the breadth and detail of the topics. In general, however, knowledge of the formal requirements for concluding contracts, capacity, the content and interpretation of contracts, their performance and discharge, and available remedies, together with an understanding of the broad theoretical basis of contract would be expected.
Learning and teaching strategy and rationale
Mode: Lectures, tutorials (individual and group work activities), electronic consultation, library tasks.
Duration: 4 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent. To fully benefit from your learning, you are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit.
This level one compulsory law unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law to meet the requirements of accreditation. We encourage you to creatively engage with the unit’s content and to apply fundamental legal knowledge, skills and understandings to address legal problems. Completing the assessment tasks designed for this unit will help to enhance your learning and demonstrate your achievement of the learning outcomes of this unit.
The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online mode. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility as well as a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising Canvas.
Assessment strategy and rationale
Assessments perform an important role and contribute to effective learning and achieving the learning outcomes of this unit. It also develops within you the ability to monitor your own learning and standards. The assessments in this unit comprise of three components: communication and engagement, an assignment and a final examination, which are set out below. Contract law is a subject where the principles are closely interrelated and applicable to related aspects of contractual exchanges. The assessments are thus designed to determine whether, and to what extent, students have grasped the principles and apply them in an integrated manner.
The assessment tasks are designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in this specialist area of law required for accreditation. They are also designed for you to demonstrate achievement of each the learning outcomes listed.
In order to pass this unit, students are required to attempt and complete every assessment task and attain an overall score of at least 50%.
Overview of assessments
|Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment Tasks||Weighting||Learning Outcomes|
Communication and engagement:
Students are required to participate in a minimum of 8 out of 12 tutorials, in recognition that pre-reading materials and preparation for tutorials contribute to quality contributions in class discussions. A rubric will be utilised to assess communication and engagement by students. Should a student fail to achieve the minimum participation requirements due to illness and/or personal circumstances beyond their control, an alternative assessment may be negotiated with the Lecturer in Charge.
|LO1, LO2, LO3|
Students are required to write an answer to a problem-based question which is designed to address issues raised in the materials and allow a critical reflection on legal issues and factually apply to the question to resolve the legal dispute. Besides understanding and applying contract principles, this assignment recognises the need for developing skills in locating, referencing, analysing research materials and training in legal writing skills. A rubric will be utilised for this assessment.
|LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4|
Students are required to complete the final examination which is an open book examination that requires solving of legal problems. This assessment recogises the need for developing examination skills to work through and provide a legal solution to a given legal problem within the time frame of the examination period.
|LO1, LO2, LO3|
Representative texts and references
M F Cheong, Australian Contract Law: Principles and Cases (Thomson Reuters, 2020).
J W Carter, Carter’s Guide to Australian Contract Law (LexisNexis, 3rd ed, 2016).
P Clarke and J Clarke, Contract Law: Commentaries, Cases and Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 3rd ed, 2016).
J Paterson and A Robertson, Principles of Contract Law (Thomson Reuters, 6th ed, 2020).
J Paterson and A Robertson, Contract Cases and Materials (Thomson Reuters, 14th ed, 2020).
A Stewart, W Swain and K Fairweather, Contract Law: Principles and Context (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
P Radan, J Gooley, John and I Vickovich, Principles of Australian Contract Law ( 4th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2018).
P Radan, J Gooley, John and I Vickovich, Principles of Australian Contract Law: Cases and Materials (4th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2018).
L Willmott, S Christensen, D Butler, B Dixon, Contract Law (Oxford University Press, 5th ed, 2018).