Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research , LAWS105 Contract Law , LAWS205 Property

Teaching organisation

4 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. The Bachelor of Laws degree is an accredited degree for admission as a legal practitioner in Australia.

This level four unit contributes to the development of:

  • advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in the field of Equity and Trusts;
  • advanced, cognitive, technical and communication skills and the ability to apply these to complex legal problems in a professional context;
  • advanced research and writing skills.
Equity and Trusts deals with the equity jurisdiction of the Common Law and with trusts. Within the common law, equity developed to modify the rigidity of the law with the objective of achieving, in relation to individual transactions, fairness between the parties. It now exists as a body of principles that seeks to produce individual transactional fairness and just outcomes. The concept of a trust is a major emanation of Equity; as a result, this unit will also examine the nature of trusts and the rights and obligations to which they give rise.

Learning outcomes

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe and critically evaluate the role of equity in relation to the common law (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA9)  

LO2 - Apply equity to factual situations and thereby advise clients and others of their equitable rights and obligations in those situations (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9)  

LO3 - Apply the law of trusts to factual situations and thereby advise clients and others of their rights and obligations in those situations (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9,). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include: 


  1. The origins and nature of equity and its relationship to the common law  
  2. Equitable interests  
  3. Fiduciary obligations  
  4. Equitable remedies  
  5. The nature and creation of trusts  
  6. Types of trusts  
  7. The rights, powers and duties of trustees  
  8. The remedies of beneficiaries 


This content reflects the academic areas of knowledge required for accreditation as set out in the Legal Profession Admission Rules 2015 (NSW) Schedule 1 Part 1(7).   



The following topics: 

(a) The nature of equity 

(b) Equitable rights, titles and interests 

(c) Equitable assignments 

(d) Estoppel in equity 

(e) Fiduciary obligations 

(f) Unconscionable transactions 

(g) Equitable remedies 



With particular reference to the various types of trusts and the manner and form of their creation and variation. The duties, rights and powers of trustees should be included, as should the consequences of breach of trust and the remedies available to, and respective rights of, beneficiaries. (It is expected that about half the course will be devoted to trusts) 




Topics of such breadth and depth as to satisfy the following guidelines: 


The topics should cover the elements of trust law, equitable doctrines apart from those relating to trusts, and equitable remedies. The following aspects of trust law should be dealt with: various kinds of trusts; the rights, duties and powers of trustees; the consequences of breach of trust. Apart from trusts, the following equitable doctrines might be covered, for example, fiduciary obligations, equitable assignments, unconscionability and confidential information. The remedies of specific performance, injunction, declaration and damages in equity should be included. (It is expected that about half the course will be devoted to trusts.) 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode:Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.  


Duration:4 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.  Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit. 


This level four specified Law unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law to meet the requirements of accreditation.  


Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to apply fundamental legal knowledge, skills and understandings to address legal problems.  


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 to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.   


Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law required for accreditation.  


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed.  


Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Communication and Engagement: Students are required to participate in a minimum of 8 out of 12 skills-based tutorials, in recognition that the development of skills in locating, referencing and analysing research materials is assisted by attendance and participation in weekly tutorials. A rubric will be utilised to assess 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 National Lecturer in Charge 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9. 

Assignment 2: Essay  


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9. 

Final Examination: 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9. 

Representative texts and references


M.W. Bryan and V.J. Vann, A Sourcebook on Equity and Trusts in Australia (Cambridge, 2016). 


Dal Pont, GE, DRC Chalmers and JK Maxton, Equity and Trusts: Commentary and Materials (Thomson Reuters, 6th ed., 2015)  


Dal Pont and TLC Cockburn, Equity and Trusts in Principle (Thomson Reuters, 3rd ed., 2014)  


Evans, M, Jones, BL, Power, TM, Equity and Trusts (LexisNexis, 4th ed., 2016)  


Heydon, JD and MJ Leeming, Cases & Materials on Equity & Trusts (LexisNexis, 8th ed., 2011)  


Radan, P and C Stewart, Principles of Australian Equity and Trusts (LexisNexis, 2012)  


Radan, P; Stewart, C; Vickovich, I, Principles of Australian Equity and Trusts: Cases and Materials, 3rd edition (LexisNexis, 2016) 


Barkehall Thomas, S J; Vann V J, Study Guide: Trusts, LexisNexis, 3rd edition (LexisNexis, 2016) 


Heydon, J D; Leeming, M J, Jacobs’ Law of Trusts in Australia, 8th edition (Lexis Nexis, forthcoming October 2016) 


Richard Clements and Ademola Abass, Complete Equity and Trusts Text, Cases and Materials, 4th edition (OUP, August 2015) [U.K. TEXT] 


Sarah Wilson, Todd & Wilson's Textbook on Trusts & Equity, 12th edition (OUP, 2015) [U.K. TEXT] 


Heydon, John D, The Restraint of Trade Doctrine (LexisNexis 3rd ed 2008) 


Milller, Russell, Miller’s Australian Competition Law and Policy (Thomson Reuters, 2nd ed, 2011) 

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