Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

3 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The vast majority of businesses, of any size, are companies. Therefore, to function in the business environment it is important to understand the basic principles of company law. Apart from lawyers, accountants are the largest professional group that interacts with corporate structures and it is important that they understand the workings of, administration and limitations of company structures under the Corporations Act. Companies conduct the majority of their activities through contract law. Accountants need a working knowledge of the law of contract.

Emphasis in this unit will be placed on understanding the legal effects of incorporation, the liability of companies, the laws relating to the raising and maintenance of capital, the responsibility for management of companies, the proper conduct of companies, protection of shareholders and options for companies in financial distress, common law and statutory rules applicable to contract, offer, acceptance, intention to establish legal relations, performance of contracts, remedies for breach of contract.

Ultimately, the aim of this unit is to provide you with a solid grounding as we examine the main principles of company law and commercial law as they affect accountants.

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 - Identify and explain the basic principles of corporations and commercial law or apply those principles so as to develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy (GA4, GA5, GA7); 

LO2 - Assess the various duties and obligations of directors, other officers, and auditors of companies; (GA4, GA5, GA7); 

LO3 - Use the relevant Act to research problems, construct solutions and explain the ongoing administrative requirements of a company (GA4, GA5, GA6); and 

LO4 - Explain the legal effects when a company interacts with outsiders, in particular, the ways in which companies make contracts (GA3, GA4 and GA7) 

Graduate attributes

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 


Topics will include: 

  • Common law and statutory rules applicable to contract, offer, acceptance and intention to establish legal relations 
  • Performance of contracts 
  • Remedies for breach of contract 
  • Incorporated versus unincorporated entities 
  • The legal effects of incorporation 
  • The liability of companies 
  • The laws relating to the raising and maintenance of capital 
  • The responsibility for management of companies 
  • Directors duties of good faith and care 
  • The proper conduct of companies, protection of shareholders, and  
  • Options for companies in financial distress, liquidation and administration 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

There are 12 Lectures and 12 Tutorials in LEGL601 conducted within a 12 week-semester.  

Students should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of study for this unit, including class attendance, readings and assessment preparation. This includes upfront preparation before attending the lectures and tutorials, while most students report that they spend an average of one hour preparing before the workshop and one or more hours after the workshop practicing and revising what was covered.  

The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for you to prepare and revise. It is up to individual students to ensure that the out of class study is adequate for the optimal learning outcomes and successes. 

The following technology assistance will be accessible to students online: 

  • unit outline 
  • notices/announcements 
  • assessment information, submission, marking and return of results/feedback 
  • learning resources (readings, direction to further sources of online information, lecture slides, audio and video recorded material) 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment is an integral part of the learning process. This unit is assessed by two assignments and a final examination. Assessment tasks in this unit are aimed at measuring and developing student’s achievement of both the learning outcomes and graduate attributes noted above. The assessment in this unit may include, but are not limited to: quizzes, essays, reports, examinations, or case studies. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1 

The first task is an individual assignment. Students are expected to conduct legal analysis individually, by identifying the correct issue(s), explaining the relevant law, and demonstrating the ability to apply the law in the given context, and reaching a logical conclusion to solve a legal problem question (GA 3 & 4). Students are also expected to learn how to use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) as a referencing system. 



GA4, GA5, GA7 

Assessment 2 

This group assignment is to assess student’s ability to synthesise knowledge and critically evaluate relevant case law and legislation while communicating effectively in a written format and working collaboratively in a team (GA 3 - 7). 


LO2, LO3 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7 

Assessment 3 

The purpose of the final exam is to further assess a student’s ability to synthesise knowledge and apply it to relevant fact patterns and prompts as it relates to corporate enterprises 


LO1, LO4 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7 

Representative texts and references

Australian Corporations Legislation, (latest edition), Butterworths. 

Ciro, T; Goldwasser, V and Verma, R, (latest edition), Law and Business, latest edition, Oxford University Press.  

Corones, S. (latest edition), The Australian Consumer Law, Lawbook Co. 

Cusumano, S; Wiseman, L; Christensen, S, (latest edition), Butterworths Tutorial Series - Contracts, LexisNexis Butterworths. 

Fitzpatrick, J; Symes, C; Veljanovski, A and Parker, D, (2016), Business and Corporations Law, 3rd edition, LexisNexis Butterworths, Australia. (or the latest edition) 

Hanrahan, P; Ramsay, I; Stapledon, G, (latest edition), Commercial Applications of Company Law, 11th edition, CCH. 

Harris, B, (latest edition) Constitutional Law Guidebook, The Federation Press. Lipton, P; Herzberg, A, (latest edition), Understanding Company Law, Law Book Co. 

Radan, P; Gooley J; (latest edition) Principles of Australian Contract Law, latest edition, LexisNexis.  

Terry, A; Giugni, D, (latest edition), Business and the Law, latest edition, Cengage Learning. 

Paterson, J; Robertson, A and Duke A, (latest edition), Principles of Contract Law, latest edition, Thomson Reuters. 

Turner, C; (latest edition), Australian Commercial Law, latest edition, Thomson Reuters 

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