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LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research

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 specified unit, together with Land Law, covers the required knowledge relating to Property Law.

This unit deals with the interests in real and personal property recognised by law, including their acquisition and disposition. As well as examining the concept of "property" itself, the unit considers the distinction between personal and real property, and between ownership and possession. It also deals with the recognition of native title.

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Describe and critically evaluate the law of property
LO2Apply the law of property to factual situations and thereby advise clients and others of their rights and obligations in those situations
LO3Compare and contrast Australian property law with that in certain other jurisdictions and evaluate its effectiveness


Topics will include: 

  1. Concepts of Property 
  2. Possession, Title and Personal Property 
  3. Fixtures, Encroachments and Boundaries  
  4. Adverse Possession 
  5. Doctrine of Tenure and Estates 
  6. Co-ownership 
  7. Native Title 
  8. Restraints on alienation  
  9. Rule against perpetuities 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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


Duration:3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.  Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit. 


This level two compulsory 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 multimodal 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 Canvas.   

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 Outcomes

Class Participation: Communication and engagement: Students are required to participate in tutorials, in recognition that the development of skills in locating, referencing and analysing research materials is assisted in participation in tutorials.



Assignment: requires students to complete a research essay or problem-based questions to demonstrate their ability to research the assigned topic and critically evaluate the relevant laws.


LO1, LO3

Examination: If the current assessment is not invigilated, online invigilation must be provided, or alternatively, the examination will have to be moved to ‘on-campus’ mode with appropriate invigilation.


LO1, LO2

Representative texts and references

Samantha Hepburn, Australian Property Law: Cases, Materials and Analysis (6th ed., LexisNexis, 2023) 

Adrian Bradbrook, Susan MacCallum, Anthony Moore, Scott Grattan, Lynden Griggs, Australian Property Law: Cases & Materials (5th ed, Thomson Reuters, 2016) 

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