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  • Term Mode
  • Professional Term 5Online Scheduled


LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research

Unit rationale, description and aim

This level four unit contributes to the development of:

  • advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in the field of financial markets law and regulation; 
  • advanced, cognitive, technical and communication skills and the ability to apply these to complex legal problems;
  • advanced research and writing skills. 

Financial markets law and regulation examines current financial markets regulation in Australia, including securities markets, financial derivatives markets and hybrid securities. Students will consider and examine the relevant legal issues relating to the common law rules and statutory regulation of financial markets, financial products and financial services, including the role of brokers and financial intermediaries. The unit will also consider the special role of national regulators including:- the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australia Securities Exchange (ASX). This unit introduces students to the basic principles of financial markets law and regulation in Australia, including various aspects of product disclosure, the Australian financial services licensing regime, consumer protection and market misconduct. The role of national regulators in maintaining and promoting market integrity in both capital and derivatives markets will also be examined.

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 DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Demonstrate knowledge of key legal aspects of financial markets law and regulation within Australia and explore the interaction between financial markets and overall market regulationGC7
LO2Apply problem-solving and reasoning skills with the application of financial markets law and regulatory principles to factual situationsGC7, GC8, GC9
LO3Communicate effectively with the application of financial markets law and regulatory principles to contemporary issues affecting the Australian and global economyGC11


Topics will include:

  • Regulating securities and financial markets
  • Administration of securities and financial services law
  • Defining financial products
  • Disclosure laws regulating the offering of financial products and securities
  • ASX continuous disclosure obligations for listed securities 
  • Liability for defective disclosure
  • Australian financial licensing scheme
  • Market misconduct
  • Consumer protection
  • Insider trading
  • International perspectives

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 four elective unit allows students to demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law building on knowledge developed in the compulsory law units.

Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to apply knowledge, skills and understanding developed in the compulsory areas of law to a specialist area of law.

The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly mode 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 OutcomesGraduate Capabilities

Task 1:

Communication and Engagement: Students are required to participate in tutorials/workshops, in recognition that the development of skills in locating, referencing and analysing research materials. 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, LO3GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11

Task 2:

Individual Assignment/or Online Quiz. Either a 1250-1500 individual written assignment to be uploaded via Turnitin or alternatively, a 20-30 multiple choice online quiz to be administered via Canvas. The online quiz will be 60-90 minutes in duration.


LO1, LO2, LO3GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11

Task 3: 

Final Examination to be administered centrally by examinations during the exam period. The final examination will be open book.


LO1, LO2, LO3GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11

Representative texts and references

Black, Ashley & Pamela Hanrahan, Securities and Financial Services Law, (Lexis Nexis, 10thed, 2021)

Ciro, Tony, Commercial Law (Thomson Reuters, 3rd ed, 2023)

Ciro, Tony, Derivatives Regulation and Legal Risk: Managing Uncertainty in Derivatives Transactions (Euromoney, 2004)

Fady, Aoun & Oliva Dixon, Emma Armson & Marina Nehme, Redmond’s Corporations and Financial Markets Law (Thomson Reuters, 8th ed, 2022)

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