Course Title: Law of torts

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: LAW5183

Course Title: Law of torts

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6106 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact : Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact Email:doug.gourlay@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Paul Ryan, SAB Building 80, L.5.018, WS008, 445 Swanston Street, Melbourne, 3000.

Nominal Hours: 51

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisites:  VU20111 Legal Process

Course Description

The purpose of this module is to provide a detailed knowledge and skills in the Law of Torts as might be relevant for a person engaged in the operation of a legal office, or associated fields in the public or corporate sectors.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20107 Law of torts


Learning Outcomes


Learning Outcome 1 - Analyse the term “tort”, determine those affected by the law of tort and assess the aims and rationale behind the law of tort.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Determine and specify the nature and meaning of the term tort.
1.2 Examine the historic origins of tort law.
1.3 Distinguish tort from crime, breach of contract, trust or other obligations.
1.4 Examine the nature of the interests protected by the law of torts.
1.5 Analyse the aims and rationale of the law of tort and discuss the need for statutory intervention.

Learning Outcome 2 - Analyse the elements of negligence, determine possible defences to a negligence action and examine damages recoverable in a negligence action
Assessment criteria
2.1 Define the term negligence and analyse its concepts.
2.2 Examine possible defences to a negligence action.
2.3 Evaluate means of proving negligence including burden of proof, standard of proof, the use of expert evidence and application of the res ipsa loquitur concept.
2.4 Examine the nature of damages that may be obtained in a negligence action.
2.5 Analyse legislative limits on negligence actions including thresholds, limitation periods and reduced liability in defined circumstances

Learning Outcome 3 - Analyse issues relating to particular categories of negligence.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Define and specify the principles of occupier’s liability. Examine and evaluate the provisions of the occupier’s liability provisions of the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic).
3.2 Examine the circumstances in which there can be liability for negligent misstatement causing economic loss.
3.3 Analyse the principle of vicarious liability.
3.4 Specify the circumstances in which there can be liability for negligently inflicted purely psychological harm in the absence of physical injury.
3.5 Identify the legal principles relating to liability for harm caused by defective products including the provision of Part VA of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth).

Learning Outcome 4 - Analyse principles of strict liability.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Determine the principles of strict liability.
4.2 Compare strict liability with fault based liability.
4.3 Analyse the available defences to a strict liability claim.
4.4 Consider, as an example, liability for animals under the Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994 (Vic).

Learning Outcome 5 - Analyse and evaluate the various no-fault compensation schemes currently operating in Victoria and the Commonwealth.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Explore the history and basis of the statutory schemes.
5.2 Analyse the no-fault scheme regarding injury arising from a transport accident.
5.3 Evaluate and specify the current compensation schemes for employment related injuries or diseases, both in Victoria and the Commonwealth.
5.4 Identify when common law remedies remain available in transport and employment related situations.
5.5 Evaluate the problems arising from the statutory schemes and investigate the advantages and disadvantages of the schemes.

Learning Outcome 6 - Analyse the law relating to the intentional tort of trespass to the person.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Define the term assault and identify its elements in tort law.
6.2 Define the nature of battery and identify its elements in tort law.
6.3 Define false imprisonment and identify its elements in tort law.
6.4 Identify the elements of intentionally causing harm in tort law.
6.5 Evaluate the possible defences to trespass to the person.

Learning Outcome 7 - Analyse the elements of torts designed to protect interests in land.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Examine the elements of and defences to the intentional tort of trespass to land.
7.2 Analyse the tort of private nuisance and distinguish from the tort of public nuisance.
7.3 Identify the remedies available for interference with interests in land.

Learning Outcome 8 - Analyse and assess intentional torts relating to interference with interests in goods.
Assessment criteria
8.1 Differentiate between the elements of the torts of trespass to goods, conversion and detinue and identify the respects in which these torts overlap.
8.2 Examine the nature of the remedies available to a successful plaintiff in trespass to goods, conversion and detinue.

Learning Outcome 9 - Analyse, evaluate and specify the elements of defamation, analyse the possible defences to a defamation action and developments in relation to protection of privacy.
Assessment criteria
9.1 Analyse the relevant principles of defamation law.
9.2 Evaluate and define the elements of defamation.
9.3 Identify and outline the defences to a defamation action at common law and in legislation.
9.4 Determine the possible remedies to a defamation action:
       • Types of damages
       • Injunction
       • Impact of an apology and offers to make amends
9.5 Examine the developments in relation to the protection of privacy.


Details of Learning Activities

Classes of two hours each week for 16 weeks as per teaching and assessment schedule. The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course. This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities
The week by week classes as per the teaching schedule below and assessments, including due dates, are subject to variation. Class teachers will to keep as close as practicable to that set out in this Part B Statement

.Course requirements: students consult timetable and are expected to attend all scheduled classes
Course support documents: see RMIT Blackboard
Student Induction: conducted prior to commencement of classes or during the first class and will cover the following: Blackboard, Overview of assessment requirements including Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers, Grading, Plagiarism, Appeals,Extensions,Feedback,Privacy, Submission requirements, Resubmission policy, Where to get support, Student responsibilities
.


Teaching Schedule

Teaching and assessment schedule for Semester 2, 2013 

<thead> <th scope="col">week</th> <th scope="col">date week begins</th> <th scope="col">Topic</th> <th scope="col">learning outcomes/assessment criteria</th> <th scope="col">assessments</th> </thead>
 1 08JulyNature, sources and purpose of tort law. Classification of torts                                                                                               Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 
 2 15Assault and battery Learning outcome 6 
 3 22 False imprisonment Learning outcome 6 
 4 29Torts relating to Land – trespass and nuisance Learning outcome 7 
 5 05 August

Torts relating to goods.

Defences and remedies for intentional torts

 Learning outcome 8Case Study due in this week
 6 12Defamation class Learning outcome 9 
 7 19In class open book test Learning outcome 1 
 8 26Negligence - Duty of Care Learning outcomes 2,3 In class open book test
  

Mid Semester Break

 

  
 9 09 September     Negligence - Breach of Duty Learning outcomes 2,3 
 10 16Proof of Negligence, causation and remoteness of damage Learning outcomes 2,3 
 11 23Defences to negligence claims, types of damage Learning outcomes 2,3 
 12 30Liability for defective goods Learning outcome 4 
 13 07 OctoberStatutory compensation schemes Learning outcome 5 
 14 14 Revision Learning outcome 1 
 15 21 Final Test Learning outcome 1 In class final test
16 28 Deferred assessments and review Learning outcome 1 

 Mid-Semester break of one week after week 8, begins on 02 September, 2013
 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Connecting with Tort Law  by Julia Davis published by Oxford


References

The Law of Torts 5th edition by Barker, Cane, Luney & Trindale published by Oxford

Torts Cases and Commentary 6th edition Luntz, Hambly, Burns, Dietrich + Foster published by LexisNexis Butterwoths

Law of Torts 4th edition Balkin & Davis published by LexisNexis Butterworths

Australian Torts Law 2nd edition McGlone + Stickley published by LexisNexis Butterworths

Torts A Practical Learning Approach 2nd edition by Clarke, Devereux & Werren published by LexisNexis Butterworths

Torts Law in Principle 5th edition by Richards, Ludlow + Gibson published by Lawbookco Thomson Reuters

Torts 6th edition by Davies + Malkin published by LexisNexis Butterworths

The New Law of Torts 2nd edition by Danuta Mendelson published by Oxford 


Other Resources

Online Resources:
Australian Legal Sites (www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/just5010)

Australasian Legal Information Institute (www.austlii.edu.au)

CCH Online (www.cch.com.au)

ComLaw (www.comlaw.gov.au)

LexisNexis Butterworths Online (www.butterworthsonline.com)

Transport Accident Commission (www.tac.vic.gov.au/)

Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents (www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au)

Workcover (www.workcover.vic.gov.au)

High Court of Australia (www.hcourt.gov.au)

Federal Court of Australia (www.fedcourt.gov.au)

Federal Magistrates Court (www.fms.gov.au)

Supreme Court of Victoria (www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au)

County Court of Victoria (www.countycourt.vic.gov.au)

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au)

Acts and subordinate legislation (Victoria & Commonwealth)

• Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Victoria & Commonwealth)
• Confiscation Act, 1997 (Vic)
• Domestic(Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994 (Vic.)
• Goods Act, 1958 (Vic)
• Sentencing Act, 1991 (Vic)
• Transport Accidents Act 1986 (Vic.)
• Victims of Crime Assistance Act, 1996 (Vic)
• Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic.)
• Health and Other Services (Compensation) Act, 1995 (C’th)
• Health Insurance Act,1973 (C’th)
• Social Security Act, 1991 (C’th)
• Trade Practices Act, 1974 (C’th)
• Volunteer Protection Act, 2003 No.2 (C’th

 


Overview of Assessment

Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of the requirements in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks, and may include:

•  written tests
•  class discussion
•  case study analysis
•  assignments

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Assessment Tasks

1.Case Study Assignment due week 5 30%
2.Open book test week 8 30%
3.Final open book test week 15 30%
 

Description of Assessments

Assessment 1 Case Study (see “Assignments” on the learning hub) where you are asked a series of questions relating to a case or cases concerning assault, battery, wrongful imprisonment and damages, being topics covered in the classes in weeks 2 and 3. You have to submit typed answers by your class in week 5 and you will be marked out of 30

Assessment 2 is an open book test worth 30 marks scheduled for week 8.

Assessment 3 is the final open book test worth 40 marks scheduled for week 15 where you will probably have to answer 3 major questions in 2 hours plus reading time

.
Students must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of competency to be deemed competent.
A range of assessment methods are used to assess practical skills and knowledge, for example:
* tests and examinations in formal settings
* assignments, projects and case study analysis
* direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence
* review of authenticated documents from the workplace or training environment
* demonstration of techniques
* Class presentation

Assessment Grading
HD High Distinction 80-100 4point values to GPA
DI Distinction 70-79 3point values to GPA
CR Credit 60-69 2point values to GPA
PA Pass 50-59 1point value to GPA
NN Pass 0-49 nil
Critical aspects of assessment

 • examine the origin, nature, aims and rationale of Tort Law
• analyse Tort Law in all its forms, both historical and contemporary,
and as it applies to and is delivered by Australian courts today
• research and analyse precedent in Tort Law to arrive at an effective
courtroom strategy
• analyse the statutory instances of Tort Law
 


Assessment completion requirements

You are required to complete 3 assessment tasks.
To pass this course students must attempt assessments as required which are graded upon submission by the class assessor.
Grading is weighted so that a mark of 50% is a passing grade.

Assessment submission requirements

Assessment tasks need to be submitted via turnitin on Blackboard unless otherwise advised.

You should:

* Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at http://rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.
* Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy)
* When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on blackboard.
* Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Julie Macpherson, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.


Marking Guide

Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.

 


Assessment Matrix

Learning OutcomesCase study 30%Test 1 30%Test 2 40%
1. Analyse the term “tort”, determine those affected by the law of tort and assess the aims and rationale behind the law of tort                                                                                                                         X X X
2. Analyse the elements of negligence, determine possible defences to a negligence action and examine damages recoverable in a negligence action   X
3. Analyse issues relating to particular categories of negligence   X
4. Analyse principles of strict liability   X
5. Analyse and evaluate the various no-fault compensation schemes currently operating in Victoria and the Commonwealth   X
6. Analyse the law relating to the intentional tort of trespass to the person X X 
7. Analyse the elements of torts designed to protect interests in land X X 
8. Analyse and assess intentional torts relating to interference with interests in goods  X 
9. Analyse, evaluate and specify the elements of defamation, analyse the possible defences to a defamation action and developments in relation to protection of privacy  X 
    

Other Information

My aim is students enjoy studying this interesting course. 

Course Overview: Access Course Overview