Course Title: Law of contract

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: LAW5184

Course Title: Law of contract

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

Andrew Webster, building 80, level 5, tel 9925 5458.

andrew.webster@rmit.edu.au

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-requisite:  VU20111 Legal Process

Course Description

 The purpose of this module is to provide a detailed knowledge of contract law as might be relevant to a person working in a legal office, private or public sector organisation or other area requiring a specialised knowledge of contract law principles and to enable the learner to evaluate contractual issues in both social and domestic, and commercial environments.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20108 Law of contract


Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Analyse and evaluate the nature and meaning of contracts, the regulation of the form of contracts, and evaluate the impact of legislation upon contract law.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Define the nature and meaning of a contract.
1.2 Distinguish between deeds/contracts under seal and simple contracts.
1.3 Analyse the relationship between common law and legislation in contract including reference to the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and the Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic).
1.4 Identify the regulation of the form of contracts and apply relevant examples.
1.5 Evaluate and specify the impact of legislation upon contract law by use of relevant examples or case studies.
1.6 Assess the significance of contracts and contract law in business.

Learning Outcome 2 - Scrutinize and apply the rules governing the requirement that the parties to a contract must reach an agreement comprised of offer and acceptance.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Define the terms ‘offer’ and ‘acceptance’.
2.2 Explain the details pertaining to the rules governing offer and apply an example.
2.3 Assess and determine the rules governing acceptance and apply an example.
2.4 Distinguish between revocation, rejection and lapse of offer, and apply an example of each.
2.5 Evaluate the principles of revocation, rejection and lapse of offer.

Learning Outcome 3 - Analyse the presumption and assess rules relevant to the requirement that the parties have an intention to create legal relations.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Assess the application of the presumption concerning social and domestic agreements with reference to the types of agreements and exceptions to the general rule.
3.2 Analyse a relevant case study and apply the presumption and rules stated in 3.1.
3.3 Identify and determine the application of the presumption concerning commercial agreements with reference to types of agreements and exceptions to the general rule.
3.4 Analyse a relevant case study and apply the presumption and rules stated in 3.3.

Learning Outcome 4 - Analyse and assess the rules which govern the requirement that consideration must be present in simple contracts.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Define the legal principles governing consideration in relation to formal contracts.
4.2 Analyse the rules governing consideration.
4.3 Use case example analysis of the element of consideration.
4.4 Define the term promissory estoppel and examine its principal characteristics. Apply to a relevant example.

Learning Outcome 5 - Analyse and assess the nature and significance of the terms of a contract, the differences between representations and terms, the nature and significance of collateral contracts, the different types of contract and the nature and operation of exclusion clauses.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Specify the terms of a contract:
5.2 Define and distinguish between representation and terms, and examine the significance of that distinction.
5.3 Identify and detail the relevant factors in determination of representations and terms.
5.4 Define the nature, elements and effects of collateral contracts.
5.5 Assess the significance of the categories of express terms, and provide an example.
5.6 Assess and examine the significance of implied terms.
5.7 Assess the nature and application of exclusion clauses.

Learning Outcome 6 - Determine and analyse the legal principles relating to the position of persons who lack contractual capacity to enter into contracts, comparing contrasts and the rights and liabilities of persons with whom they contract.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Analyse the legal position of minors entering contracts.
6.2 Compare and contrast other categories of persons lacking full contractual capacity such as mental state, drunkenness and bankruptcy.
6.3 Compare the rights and liabilities of persons who enter into a contract with those who lack contractual capacity.
6.4 Analyse a relevant case study, examining and specifying the following information:
   • the legal positions of persons who lack contractual capacity as identified in 6.1 and 6.2
   • the rights and liabilities of persons who enter into contract.

Learning Outcome 7 - Distinguish between and assess the meaning and effects of consensual problems of contracts with reference to mistake, misrepresentation, duress, undue influence and unconscionability.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Define the term ‘consensual problems’. Discuss and distinguish between mistakes, misrepresentation, duress, undue influence and unconscionability.
7.2 Determine the nature, categories and consequences of mistake and the effects of mistake, and analyse with reference to common mistake, mutual mistake, unilateral mistake using differing case examples.
7.3 Outline the nature, categories and consequences of misrepresentation and the effect of legislation, analyse with reference to categories and consequences of misrepresentation and the effect of legislation.
7.4 Assess the nature, categories and consequences of duress, undue influence and unconscionability, and analyse, using specific examples.
7.5 Specify and evaluate the effects of consensual problems
7.6 Analyse and compare different case examples of consensual problems.

Learning Outcome 8 - Determine the circumstances where a contract may be illegal or void and assess the consequences.
Assessment criteria
8.1 Identify and demonstrate by example, the circumstances where a contract may be illegal or void, and discuss the consequences.
8.2 Determine the principles and consequences of contracts illegal by statute with reference to contracts illegal as formed and contracts illegal as performed.
8.3 Specify and evaluate the nature, categories and consequences of contracts illegal at common law. Include case example analysis and comparison.
8.4 Assess the nature and consequences of contracts void and/or prohibited under common law and statute with specific reference to categories of void contracts, contracts in restraint of trade and unjust consumer credit contracts.

Learning Outcome 9 - Determine the legal principles relating to privity of contract and assignment of contract.
Assessment criteria
9.1 Define and specify the legal principles relating to privity of contract and assignment of contract.
9.2 Outline the nature, parameters and consequences of the doctrine of privity of contract.
9.3 Specify the exceptions of privity of contract, and highlight with a relevant example.
9.4 Determine the correct procedure relating to assignment of contractual rights and obligations with reference to assignment by the parties and assignment by the operation of the law.

Learning Outcome 10 - Evaluate, analyse and specify the different circumstances and consequences that result in a contract being discharged.
Assessment criteria
10.1 Specify the procedures of discharge of contracts.
10.2 Demonstrate the consequences for the parties of discharge of contracts in the categories identified in 10.1.
10.3 Analyse with reference to specific examples or case studies, the procedures and consequences identified in 10.1 and 10.2

Learning Outcome 11 - Analyse the various remedies available when a contract is breached, and apply to a relevant case study.
Assessment criteria
11.1 Define the remedies available when a contract is breached and examine with a specific example.
11.2 Analyse and assess the nature and limitations of the remedies identified in 11.1.
11.3 Apply the remedies identified in 11.1 to a particular situation and relevant case study.
11.4 Analyse and compare a specific remedy to a relevant case study.


Details of Learning Activities

Classes of 3 hours per week for 16 weeks as per the teaching 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

WeekDate - week commencing         Topic                                                                                                                            Learning Outcome/Assessment CriteriaAssessment
1   10 Feb             Induction + Introduction                                                 
2   17 FebThe nature of Contracts learning outcome 1 
3    24 FebOffer learning outcome 2 
4    3 MarchAcceptance learning outcome 2 
5   10 MarchIntention & consideration learning outcomes 3,4 Essay plan due
6    17 MarchCapacity & privity learning outcomes 6, 9 Reflections weeks 1-3 due
7    24 MarchContracting electronically & revision learning outcomes1-11 
8    31 MarchTerms of a contract learning outcome 5 
9     7 AprilExempting liability learning outcome 5 Essay assignment due
10   14 AprilMistake & misrepresentation learning outcome 7 Mid semester break 18-25 April approx
11    28 April
 Duress, undue influence and unconscionability
 learning outcome 7 
12    5 May Illegality learning outcome 8Reflections 4-8 due
13   12 MayRemedies learning outcome 10 
14   19 MayRemedies learning outcome 11 
15   26 MayRevision learning outcomes 1-11 
16    2 JuneFinal Test (40 marks). Open book 2 hours plus reading time learning outcomes 1-11Final Test (40 marks). Open book 2 hours

 

 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

An Introduction to the Law of Contract by Stephen Graw - seventh edition - Lawbook Co


References


Other Resources

JW Carter, Australian Contract Law Lexis Nexis Buttterworths

Carter Peden Tolhurst , Contract Law in Australia, Fifth Edition, Lexis Nexis Butterworths.

Clarke, Clarke & Courmadias, Contract Law, third edition, LexisNexis Butterworths.

Cusmano, Wiseman, & Christensen, Contracts 3rd edition Butterworths.

Gooley & Radan, Principles of Australian Contract Law, LexisNexis Butterworths

Gooley, Radan & Vickovich, Principles of Australian Contract Law Cases and Materials, LexisNexis Butterworths

Hocker and Heffey, Contract Commentary and Materials, Law Book Co., Australia.

Holm, Eric, A Contract Law Workbook Thomson Reuters

Khoury and Yamouni, Understanding Contract Law, Seventh edition Butterworths.

Seddon and Ellinghaus, Cheshire and Fifoots, Law of Contract in Australia, 8th edition
Butterworths.
 


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:

• Case study analysis
• Short answers questions
• Written assignment/reports
• Oral presentations
• Project/s

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.Reflections                               30%
2.Assignmnet                              30%
3.Final open book test week 16  40%

Description of Assessments

Participation / reflections the aim is to encourage students to participate in classes and to reflect on the content. At the end of most classes students will be given a topic to reflect on either verbally or to write usually 10-20 lines about. The idea is for you to express your views in your own words –not just regurgitate a slab from Graw’s text or the Notes. At the end of week 6, students will be required to submit their first 3 written reflections and they will be marked out of 15 by your teacher. As I perceive in some, a weakness in English expression, inappropriate grammar will result in deduction of marks e.g. d’ont, can’t, could’ve or could of etc. I also believe we need to improve our ability to provide written advice. We want you to express yourself clearly and to apply Contract law principles to fact situations. The reflections are to be typed with each topic followed by your reflection. If the reflections are submitted late, and without proper excuse, one mark per school day they are late will be deducted. The balance of the reflections 4-8 will be due at the end of week 12 and the same procedure applies.

Written assignment is a written assignment of 2,000 words and you will be advised of the details in the first week of semester. You have to submit a plan of your Assignment in week 5. The plan should detail the manner in which you intend to undertake your assignment, including the issues, cases and journal articles on which you Intend to rely. The teachers will try and make recommendations on your Plan within a week and give you a mark out of 5. Your Assignment is due in week 9 and the balance of marks for the assignment amount to 25.

Final test is an open book test worth 40 marks 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
DI Distinction 70-79
CR Credit 60-69
PA Pass 50-59
NN Pass 0-49

Critical aspects of assessment
• Knowledge of Contract Law principles
• Evaluate contractual issues in both social and domestic, and
commercial environments

 

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 Outcome                                                                                                                              Reflections 30% Assignment 30% Final Test  40%
  1. Analyse and evaluate the nature and meaning of contracts, the regulation of the form of contracts, and evaluate the impact of legislation upon contract law X X X
 2. Scrutinize and apply the rules governing the requirement that the parties to a contract must reach an agreement comprised of offer and acceptance X X X
 3. Analyse the presumption and assess rules relevant to the requirement that the parties have an intention to create legal relations X X X
4. Analyse and assess the rules which govern the requirement that consideration must be present in simple contracts  X X X
 5. Analyse and assess the nature and significance of the terms of a contract, the differences between representations and terms, the nature and significance of collateral contracts, the different types of contract and the nature and operation of exclusion clauses X X X
 6. Determine and analyse the legal principles relating to the position of persons who lack contractual capacity to enter into contracts, comparing contrasts and the rights and liabilities of persons with whom they contract X X X
 7. Distinguish between and assess the meaning and effects of consensual problems of contracts with reference to mistake, misrepresentation, duress, undue influence and unconscionability.
 
 X X X
 8. Determine the circumstances where a contract may be illegal or void and assess the consequences X  X
 9. Determine the legal principles relating to privity of contract and assignment of contract   X
 10. Evaluate, analyse and specify the different circumstances and consequences that result in a contract being discharged   X
 11. Analyse the various remedies available when a contract is breached and apply to a relevant case study X  X

Other Information

Audios of all classes will be made available on blackboard after each class.

Also, suggested answers to questions discussed in class are made available on blackboard after each class.

Week by week teaching schedule is subject to variation,  You should always check, before your classes, Blackboard Announcements and student emails for changes.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview