Course Title: Law of contract

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: LAW5184

Course Title: Law of contract

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

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 (Co-ordinator)

Building 80, Level 5 Tel.9925 5458

andrew.webster@rmit.edu.au

 

Jane Ward

jane.ward@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

A range of learning experiences are planned for this course including class and online activities, group problem solving and group debates.


Teaching Schedule

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

  • Program overview and requirements
  • MyRMIT/Blackboard
  • Overview of assessment requirements
  • Pre-Training Review including: Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers and Assessment of current skills and knowledge
  • Competency/Grading Criteria
  • Plagiarism
  • Appeals
  • Extensions
  • Feedback
  • Privacy
  • Submission requirements
  • Resubmission policy
  • Where to get support
  • Student responsibilities

 The nominal hours associated with this course 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.

Week

Date

Topics

Assessment Tasks

19th Feb

Introduction to the Course including:
• Course requirements
• Course support documents
• Course Blackboard access
• Accuracy of enrolment
• Assessment requirements/Cover Sheets
• Plagiarism
• Appeals
• Submission requirements
• Extensions/Resubmissions
• Feedback in this course
• Getting help

The nature of Contracts

 
216th Feb Offer

Assessment task 2 - Essay 30% to be distributed

Essay Plan - 5% - due to be submitted - week 5

Essay - balance 25% - due to be submitted - week 10

323rd Feb

 Acceptance

Assessment task 1 - Reflections (Part 1 - 15%) - to be distributed, due to be submitted - week 6

42nd March Intention & consideration  
 
59th March Capacity & privity

Assessment task 2 - Essay plan due - 5%

616th March

 Contracting electronically & revision

Assessment task 1 - Reflections Part 1- 15% due

723rd March Terms of a contract 
830th March (Includes mid semester break 3 April - 7 April)

 Independent study- Exempting liability

 
913th April

 Mistake & misrepresentation

Assessment task 1 - (Reflections Part 2 - 15%) - to be distributed, due to be submitted - week 13
1020th April

 Duress, undue influence and unconscionability

Assessment Task 2 - Essay  due - 25%

1127th April

 Illegality

  

124th May

 Discharge of contract

 

1311th May

 Remedies part 1

Assessment task 1 - (Reflections Part 2 - 15%) due
1418th May

 Remedies part 2

 
1525th May Revision 
161st June Final Test (40 marks). Open book 2 hours plus reading time Final Test (40%). Open book 2 hours


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

S .Graw, An Introduction to the Law of Contract, Eighth Edition, Thomson LawBook Co.


References


Other Resources

It is recommended that students have access to a mobile computing device to allow greater flexibility in terms of where they can work on campus outside class times.


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

To pass this course you need to demonstrate you are competent to the industry standard as required of a paralegal. To achieve this, you must complete all assessments to an acceptable industry standard.

To demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes in this course the following evidence is essential:

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

You will be assessed against your skills and knowledge and will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you whether you have performed to industry standard or not and how well you are performing.

Assessment Task 1 - Course Reflection (30 Marks)
Due Date: Week 6 - Reflections Part 1; Week 13 - Reflections Part 2
Submission Procedure: Electronic submission - turnitin.

The purpose of this assessment is to encourage students to participate in classes and 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 lines about. It is important that these are in the student’s own words - as such there is no formal requirement for referencing - but it is important that students use the opportunity to practise this technique

Assessment Task 2 - Written assignment of 1,500 words (30 Marks)
Due Date: Week 5 - Essay Plan - 5%; Week 10 Essay - 25%.
Submission Procedure:Electronic submission - turnitin

Students will be advised of the details in the first week of semester. Students are to submit a plan of their Assignment in week 5. The plan should detail the manner in which he or she intend to undertake your assignment, including the issues, cases and journal articles on which you Intend to rely. The teachers will make suggestions and recommendations on each student’s Plan within a week and give a mark out of 5. The Assignment is due in week 10 with a mark out of 25 marks to be given.

The purpose of this assessment task is to assess students ability to prepare a logical and well constructed essay by applying contract law principles to their chosen topic supported by precedent cases and legislation where appropriate. It is intended that students shall also use information provided not only through feedback on the essay plan together with Reflections Part 1. This task is also intended to assist student’s employability skills.

Assessment Task 3 - Final test (40 Marks)
Due Date: In Class - Week 16
Submission Procedure: Open book test
 

The purpose of this assessment is to assess the body of learning for the course.
 

Feedback

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions.  Students are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that they can obtain feedback on their understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed.  Finally, students are free to email or arrange an appointment with their teacher to gain more feedback on their progress.

Students must take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve their learning outcomes and final performance in the course.
 


Assessment Matrix

Grading:
Grades received throughout semester are only indicative of your performance. These grades will only contribute to your final grade if you complete all assessments to an acceptable industry standard. If students cannot demonstrate competency across all learning outcomes or elements of the course the maximum grade they can achieve is NN or NYC. If students fail to submit one or more pieces of assessment, the maximum grade available is DNS.

 Final grades available are as follows:

80-100HDHigh Distinction
70-79DIDistinction
60-69CRCredit
50-59PAPass
0-49NNFail
DNSDNSDid Not Submit for assessment
 

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

Other Information

Submission Requirements

You should:

  • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date:
  • 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. 
  • Each page of your assessment should include a footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers.

Late Submission Procedures

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment on time, by circumstances outside your control, you must apply in advance for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.
  More Information: http://www.rmit.edu.au/students/assessment/extension
  Form to use: http://mams.rmit.edu.au/seca86tti4g4z.pdf

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration. Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination.
More Information: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=g43abm17hc9w
Form to use: http://mams.rmit.edu.au/8a5dgcaqvaes1.pdf

Reassessment policy:

Students who achieve an indicative grade of greater than 50%, yet have not demonstrated competency across all learning outcomes  will be given the opportunity to undertake an oral questioning with the assessor in which they will be required to demonstrate competence in the elements or learning outcomes not yet demonstrated. If students cannot demonstrate competency across all learning outcomes or elements of the course the maximum grade they can achieve is NN or Not Yet Competent.

Adjustments to Assessment
In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment.  For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:
More Information: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=kehn9bz22r41

Course Overview: Access Course Overview