Course Title: Consumer protection law

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: LAW5197

Course Title: Consumer protection law

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

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 and  VU20108 Law of Contract

Course Description

To enable the learner to identify, examine areas of the law which relate to consumers, sellers and manufacturers as skills relevant to working in a legal office, a Legal Aid provider, government department, financial institution or other area dealing with consumers, suppliers of goods or services or manufacturers.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20121 Consumer protection law


Learning Outcomes


Learning Outcome 1 - Analyse and assess the need for consumer protection and outline the areas covered by consumer protection laws.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Define the term “consumer” and identify persons who may be considered consumers.
1.2 Determine and discuss the factors that result in consumers requiring legal protection.
1.3 Assess the areas of conduct regulated by consumer protection laws.
1.4 Analyse the relationship between Commonwealth and State consumer protection laws.

Learning Outcome 2 - Analyse and evaluate the legislative controls on unconscionable conduct, misleading or deceptive conduct, false or misleading representations and other unfair practices under Part V Division 1 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth), Part 2 and Part 2B of the Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic).
Assessment criteria
2.1 Analyse the circumstances amounting to unconscionable conduct.
2.2 Analyse the liability for misleading and deceptive conduct.
2.3 Analyse the circumstances amounting to ‘false or misleading representation’, and determine the legal consequences that apply.
2.4 Determine other types of unfair practices prohibited.
2.5 Evaluate unfair terms in consumer contracts with reference to the definition of ‘unfair term’ and consequences of unfair terms in consumer contracts.
2.6 Analyse and evaluate the various penalties imposed and remedies available under the legislation. Analyse and compare a specific remedy penalty to a relevant case example.

Learning Outcome 3 - Analyse and assess the legal obligations of a supplier of goods or services and specify the use of exclusion clauses in relation to case study material.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Assess the implications of the law of contract for the sale of goods and services, with specific reference to terms and representations, conditions, warranties and implied terms.
3.2 Evaluate the use of exclusion clauses, including the requirements in relation to notice and the rules relating to interpretation of clauses.
3.3 Analyse Part V Division 2 of the Trade Practice Act 1974 and Part 2A of the Fair Trading Act 1999 with specific reference to the definition of consumer, implied terms relating to the supply of goods, and implied terms relating to the supply of services and remedies.
3.4 Analyse Part I of the Goods Act 1958, with specific reference to the definition of a sale of goods, rules as to delivery of goods, remedies and transfer of ownership.

Learning Outcome 4 - Analyse and assess the obligations of manufacturers and the rights of consumers to compensation under the law of tort and the Trade Practices Act 1974 in relation to faulty products.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Analyse the situations in which a manufacturer can be liable for a faulty product under the law of torts.
4.2 Assess Part V, Division 2A of the Trade Practices Act 1974, with specific reference to persons entitled to compensation, types of goods covered, definition of manufacturer and circumstances in which rights to compensation arise.
4.3 Determine the grounds on which a consumer is entitled to compensation under the Act.
4.4 Determine and consider any exclusions from the right to compensation and limitation of liability.
4.5 Assess the sellers indemnity from the manufacturer.

Learning Outcome 5 - Analyse and outline the liability of manufacturers for unsafe products under Part VA of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Determine and specify the reasons why Part VA of the Trade Practices Act 1974 was enacted.
5.2 Outline the circumstances under which a manufacturer is liable with specific reference to definition of manufacturer and situation where manufacturer is unknown.
5.3 Analyse the circumstances under which goods will be found defective, with specific reference to definition of defect and circumstances to be taken into account.
5.4 Determine and specify the types of injury loss or damage for which a manufacturer may be liable.
5.5 Outline the defences available to a manufacturer.
5.6 Assess the time limits on claims for compensation.

Learning Outcome 6 - Analyse legislation improving product safety and product information standards.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Analyse the reasons for imposing product safety and product information standards.
6.2 Determine the product safety and product information scheme established under Part V Division 1A of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and Part 3 of the Fair Trading Act 1999 with specific reference to Minister responsible and Administration of the scheme.
6.3 Identify and specify the powers of the Minister.
6.4 Evaluate the requirements in relation to publication of draft notices and conferences, with specific reference to advertisements or notice to suppliers, conferences and situation where goods are declared ‘dangerous’.
6.5 Identify and outline the consequences of failing to comply with a product safety notice, with specific reference to offences and civil actions.
6.6 Determine the authority conferred by Part V Division 1A of the Trade Practices Act 1974 to make regulations prescribing product safety.
6.7 Demonstrate the powers conferred by Part 3 of the Fair Trading Act 1999(Vic) in relation to product safety with specific reference to interim orders, permanent orders and product safety regulations.

Learning Outcome 7 - Identify and analyse the types of credit available, their relative advantages and disadvantages, and the requirements on the part of the credit provider and the consumer.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Identify types of consumer credit, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each.
7.2 Analyse the provisions of the Consumer Credit Code.
7.3 Analyse, in relation to case study material, the provision of security for credit by a mortgage over goods.
7.4 Determine and specify, in relation to case study material, the courses of action open to a consumer if the consumer fails or is unable to repay credit.

Learning Outcome 8 - Analyse and evaluate the bodies available to protect the rights of the consumer and discuss their operations.
Assessment criteria
8.1 Outline the composition and operations of Consumer Affairs Victoria (Vic) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Cth) with reference to areas covered and services provided.
8.2 Analyse the composition and jurisdiction of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ; VCAT
8.3 Evaluate the process of making a relevant claim through the VCAT, using relevant case study material.
8.4 Analyse the relevant provisions of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998(Vic) & Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic) with specific reference to the tribunal, its areas of operation, procedure and orders.


Details of Learning Activities

Students will study Consumer Protection law and theory in class sessions and through prescribed exercises and assessment work. These concepts will also be explored through the investigation of appropriate real world and simulated environments. Teaching will take place in the classroom using lectures and tutorials.


Teaching Schedule

Week beginningTopicsAssessment
Week 0 – 25 JuneStudent Research and Review of the concept of consumerism - Historical development 
Week 1 – 2 JulyStructure of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 
Week 2 – 9 JulyRole and effect of exclusion clauses. The concept of  supply chain liability 
Week 3 – 16 JulyObligations of suppliers of goods and services under tort law and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 
Week 4 – 23 JulyObligations of suppliers of goods and services <font size="2">- Continued</font> 
Week 5 - 30 JulyNon teaching week 
Week 6 – 6 AugustControls in unsolicited sales and unfair sales techniques. 
 Week 7 – 13 August Liability of manufacturers for faulty and unsafe goods 
Week 8 – 20 August

 Week beginning 20 August     First test 

 30% open book
 27 August to 2 September Student vacation 
 Week 9 – 3 SpetemberProduct recall, safety standards, bans and notices 
 Week 10– 10 September Product safety and product information  
 Week 11– 17 Sept.Product safety and product information 
 Week 12 – 24 Sept E<font size="2">nforcement of consumer protection laws</font> 
 Week 13 – 1 October Consumer credit 
 Week 14 – 8 October Consumer Credit Continued 
 Week 15 – 15 October Consumer protection bodies and review 
 Week 16 - 22-31 October Final exam week ( exact dates to be fixed) 60% Open book
   
   
   

  

    Assessment details

   Class participation 10%

   Test 1 30% Open Book. Short answer, multiple choice, and case study questions.

    Final exam  60% Open book. Short answer, multiple choice abd case study questions.


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

The Australian Consumer Law. Corones. First edition, Thompson Reuters Lawbook co.

9780455228563


References


Other Resources

Other Texts containing some Consumer Protection Law materials: 
Barron & Fletcher, Fundamentals of Business Law, Mc Graw Hill.
Clark B and Sweeney B, Marketing and the Law  LexisNexis Butterworths Latest edition
Gibson A and Fraser D, Business Law  Sydney: Prentice Hall 2008 
Gillies, P. Business Law
Latimer, P. Australian Business Law 
Sweeney, B. & O’Reilly, J. Law in Commerce
Turner, C. Australian Commercial Law
Vermeesch, RB. & Lindgren, KE. Business Law of Australia
Vickery, R. & Pendleton, W. Australian Business Law
 

Legislation (all legislation is available free on line via www.austlii.edu.au
 

Some Online Resources
 

Australian Legal Sites (http://acclaw.bf.rmit.edu.au/legal)
Austlii (http://www.austlii.edu.au)
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (http://www.vcat.vic.gov.au)
Victorian Law Today (http://www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au)
 


Overview of Assessment

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

• tests/final examination
• assignments
• projects
• presentations
• case studies

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant curriculum standards are being met. Students will be provided with feedback throughout the course to check their progress.


Assessment Tasks

One open book test of 30% and a final open book exam of  60% respectively, with a maximum of 10% for in class response to pre prepared questions and in class participation..


Assessment Matrix

Learning outcomexx 
1. Analyse and assess the need for consumer protection, its historical development and outline the areas covered by consumer protection laws, and the structure of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010xx 
2. Analyse and assess the legal obligations of a supplier of goods or services and expalin the legal effect of the use of exclusion clauses in relation to case study material, and explain the concept of supply chain liability.xx 
3. Analyse and assess the obligations of manufacturers or suppliers in relation to unfair and unsolicited sales techniques and the rights of consumers under the law of tort and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010xx 
4. Analyse and outline the liability of manufacturers for unsafe products under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 x 
5. Analyse legislation improving product safety and product information standards and recalls and bans, and enforcement processes. x 
6. Analyse and assess the need for the licensing of certain occupational groups x 
7. Identify and analyse the types of credit available, their relative advantages and disadvantages, and the requirements on the part of the credit provider and the consumer x 
8. Analyse and evaluate the bodies available to protect the rights of the consumer and discuss their operations x 

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