Course Title: Consumer protection law

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

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

John Marshall
Course Contact Phone +61 3 9925 5453
Course Contact Email john.marshall@rmit.edu.au
Building 80 level 5 SAB 445 Swanston St

Paul Ryan co-ordinator and teacher of Consumer Protection Law from semester 2, 2013.Tel 9925 5466 paul.ryan@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-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.

Classes of 2 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

Week          Date                         Topics                                                                                                                                                                               Learning Outcomes (LO)   Assessment                                                                                                                    
Week  1 08 JulyConsumers and consumerism - Historical development. Structure of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010LO1 Participation: each week 3 students will give presentations on an aspect of the previous class 20%
Week 2 15Role and effect of exclusion clauses. The concept of supply chain liabilityLO3 
Week 3 22Obligations of suppliers of goods and services under tort law and the Competition and Consumer Act, 2010LO4 
Week 4 29Obligations of suppliers of goods and services under tort law and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 continuedLO4 
Week 5 05 AugustControls in unsolicited sales and unfair sales techniquesLO 3 & 4 
Week 6 12Liability of manufacturers for faulty and unsafe goodsLO5 Essay plan 10%
Week 7 19Product recall, safety standards, bans and noticesLO5 & 6 
Week 8 26 Product safety and product informationLO6 
  

 

  
Week 9  09 SeptemberProduct safety and product information pt 2LO6 
Week 1016 E<font size="2">nforcement of consumer protection laws</font>LO5, 6 & 8 Essay due 30%
Week.11 23Consumer creditLO7 
Week 12  30 Consumer protection bodies and reviewLO8 
Week1307 October   
 Week 14 14 LO1-8 
 Week 15  21 RevisionLO1-8 
 Week 16 28 Final exam week ( exact dates to be fixed) Final test open book 40%. 2 hours plus reading time


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

The Australian Consumer Law S G Corones Second edition 2013, Thompson Reuters Lawbook co.

9780455228563


References

Australian Consumer Law Commentary and Materials 4th edStephen Corones and Philip H Clarke  Lawbook Co Casebooks


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


1.Revision presentations 20%

2.Essay 40%
3.Final open book test 40%

Description of Assessments

Assessment 1 – at the start of each class 3 students are each to present a summary of an aspect of the previous week’s class as revision of what was covered. The presentations can be in whatever form you like e.g. powerpoint etc and they should take 5 minutes each. Your notes, powerpoints are to be either given to Paul Ryan in hard copy or immediately emailed at the end of your presentation. You will be marked out of 20 marks. The idea is for students to help each other to understand Consumer Protection Law.
Assessment 2 is a written assignment of 2,500 words and you will be advised of the details in the second 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 teacher will try and make recommendations on your Plan within a fortnight and give you a mark out of 10. Your Assignment is due in week 9 and the balance of marks for the assignment amount to 30.

Assessment 3 is the final open book test worth 40 marks scheduled for week 16. Test will be 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

 Evidence of the following is essential:
• Knowledge of Australian Consumer Law relating to
consumers, sellers and manufacturers
• Identifying the areas covered under the Consumer
Protection Law
• Evaluating the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in
relation to the legislative controls on unconscionable
conduct, misleading or deceptive conduct, false or
misleading representations and other unfair practices
• Analysing the Law of Tort and the Competition and
Consumer Act 2010 with regard to the obligations and
liabilities of manufacturers and the rights of consumers to
compensation
• Analysing the legislation with regard to improving product
safety and product information standards
• Identifying the types of credit available and the requirements
on the part of the credit provider and the consumer
• Identifying the bodies available to protect consumer rights
 


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

Presentations 20%

        Essay 40%          Test 40%  
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 2010X X
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.X X X
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 2010X X X
4. Analyse and outline the liability of manufacturers for unsafe products under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 X X X
5. Analyse legislation improving product safety and product information standards and recalls and bans, and enforcement processes. X X X
6. Analyse and assess the need for the licensing of certain occupational groups X X 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 X X
8. Analyse and evaluate the bodies available to protect the rights of the consumer and discuss their operations X 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