Course Title: Consumer protection law

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2014

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

Paul Ryan  - Co-ordinator
Building 80,Level 5
Tel. 9925 5466
Email:  paul.ryan@rmit.edu.au

Tina Popa - Teacher
Email:  tina.popa@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

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:
  o Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
  o 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.

The purpose of this assessment is to assess the body of learning outcomes required for the unit.

Week

Date

Topics

Assessment Tasks

17th July

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

 
214th July Consumers and consumerism - Historical development. Structure of Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Key concepts. 
321st July

 

428th July Specific false or misleading representations  
 
54th Aug Unconscionable conduct including unfair sales techniques Essay plan 10%
611th Aug

Unfair contract terms including exemption clauses

 

718th  Aug Consumer guarantees including remedies relating to guarantees. 
825th Aug Consumer Agreements including unsolicited sales and lay-bys. 
   1-7 September -  Mid Semester break
98th Sep

 Product recall, safety standards, bans and notices

 Essay Due 40%
1015th Sep

Private remedies

 

1122nd Sep

 Enforcement of consumer protection laws by ACCC and CAV. Consumer protection bodies and review

  

1229th Sep

 Manufacturer’s liability for defective products
 

 

136th Oct

 National Credit Code

 
1413th Oct

 National Credit Code part 2

 
1520st Oct Revision 
1627th Oct Final test open book 2 hours plus reading time Final test 50%


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

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


References

Australian Consumer Law Commentary and Materials 4th ed Stephen Corones and Philip H Clarke Lawbook Co


Other Resources

It is recommended that you have access to a mobile computing device to allow greater flexibility in terms of where you 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, 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

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

• Knowledge of Consumer Protection Law relating to consumers, sellers and manufacturers
• Identifying the areas covered under the Consumer Protection Law
• Evaluating the Trade Practices Act 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 Trade Practices Act 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

In order to pass this course you must successfully complete the 3 assessment tasks:

Assessment Task 1 - Assignment Plan (10%)
Due Date: Week 5
Submission Procedure:  In Class

The purpose of this assessment is to demionstrate you have sufficient understanding of basic concepts with the Australian Consumer Law to effectively plan your assessment to demonstrate your understanding.


Assessment Task 2 - Research Assessment (40%)
Due Date:  Week 9
Submission Procedure:  In Class

The purpose of this assessment is to assess your knowledge of the Australian Consumer Law, particularly with reference to: Misleading or deceptive conduct; specific false or misleading representations; unconscionable conduct including unfair sales techniques; unfair contract terms including exemption clauses; consumer guarantees including remedies relating to guarantees and consumer Agreements including unsolicited sales and lay-bys.


Assessment Task 3 - In Class test (50%)
Due Date:  Week 16
Submission Procedure:  In class test - 2 hours plus reading time.

The purpose of this assessment is to assess the body of learning outcomes required for the unit.
 

Feedback

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

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning outcomes and final performance in the course.
 


Assessment Matrix

Marking Guide:

You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you how well you are performing.

Please refer to the Final Grades table below:

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:
   • If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for extensions of time. (Please refer to the information in the Late Submission Procedure section below)
   • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program manager or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
• 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 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

Resubmissions:
If you fail an assessment  you will be allowed one resubmission only.  Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission. The highest grade you will receive if your resubmission is successful is Pass.  If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.

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