Course Title: Consumer protection law

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: LAW5197

Course Title: Consumer protection law

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

Alana Ryan

alana.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

To successfully complete this course you will need to participate in lectures, tutorials and other learning events. You will need to complete regular weekly learning tasks that may involve online activities, reading broadly, analysing video material and case studies, reporting critically on set questions, researching course topics, and completing prescribed assessment tasks.

You are required to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course Site.

You will also be required to actively and effectively engage with peers in collaborative problem solving activities and other forms of group work.


Teaching Schedule

 

Week

Date

Topics

Assessment Tasks

19 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

 Consumers and consumerism - Historical development. Structure of Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Key concepts.

 
216 Feb Misleading or deceptive conduct 
3 23 Feb

 Specific false or misleading representations

42 Mar Unconscionable conduct including unfair sales techniques  
 
59 Mar Unfair contract terms including exemption clauses 
616 Mar

 Consumer guarantees including remedies relating to guarantees.

 Essay Plan 10%

723 Mar Consumer Agreements including unsolicited sales and lay-bys. 
830 Mar Product recall, safety standards, bans and notices 
   2-8 April -  Mid Semester /Easter break
913 April

 Self directed learning re essay

 Essay 40% due 5 pm 4 May
1020 April

 Private remedies

 

1127 April

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

  

124 May

 Manufacturer’s liability for defective products
 

 

1311 May

 National Credit Code

 
1418 May

 National Credit Code part 2

 
15 25 May Revision 
16 1 June 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. Your teacher will give you any additional reading material that you require during the semester.


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 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.

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.

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 Competition and Consumer 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 Competition and Consumer 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

Assessment Task 1 - Essay Plan (10%)
Due Date: Week 6
Submission Procedure:  Submit via blackboard

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

 A wide range of following learning outcomes will be incorporated in this assessment depending on your chosen topic:
1 - Analyse and assess the need for consumer protection and outline the areas covered by consumer protection laws.
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).
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.
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.
5 - Analyse and outline the liability of manufacturers for unsafe products under Part VA of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
6 - Analyse legislation improving product safety and product information standards.
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.
8 - Analyse and evaluate the bodies available to protect the rights of the consumer and discuss their operations.

Assessment Task 2 - Research Essay Assessment (40%)
Due Date:  Week 12
Submission Procedure:  By blackboard and Turnitin

The purpose of this assessment is to show your research skills, knowledge and clarity of expression  on a specific learning outcome of the Australian Consumer Law.

A wide range of following learning outcomes will be incorporated in this assessment depending on your chosen topic:
1 - Analyse and assess the need for consumer protection and outline the areas covered by consumer protection laws.
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).
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.
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.
5 - Analyse and outline the liability of manufacturers for unsafe products under Part VA of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
6 - Analyse legislation improving product safety and product information standards.
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.
8 - Analyse and evaluate the bodies available to protect the rights of the consumer and discuss their operations.

 Assessment Task 3 - In Class test (50%)
Due Date:  Week 16
Submission Procedure:  In class open book  test - 2 hours plus reading time.
The purpose of this assessment is to assess the body of learning outcomes required for the unit. You will need to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of all learning outcomes over the semester.

The following learning outcomes will be incorporated in this assessment:
1 - Analyse and assess the need for consumer protection and outline the areas covered by consumer protection laws.
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).
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.
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.
5 - Analyse and outline the liability of manufacturers for unsafe products under Part VA of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
6 - Analyse legislation improving product safety and product information standards.
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.
8 - Analyse and evaluate the bodies available to protect the rights of the consumer and discuss their operations.

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.

Academic Policies and Procedures
Information regarding RMIT policies and procedures related to assessment can be found in the booklet “Student Information Guide” provided to you at the time of your enrolment or from the RMIT website.
Where matters beyond your control interfere with the completion of assessment components, you may seek special consideration. Information about this is available here:
http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=g43abm17hc9w

You should note that the special consideration policy distinguishes between tests and exams (see section 5.5 of your Student Information Guide) or the RMIT website.


Assessment Matrix

Marking Guide:
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. If students fail to submit one or more pieces of assessment, the maximum grade available is DNS.

A full description of RMIT grading schemes is available online: http://

www.rmit.edu.au/students/grading

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.

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.

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

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

Plagiarism
Plagiarism is defined as stealing somebody’s intellectual property (IP) by presenting their work, thoughts or ideas as though they are your own. It is a serious academic offence and can lead to expulsion from RMIT. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.

Examples of plagiarism include:
•Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation.
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
•Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work;
•Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you; and
• Enabling plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work.

Further information on academic integrity: http://www.rmit.edu.au/academicintegrity
 

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