Course Title: Commercial law

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C6106 Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Title: Commercial law

Portfolio: BUS Portfolio Office

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.

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


650T Vocational Business Education

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face or Internet or Workplace

Term1 2012,
Term1 2013,
Term2 2013,
Term1 2014,
Term2 2014,
Term1 2015,
Term2 2015,
Term1 2016

Course Contact: Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925-5944

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

To provide the learner with the knowledge and skills in particular areas of commercial law, including partnerships, bankruptcy, business names, franchises and trusts, relevant to a person working in a legal office, private or public sector department, where a thorough knowledge of those areas is required.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites:  VU20111 Legal Process and VU20108 Law of Contract

National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

VU20112 Commercial law



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Describe the Common Law as to agency and the rights, duties and obligations of the parties.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Specify the purpose and existence of an agency. Identify and examine the relationship of the principal, agent and third parties.
1.2 Outline the process for the creation of the Agency and distinguish between agencies created.
1.3 Identify and assess the scope of an Agent’s Authority.
1.4 Distinguish between the types of Agents, and analyse with reference to a specific example.
1.5 Identify the duties, rights and liabilities of the agent. Analyse and evaluate with reference to specific examples.
1.6 Specify and analyse the duties, rights and liabilities of the principal.
1.7 Evaluate the ways and apply an example in which an agency agreement may be terminated.
1.8 Apply the Law of Agency to case examples.

Learning Outcome 2 - Analyse partnerships, their advantages and disadvantages, and examine the steps necessary to create them.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Classify and analyse the factors that constitute a partnership
2.2 Analyse the factors relevant to forming a partnership.
2.3 Assess the advantages and disadvantages inherent in an unlimited or general partnership.

Learning Outcome 3 - Analyse and determine the legal requirements of partnerships and discuss the relationships of partners to each other and to parties outside the partnership.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Analyse and determine the relations of partners to outsiders.
3.2 Analyse the relationship of partners to each other.
3.3 Classify the legal factors relevant to the dissolution or change in composition of a partnership.
3.4 Analyse and compare the main features of a limited partnership with a general partnership.

Learning Outcome 4 - Analyse the rights and obligations of creditors and debtors in the context of the alternative consequences which may follow a debtor’s failure to pay.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Classify and contrast the legal alternatives available to a creditor in relation to a debtor who fails to pay a debt.
4.2 Classify the administration of bankruptcy.
4.3 Analyse the legal issues and procedures involved with bankruptcy as a consequence of a creditor’s petition.
4.4 Specify the procedures and documentation related to a debtor’s petition.
4.5 Classify and analyse the types of arrangements available under Part X of the Bankruptcy Act and specify the circumstances in which such arrangements may be appropriate with reference to deeds of composition, deeds of assignment and deeds of arrangement.
4.6 Examine the nature and uses of a Part IX debt agreement.

Learning Outcome 5 - Analyse the consequences of bankruptcy upon the parties involved.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Identify the property that is available for distribution amongst creditors under the Bankruptcy Act, including an analysis of the doctrine of relation back, undervalued transactions, transactions to defeat creditors, and undue preferences
5.2 Analyse the effects of bankruptcy, on the bankrupt, secured and unsecured creditors and the debtor’s property.
5.3 Compare the rights of secured and unsecured creditors in relation to being paid.
5.4 Specify the circumstances in which a bankrupt can be discharged from bankruptcy and the implications for the bankrupt and the creditors.

Learning Outcome 6 - Analyse the major features of trusts, the process of their creation, maintenance and dissolution, and the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Identify the major features of trusts.
6.2 Compare the various reasons for using trusts.
6.3 Explore the methods of creating various forms of trusts, and their nature.
6.4 Analyse the legal factors governing the role of trustees.
6.5 Analyse the rights of the beneficiaries of a trust with reference to the circumstances in which they may direct the trustee and their rights when the trustee has breached a duty as a trustee.
6.6 Assess the process of the winding up of trusts with reference to distribution of assets to beneficiaries as authorised by the trust instrument, release or variation from the trust obligations and disposition of the trust property.

Learning Outcome 7 - Analyse the legal requirements of the use and registration of business, company and association names, and the rights of their owners.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Evaluate the legal requirements related to the registration and use of business, company and association names.
7.2 List the legal protection available to the user of a name in relation to the tort of passing off, Trade Practices Act 1974, tort of deceit, corporations law and Associations Incorporation Act.
7.3 Analyse the legal authority as representative of partners, those acting on behalf of associations, the trustees and company directors and officers.

Learning Outcome 8 - Analyse the legal nature of franchises, their regulation, and the rights and liabilities of the parties.
Assessment criteria
8.1 Classify and analyse the factors which constitute franchises.
8.2 Classify and analyse the legal nature of a franchise.
8.3 Assess the impact of the Franchising Code of Conduct upon franchises.
8.4 Analyse the impact of the Trade Practices Act 1974 on franchises.
8.5 Analyse the rights and liabilities of the parties in franchises.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment mat be by various methods as outlined for each learning outcome, including tests, assignments, projects, presentations, case studies, test and final exams.

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.