Course Title: Analyse and apply law of torts

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2016

Course Code: LAW5717

Course Title: Analyse and apply law of torts

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6141 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact: Robert Sheen

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5759

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Paul Ryan

9925 5466


Nominal Hours: 50

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


Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to apply the Law of Torts in order to support the work of a legal office, practice or associated context. This unit supports the work of personnel engaged in the operation of a legal office or associated fields within public and/or corporate sectors.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21634 Analyse and apply law of torts


1.Identify the key features of law of torts

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Research and define the historical origin, nature and meaning of the term tort
1.2 Analyse the aims and rationale of the law of tort with reference to the structure and types of torts
1.3 Distinguish tort from crime, breach of contract, trust or other obligations
1.4 Examine the nature of the interests protected by the law of torts
1.5 Research and discuss the need for statutory intervention


2.Identify and apply the rules of negligence

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Define the term negligence and analyse its concepts
2.2 Research and determine possible defences to a negligence action
2.3 Evaluate the means of proving negligence, including: burden of proof; standard of proof; the use of expert evidence, and, the application of the res ipsa loquitur concept
2.4 Examine the nature of damages that may be obtained in a negligence action
2.5 Determine legislative limits on negligence actions including: thresholds; limitation periods; and reduced liability in defined circumstances of loss, causation, intervening and/or break in chain of causation


3.Analyse issues relating to particular categories of negligence

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Specify and evaluate the principles of occupier’s liability, with reference to the provisions of the occupier’s liability provisions of the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic)
3.2 Examine the circumstances in which there can be liability for negligent misstatement causing economic loss
3.3 Examine the principle of vicarious liability
3.4 Specify the circumstances in which there can be liability for negligently inflicted purely psychological harm in the absence of physical injury
3.5 Specify the legal principles relating to liability for harm caused by defective products including the provision of Part VA of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth)


4.Analyse principles of strict liability

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Research and determine the principles of strict liability
4.2 Compare and contrast strict liability with fault based liability
4.3 Research and describe available defences to a strict liability claim


5.Analyse and apply Victorian and Commonwealth no-fault compensation schemes

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Explore the history and basis of the statutory schemes
5.2 Identify and analyse the no-fault scheme regarding injury arising from a transport accident
5.3 Specify the current compensation schemes for employment-related injuries or diseases, both in Victoria and the Commonwealth and evaluate for application
5.4 Identify the circumstances where common law remedies remain available in transport- and employment-related situations and evaluate for application
5.5 Identify the problems arising from the statutory schemes and advantages and disadvantages of the schemes and discuss for impact on practice


6.Analyse and apply the law relating to the intentional tort of trespass to the person

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Define the term assault and identify its elements in tort law
6.2 Define the nature of battery and identify its elements in tort law
6.3 Define the term false imprisonment and identify its elements in tort law
6.4 Identify the elements of intentionally causing harm in tort law
6.5 Evaluate and apply the possible defences to trespass to the person


7.Analyse and apply the elements of torts designed to protect interests in land

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Examine the elements of, and defences to, the intentional tort of trespass to land
7.2 Examine the tort of private nuisance and distinguish it from the tort of public nuisance
7.3 Identify and apply the remedies available for interference with interests in land


8.Analyse and apply intentional torts relating to interference with interests in goods

Performance Criteria:

8.1 Compare and contrast the elements of the torts of trespass to goods, conversion and detinue in order to determine differences and areas of overlap
8.2 Examine the nature of the remedies available and apply to a successful plaintiff in trespass to goods, conversion and detinue


9.Investigate application of the law of defamation

Performance Criteria:

9.1 Identify and describe the relevant principles of defamation law
9.2 Define and evaluate and the elements of defamation
9.3 Identify and describe the defences to a defamation action at common law and in legislation
9.4 Determine and apply the possible remedies to a defamation action, including:
• types of damages,
• Injunction, and,
• impact of an apology and offers to make amends,
9.5 Research and describe the developments in relation to the protection of privacy, and discuss for application

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities



Teaching Schedule

Week No.



Assessment tasks


July 6

Nature and sources of tort law



July 13

Assault and battery



July 20

False imprisonment and help with assessment 1



July 27

Torts relating to land – trespass and nuisance

Case study assignment (indicative mark 20) to be submitted via turnitin   by 11 pm Tuesday 26 July and to be delivered by hand prior to class commencement


August 3

Torts relating to goods – trespass, conversion and detinue



August 10

Defences and remedies for intentional torts



August 17



August 24

In class open book test on topics from classes 2 to 7 inclusive

Test (indicative mark 30) 2 hours plus reading time – open book.

MID-SEMESTER BREAK:- August 29 – September 2 inclusive


September 7

Negligence – Duty of care



September 14

Breach of duty of care



September 21




September 28

Defences and types of damages



October 5

Liability for defective goods, occupiers’ liability and vicarious liability



October 12




October 19

In class final test (open book)

Final test 50 (indicative mark) answering 3 questions on negligence in 2 hours plus reading time


October 26





Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

In order to demonstrate competency in this unit, you must provide evidence of:

• knowledge of the statutory instances of Tort Law
• researching, analysing and discussing Law of Torts to arrive at an effective courtroom strategy including precedent
• knowledge of the origin, nature, aims and rationale of Tort Law
• knowledge of the forms of Tort Law
• knowledge of historical and contemporary application and delivery of Tort Law in Commonwealth and Victorian courts

Context for assessment
Assessment must ensure:

• activities are related to a legal practice context
• activities are related to laws, regulations and procedures currently operating across the jurisdictions relevant to this qualification

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


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.

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

Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Tasks

Assessment that learning outcomes have been achieved will be by:

1. Case study assignment (due week 4)                                 20%

2. Test (open book) (week 8)                                                   30%

3. Final test (open book) (week 15)                                         50%                                                                                               


Assessment 1 Case Study where you are asked a series of questions relating to a case concerning assault, battery, wrongful imprisonment and damages, being topics covered in the classes in weeks 2 and 3. You have to submit typed answers via turnitin by 11 pm Tuesday 26 July and, also, to be delivered by hand to your teacher prior to class commencement on Wednesday 27 July. You must show competency before you will be marked out of 20.

Assessment 2 is an open book test in class in week 8. It covers the class topics from weeks 2 – 7 inclusive. The time allocated is 2 hours plus 15 minutes reading time. The test is open book and after being assessed as competent it will be assessed out of 30 marks.

Assessment 3 is the final open book test worth 50 marks scheduled for week 15. This test covers the topics covered in weeks 9 - 13. The time allocated is 2 hours plus 30 minutes reading time.

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview