Course Title: Analyse and apply law of torts

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

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

A range of learning activities are planned for this course including self-paced and collaborative classroom-based activities.

The self-paced activities will be delivered through various technology platforms and may include your contribution to wikis and discussion threads, reflective journals, quizzes and interactive sessions.

The collaborative classroom-based activities will include group discussions, group problem-solving activities and opportunities to practice your skills in a simulated/real workplace environment. We expect you to participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities.



Teaching Schedule

Induction Session

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:
    • Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
    • 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 Teaching Schedule for this course is as follows. (Please note that this schedule is subject to change)






3 July

Nature and sources of tort law

Assessment Task 1 to be discussed being a written assignment due week 4


10 July

Assault and battery



17 July

False imprisonment



24 July

Torts relating to goods – trespass, conversion and detinue

Case study assessment task 1 to be submitted via turnitin and to be delivered by hand prior to class commencement.


31 July

Torts relating to land – trespass and nuisance



7 August

Defences and remedies for intentional torts



14 August




21 August

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

Assessment Task 2 Two hours plus reading time –case study problems on topics in weeks 2 to 7 under open book test conditions.






4 September

Negligence – Duty of care



11 September

Breach of duty of care



18 September




25 September

Defences and types of damages

Course Experience Survey to be completed 


2 October

Liability for defective goods, occupiers’ liability and vicarious liability



9 October




16 October

Final test in class open book

Assessment Task 3 case study problems answering 3 questions under test conditions on negligence in 2 hours plus reading time


23 October





Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Shircore, Mary - Torts - Thomson Reuters Law Briefs – 2015


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

You will be required to complete the following assessments:

1. Decided case assessment task 1 (due week 4)

2. Answers to 2 case study problems under test conditions (week 8)

3. Assessment 3 (open book case studies under test conditions) (week 15)

Assessment 1 Decided 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 and, also, to be delivered by hand to your teacher prior to class commencement in week 4.

Assessment 2 in class in week 8 case study problems on topics from weeks 2 –7 are to be answered under test open book conditions. The time allocated is 2 hours plus 15 minutes reading time.

Assessment 3 relates to negligence case study problems under open book test conditions and is scheduled for week 15. This assessment covers the topics from weeks 9 - 13. The time allocated is 2 hours plus 30 minutes reading time.

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Submission Requirements

You should:

  • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date.
  • Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks (both hard copy and soft copy).
  • Use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship when you submit work for assessment at RMIT University. 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 must declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of each assessment task is available on Blackboard.
  • Include a footer (appearing on each page of your assessment) with your name, student number, assessment title, course code, course title and page numbers. For example, Kelly Hervey, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.

Late Submission Procedures

You are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days. For more Information go to:

The application form may be obtained from:

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. For more Information go to:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

The application form may be obtained from:

Resubmissions (VE Programs):

You must satisfactorily complete all assessment tasks in order to achieve competency.

If an assessment task is assessed as not yet satisfactory, you will be allowed one resubmission opportunity only. Your teacher will provide feedback detailing what you need to do in order to satisfactorily complete that task, and will set a new deadline for the resubmission within the current semester.

If your resubmission is deemed to be not yet satisfactory then you must apply in writing to your Program Manager outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in that course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as practical.

If your resubmission is deemed satisfactory then you may still achieve competency for the course, provided that all other assessment tasks are satisfactorily completed. Further, if this satisfactory resubmission is of a task that contributes to the overall grading of this course, then it shall only be entitled to receive a score that equates to 50% of the total marks allocated for that task.

Adjustments to Assessment

In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which an adjustment to the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:;ID=7usdbki1fjf31

Marking Guide (Competency)

You must demonstrate through your performance in the Course Assessment Tasks that you have all the required skills and knowledge as specified in the unit of competency (course) you are studying.

Your submitted assessments are the evidence used to determine if you have met all critical aspects of the assessments, and if any critical aspects have not been met, then you cannot be deemed competent in this course.

On each assessment task you will receive feedback against the competency requirements for that task, and the outcome of the task will be recorded as either satisfactory (all requirements have been met) or not yet satisfactory (one or more requirements has not yet been met).

Only when all assessment tasks have been assessed as satisfactory will you be deemed competent in this course.

Marking Guide (Grading)

This course is graded. However, only after achieving competency in this course will you receive a grade corresponding to your level of performance in the course. 

The reported Final Grade will be one of the following:


 Competent with High Distinction


 Competent with Distinction


 Competent with Credit


 Competency Achieved – Graded


 Not Yet Competent (all assessment tasks submitted)


 Did Not Submit (one or more assessment tasks not submitted)

Further details regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview