The aim of this course is to study at an introductory level one of the basic disciplines of the common law. When a person has been harmed by the conduct of another – whether he or she incurs injury to their person, property or reputation; or financial loss; or interference with their use of land or goods – and decides to seek a legal remedy for that harm, the law of torts may provide them with a means of receiving compensation for their loss. This course will focus on personal injuries and examine the torts of trespass to the person and negligence. The course will also consider ways in which interests in property can be protected, namely through the tort of trespass to land; and ways in which reputation can be protected, namely through the tort of defamation. Historically the law of torts was largely based on common law (developed through judicial decisions), but legislative reforms in the last decade have made significant changes to the common law.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
By the conclusion of this course, students who have successfully completed all of the requirements will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Define, explain and apply the core features of tort law;
2. Recognise and appraise the context within which tort law has developed, including the common law’s unique form, goals and history;
3. Engage in the core legal skills of verbal expression and reasoning by discussion in tutorials and lectures;
4. Develop the key ability to solve legal problems independently by approaching problem-solving, reasoning, research and presentation of work with substantial degrees of autonomy;
5. Define and contrast the torts of trespass, including trespass to person and land; and negligence, including duty of care, breach of duty, and causation and remoteness of damage;
6. Define, explain and apply the principles of vicarious liability and the role it plays as a loss-distribution mechanism for tortiously-caused harm;
7. Recognise and reflect critically on how the common law of negligence has been modified by legislation.
Indicative AssessmentTask 1: Take-home hypothetical assessment 1 (covering negligence), 40%. Mid-semester.
Task 2: Take-home hypothetical assessment 2 (covering trespass and defamation), with independent research component, 60%. End of semester.
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WorkloadIn the first two weeks of the semester there will be four hours of large group classes per week; From the third week of semester there will be three hours of large group classes and one hour-long tutorial per week; In addition, students will be expected to read in advance of classes, to prepare any tasks indicated during class, and to prepare preliminary answers to tutorial questions. Students are generally expected to devote approximately 10 hours overall per week to this course, with additional hours needed in the lead-up to assessment tasks. Students often report that reading takes them longer than this at the beginning of semester, as they are just developing their skills.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3714||20 Feb 2017||27 Feb 2017||31 Mar 2017||26 May 2017||In Person||N/A|