• Class Number 9541
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Philippa Ryan
    • Dr Darryn Jensen
    • William Gummow
    • Prof Pauline Ridge
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

The objective of the course is to provide students with an overall understanding of the law of equity with special emphasis on fiduciary obligations, trusts, equitable assignment of propoerty and equitable remedies.  The course will consider the history of equity, basic principles which dominate its jurisprudence and the relevance of equity today; the nature of fiduciary obligations, recognised categories of fiduciaries and the extension of these categories in recent times, breach of fudiciary obligations, defences and remedies for the breach of fiduciary obligations; the requirements for express trusts, the liability of a third party to a breach of trust or fiduciary duty, and the remedies for breach of trust and fiduciary duty, including tracing.  The course then shifts its focus to equity more generally by considering the equitable rules for assignment of property and the remedies of specific performance and injunctions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Explain and apply to a factual problem the law relating to fiduciary obligations, trusts (including express, resulting and constructive trusts), equitable remedies, tracing and equitable assignment. Such discussion should note any unresolved or ambiguous questions of law and propose a reasoned answer to the problem that acknowledges strengths and weaknesses of the arguments made;
  2. Analyse and predict how unresolved or ambiguous questions of equitable doctrine could be resolved by the courts;
  3. Describe, theorise and evaluate fundamental themes underlying and connecting the specific doctrines covered, including the relationship of equity to other parts of the law, and how equity has been, and can be, used as a vehicle for social change.

Research-Led Teaching

All of the lecturers in this course are actively engaged in research in the area of equity and trusts. This research informs their teaching.

Philippa Ryan's current research explores trust and distrust in digital economies and autonomous systems, including smart contracts enabled by blockchain technology. Her doctoral thesis concerned equitable third party liability.

Pauline Ridge’s current research concerns accessory liability and equitable third party liability, equitable tracing, and private law’s regulation of religious financing (including charity law and equitable vitiating doctrines). Her doctoral thesis also concerned equitable third party liability. A list of her publications can be accessed at http://law.anu.edu.au/staff/pauline-ridge.

Darryn Jensen’s doctoral thesis was largely concerned with resulting and constructive trusts. He has published articles and book chapters concerning fiduciary obligations and equitable remedies with a particular emphasis on constructive trusts. A sample list of his publications can be accessed at https://law.anu.edu.au/staff/darryn-jensen.

Justice Gummow was a leading equity practitioner and scholar before being appointed to the Federal Court of Australia and subsequently to the High Court of Australia. He is currently a Non-Permanent Member of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. He continues to publish articles on equity-related topics.

Required Resources

GE Dal Pont, Equity and Trusts: Commentary and Materials (7th ed, Lawbook Co, 2018)

GE Dal Pont, Equity and Trusts in Australia (6th ed, LBC Information Services, 2015)

MW Bryan, VJ Vann and S Barkehall Thomas, Equity and Trusts in Australia (Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 2017)

M Evans, BL Jones and T M Power, Equity and Trusts (4th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2016)

P Radan and C Stewart, Principles of Australian Equity and Trusts (2nd ed, LexisNexis, 2013)

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to Equity; Course Administration Philippa Ryan
2 Fiduciary Obligations Philippa Ryan
3 Fiduciary Obligations Assignments in Equity Philippa Ryan Darryn Jensen
4 Assignments in Equity Introduction to Trusts JD Master Class Darryn Jensen Professor Gummow
5 Creation of Express Trusts Darryn Jensen
6 Creation of Express Trusts Darryn Jensen
7 Express Trusts: Charities, Formalities, Illegalities JD Master Class Professor Gummow
8 Trust Administration Philippa Ryan
9 Remedies for Breach of Trust and Fiduciary Duty; Tracing Pauline Ridge
10 Third Party Liability Pauline Ridge
11 Resulting and Constructive Trusts Pauline Ridge
12 Course Overview and Revision Phillipa Ryan, Darryn Jensen, Pauline Ridge

Tutorial Registration

JD Online students may only participate in online tutorials. The time and nature of these tutorials will be determined in consultation with students and advised by the end of Week 2 of semester.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online Quiz 0 % 30/08/2019 30/08/2019 1,2
Mid-Semester Take Home Examination 30 % 31/08/2019 30/09/2019 1,2,3
Final Take Home Examination 50 % 16/11/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3
Essay 20 % 25/10/2019 28/11/2019 2,3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


The workload expectation for each six-unit course at the ANU is 10 hours per week, including class contact hours.

Active participation through questions and discussion is encouraged. Reading the relevant prescribed materials prior to lectures will assist you to follow the discussion and to identify important issues. In this course, the online tutorials have three purposes: first, to develop your capacity to apply legal rules and principles to factual scenarios, secondly, to develop your critical thinking skills through the discussion of the principles studied in the course and in considering competing proposals and solutions to problems and, thirdly, to facilitate student wellbeing through peer to peer learning and support. JD tutorials are not compulsory, however it is strongly recommended that you participate in them.


Please note that the date of the exam in the assessment summary is indicative only. The exam will be held in the final examination period. The exam paper will be released on WATTLE at the same time and date as the commencement of the LAWS2205 final exam (see Examination Timetable).

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 30/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Online Quiz

Brief Description: The quiz is designed so that students can test their understanding of basic concepts taught in the lectures from Weeks 1-4 and obtain feedback about misunderstandings without any effect on their final grades. There will be ten multiple choice questions relating to content from Week 1 -4.

Nature of Task: Optional.

Weighting: 0%

Release: 5pm Monday, 19 August via Wattle.

Due date: 12 midnight Friday, 30 August via Wattle. Late submission is allowed, although not advised unless you are sitting a deferred take home exam or a supplementary exam.

Estimated return date: You will be provided with a mark and feedback immediately upon completion of the quiz.

Assessment Criteria: This assessment is not weighted towards a student’s final grade, but the feedback provided to students will include a mark based on the number of correct responses.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 31/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-Semester Take Home Examination

Brief Description: This take home examination will consist of two problem style questions (that may have internal parts) relating to material taught in lectures in Weeks 1-4 (Fiduciaries and Assignments in Equity) and in the related tutorials. There will be no choice of questions.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a mark of 0.

Weighting: 30%

Word limit: 1,500 words

Release: 1pm Saturday, 31 August 2019 via Wattle (end of Week 6).

Due date: 6pm on Saturday, 31 August 2019 via Turnitin. No late submissions will be accepted.

Estimated return date: Week 9. An announcement will be made via WATTLE when the marked exams may be accessed via Turnitin

Assessment Criteria: Examination answers should demonstrate an understanding of the doctrinal material assessed in the exam; specifically they should:

  1. Analyse the facts of a hypothetical problem and identify the relevant legal issues;
  2. Accurately and concisely summarise the relevant law, providing relevant authority from the course material (including material from non-Australian jurisdictions where appropriate) in support;
  3. Formulate legal arguments relevant to the resolution of the legal issues drawing by analogy from cases covered in the course where relevant and appropriate;
  4. Where relevant, analyse and predict how unresolved or ambiguous doctrinal questions could be resolved;
  5. Come to a reasoned conclusion as to the likely resolution of the problem;
  6. Describe and evaluate the fundamental themes underlying their answers where requested to do so by the question.
  7. The quality of the written expression, structure and compliance with the conventions of spelling and grammar.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 16/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final Take Home Examination

Brief Description: The exam will consist of problem-style questions and may include short essay-style questions relating to material covered in the course. There will be no choice of questions. All topics are examinable, including topics covered in Week 1. While topics other than Fiduciary Obligations and Assignments in Equity will be emphasised, one or more of the questions may assume knowledge of these topics.

Nature of Task: Compulsory, non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a mark of 0. If you do not achieve more than 45% in this task, even if you achieve a final course result of 50 or more, you may be awarded a PX result.

Weighting: 50%

Word limit: 3,000 words

Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Release: Please note that the date of the exam in the assessment summary is indicative only. The exam will be held in the final examination period. The exam paper will be released on WATTLE at the same time and date as the commencement of the LAWS2205 final exam (see Examination Timetable).

Due date: The exam answers must be submitted viaTurnitin 2 hours and 30 minutes after the examination paper is released. No late submissions will be accepted.

Estimated return date: After final results are released.

Assessment Criteria: The same assessment criteria apply to the problem-based questions as for the take home exam. The essay-style short answers should provide a reasoned response to the question that goes beyond description of the relevant law and contains critical evaluation of the law. Answers will also be assessed on the quality of the written expression, structure and compliance with the conventions of spelling and grammar. A rubric will be provided on Wattle before the exam.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,3


Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in a mark of 0.

Weighting: 20%

Word limit: 1,200 words.

Release: The essay topics will be posted on WATTLE by the end of Week 4.

Due date: 4pm, Monday, 21 October (Week 12). Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Estimated return date: On release of final course results. Marked essays will be available on Wattle.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Independent Research
  • Written Communication
  • Structure of Essay
  • Referencing and Compliance with Citation Style
  • Response to Question

The essay should demonstrate the ability to carry out substantial research and present a well-reasoned legal argument in response to the question that goes beyond mere description of the relevant law.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Philippa Ryan

Research Interests

Dr Ryan's area of expertise is commercial equity, in particular the liability of third parties to a breach of trust. Her PhD formulated a new classification for accessorial liability. Her current research explores trust and distrust in digital economies and autonomous systems, including smart contracts enabled by blockchain technology.

Dr Philippa Ryan

Dr Darryn Jensen
6125 4454

Research Interests

Dr Darryn Jensen

William Gummow
+61 2 61253483

Research Interests

William Gummow

Prof Pauline Ridge
6125 4126

Research Interests

Prof Pauline Ridge


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