• Class Number 4707
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
  • COURSE CONVENER
    • Dalvin Chien
  • LECTURER
    • Dalvin Chien
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

Although a subset of legal drafting, commercial drafting is extremely broad, with areas like contract law, corporate law, banking and finance and intellectual property constituting well established specialisations in legal practice.

Principal topics in this online course include:
•    Drafting techniques;
•    Structure of commercial contracts;
•    Sources of ambiguity and drafting solutions; and
•    Specific contract drafting issues (e.g. dispute resolution clauses and confidentiality clauses).

A professional background in commercial law is not a pre-requisite to the course. Legal drafting covers the whole range of legal practice – an almost impossibly broad range as attempts such as Butterworths Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents demonstrates. A comprehensive coverage of commercial legal content areas is not possible in this course. Rather, the course covers drafting techniques and a range of particular drafting issues to prepare students for the two major assessment tasks of Document Analysis and Original Drafting.  

In addition, it is important for students to note that, although contractual interpretation/construction is relevant to much of commercial drafting, due to the practical focus of this course, we will not be providing in depth coverage on this aspect of contract law. The course will provide students with practice and feedback in solving common drafting problems, particularly in a commercial context.

 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain, critically evaluate and debate drafting techniques, evidencing research by including by reference to the latest cases (if any) and commentary on a particular issue;
  2. Explain, critically evaluate and debate particular drafting issues affecting contracts, evidencing research by including reference to the latest cases and commentary on a particular issue;
  3. Identify, analyse and critique issues in a contract in accordance with the drafting techniques and drafting issues learnt in the course; and
  4. As a capstone project, critically examine and evaluate, then independently plan and redraft a contract in accordance with a client's instructions to avoid common contract issues, and, where required, provide advice to client.

Research-Led Teaching

The course content draws upon years of research in Plain English drafting as well as views expressed by judges and leading scholars on contract interpretation. 

While the course, at its core, is practice-focussed, there are a number of research led features, not least of which can be seen in the readings. In preparing their Module 1 and Module 2 short research papers, students will be required to support their arguments and views in the posting with relevant research. For Module 1 this could be research on the trends in drafting techniques and the latest thinking and reasoning behind modern drafting practices. For Module 2 this could be research on the latest cases and commentary on how certain clauses will be interpreted.  

Required Resources

There is no prescribed text for this course.  All readings will be available on the Wattle site.

You will have access to the LexisNexis AU Australian Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents through the ANU Library Website: (http://anulib.anu.edu.au/search/e-resources/)

If you would like to see examples of contracts, you should download and read some of the contracts entered into by various Government departments. For example, the public text for ACT Government department contracts is available at:

http://www.procurement.act.gov.au/contracts/contracts_register/contracts_register_functionality/contracts-search

The site allows you to search for contracts by entering information such as the department/agency name, contractor name or contract amount.

Staff Feedback

You will be given written and/or oral feedback pointing out things that have been done well and those that could be done better or differently. You will be given written or oral feedback following any submission of an assessment. This is typically available 1-4 weeks after submission of the assessment. You may seek further elaboration on any feedback - either from your marker or by the Convenor. If you feel that your feedback and grade does not reflect your performance, please contact the Convenor in writing and outline your concerns. Your submission will be re-marked by a new examiner.

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

External Resources

Information about the ANU Law Library, including details of E-Legal research online resources (for example, CCH Intelliconnect, Legal Online, LexisNexisAU, etc) is available to ANU students and can be found at http://anulib.anu.edu.au/subjects/law. For access to the online resources please go to: http://virtual.anu.edu.au then type in your student number and password. At various points throughout the course you will be directed to other useful external resources.


ANU Library

All enrolled ANU students can access the ANU databases (including the full-text databases such as Westlaw) through the ANU Library webpage http://anulib.anu.edu.au/lib_home.html

Opening hours for the Law Library can be accessed at http://anulib.anu.edu.au/using-the-library/opening-hours/.

To access restricted ANU web pages from home as though coming from a computer on campus you need the Reverse Proxy Server known as ‘Virtual’. You can access

virtual through http://virtual.anu.edu.au/login. Students living near another law school may need to access print resources from their local school. ANU students can use these collections through the University Library Australia national borrowing scheme. The scheme allows people who are enrolled at a university in one city to access university libraries in another city at a reduced rate. For further information see http://www.caul.edu.au/caul-programs/university-library-australia.

Students who wish to participate in this scheme need to join at the library they wish to access material from. The cost of the scheme is $50 per academic year. The ANU document delivery service is available for remotely located students in non-capital cities. For further information see https://anulib.anu.edu.au/using-the-library/document-supply-services/.

The ANU Library Off-Campus Service is available to students who live more than 60 kilometres from the ANU campus at Acton, ACT. Before using the service for the first time, you will need to complete the online User Agreement Form. You will then be able to request a book, table of contents, chapter or article using the request forms on the Off-Campus Service web pages. For further information see http://anulib.anu.edu.au/offcampus/.


Referencing Requirements

Where required, students must use footnotes for referencing and the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/mulr/aglc) for the citation style. 


Word Limits

The method of calculation of word length for assessment pieces in this course is a global word count. This means that when calculating the number of words of a piece of assessment students must include all headings, text, and footnotes (excluding bibliography). Students should calculate this using Microsoft Word’s word count function or equivalent. The default penalty is as follows: the mark which is awarded initially will be reduced by half the proportion by which the word limit has been exceeded. As an example, if the word limit is 2,000 words, and the essay submitted is 3,000 words long, then the initial mark for the essay would be reduced by 25% of that mark.

Papers which fall short of words will not be penalised on that basis alone. However, short papers risk failing to address the question adequately.


Sub-Dean, GDLP/MLP

The GDLP/MLP Sub-Dean can be contacted via email on subdean.slp@anu.edu.au


Wellbeing Support Services for Lawyers

You will find wellbeing support information for lawyers on the ANU School of Legal Practice website. We also encourage you to read Being Well in the Law – a guide for lawyers which is a toolkit is provided by the NSW Law Society, written by our ANU Academics.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Module 1 - Drafting Techniques Module 1 Commences
2 Module 1 - Drafting Techniques cont'd Online Discussion Forum Opens Module 1 / Assessment Task 1 Topic Selection due: Friday 1 March 2019
3 Module 1 - Drafting Techniques cont'd
4 Module 2 - Drafting Issues Module 1 / Assessment Task 1 due: Monday 11 March 2019 Module 2 Commences
5 Module 2 - Drafting Issues cont'd
6 Module 2 - Drafting Issues cont'd Module 2 / Assessment Task 2 Topic Selection due: Monday 25 March 2019
7 Module 2 - Drafting Issues cont'd
8 Module 3 - Contract Analysis Module 2 / Assessment Task 2 due: Monday 8 April 2019 Module 3 Commences
9 Module 3 - Contract Analysis cont'd Module 3 / Assessment Task 3 Contract Selection due: Monday 15 April 2019
10 Module 3 - Contract Analysis cont'd
11 Module 4 - Original Drafting Module 3 / Assessment Task 3 due: Monday 29 April 2019 Module 4 Commences
12 Module 4 - Original Drafting cont'd
14 Module 4 - Original Drafting Module 4 / Assessment Task 4 due: Friday 24 May 2019
15 Online Discussions Assessment Task 5 due: Monday 27 May 2019

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Module 1 - Drafting Techniques (10%) 10 % 11/03/2019 05/04/2019 1
Module 2 - Particular drafting issues (25%) 25 % 08/04/2019 26/04/2019 2
Module 3 - Contract Analysis (20%) 20 % 29/04/2019 20/05/2019 3
Module 4 - Original Drafting (40%) 40 % 24/05/2019 28/06/2019 4
Mandatory Online discussion (5%) 5 % 27/05/2018 28/06/2019 5

Policies

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. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

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.

Participation

You must check Wattle course announcements and forum discussions as well as your ANU email at least every 24-48 hours.

All email correspondence from the ANU will be sent to your ANU email address. You may arrange for your ANU Email to be forwarded to an email address you check daily.

Alternatively, set your personal setting to provide you with all the reminders you need to achieve this. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to ensure you are actively committed and involved in this course.

The course will be conducted in the following time zones (Canberra time). 

Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT): from 7 October 2018 to 7 April 2019.

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): from 7 April 2019 to 6 October 2019. 

Please make appropriate adjustments if you are located in a different time zone.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 11/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1

Module 1 - Drafting Techniques (10%)

Format: Short Research Paper

Length: The total word count of your short research paper should not exceed 800 words.

Due date for topic selection: Friday 1 March 2019

Submission Due Date: Monday 11th March 2019 - 11.00pm (AEDT)

Estimated Date of Results: Friday 5 April 2019 (this is an estimate only and may be subject to change)

Assessment Criteria:

You will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated understanding of the Module 1 reading material.
  • Analysis of the issues behind the selected topic including clearly identifying and critically analysing the issues raised by the topic.
  • Development of arguments and ideas, including originality of ideas and analysis of the material, demonstrated consideration of opposing or similar arguments and views, and well-reasoned and practical conclusion.
  • Support for arguments and views being expressed with relevant research (including with latest cases and commentary), good organisation of sources, and the ability to synthesise all the research materials used.
  • Presentation, style and referencing including use of appropriate headings and paragraphs, clear expression, correct grammar, syntax and spelling, full and accurate references, and style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 08/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 26/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2

Module 2 - Particular drafting issues (25%)

Format: Short Research Paper

Length: The total word count of your short research paper should not exceed 2,000 words.

Due date for topic selection: Monday 25 March 2019

Submission Due Date: Monday 8 April 2019 - 11.00pm (AEST)

Estimated Date of Results: Friday 26 April 2019 (this is an estimate only and may be subject to change)

Assessment Criteria:

You will be assessed on all of the following main criteria:

  • Demonstrated understanding of the Module 2 reading material.
  • Analysis of the issues behind the selected topic including clearly identifying and critically analysing the issues raised by the topic.
  • Development of arguments and ideas, including originality of ideas and analysis of the material, demonstrated consideration of opposing or similar arguments and views, and well-reasoned and practical conclusion.
  •  Support for arguments and views being expressed with relevant research (including with latest cases and commentary), good organisation of sources, and the ability to synthesise all the research materials used.
  • Presentation, style and referencing including use of appropriate headings and paragraphs, clear expression, correct grammar, syntax and spelling, full and accurate references, and style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 29/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 20/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3

Module 3 - Contract Analysis (20%)

Format: Advice to client on contract selected and reviewed

Length: The total word count for this paper should not exceed 2,000 words.

Due date for contract selection: Monday 15 April 2019

Submission Due Date: Monday 29 April 2019 - 11.00pm (AEST)

Estimated Date of Results: Monday 20 May 2019 (this is an estimate only and may be subject to change)

Assessment Criteria:

This is a capstone experience assignment. You will be assessed on all of the following main criteria: 

  • Identification and understanding of all the issues in the draft contract you selected including clearly and concisely summarising the issue, addressing all the elements of the issue, evidence of close consideration of the issues and background material (specifically client instructions)
  • Demonstrated understanding of the reading material in Module 1 and Module 2 as it relates to the issue identified.
  • Analysis of the issues including critical analysis and application of the material and insight in dealing with the practical application of the issues raised.
  • Engagement with client including by seeking clarification on areas of ambiguity or inconsistency where appropriate.
  • Presentation, style and referencing including use of appropriate headings and paragraphs, clear expression, correct grammar, syntax and spelling, full and accurate references, and style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 24/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4

Module 4 - Original Drafting (40%)

Format: Redrafted contract with original drafting and explanatory notes

Length: The total word count for this assignment should not exceed 3,000 words.

Submission Due Date: Friday 24 May 2019 - 11.00pm (AEST)

Estimated Date of Results: No later than Friday 28 June 2019

Assessment Criteria:

This is a capstone experience assignment. You will be assessed on all of the following main criteria:

  • Understanding of all the issues in the draft contract reviewed including addressing all the elements of the issue, evidence of close consideration of the issues and background, and compliance with the instructions received from the client.
  • Originality in drafting including drafting appropriate clauses for the type of contract selected which addresses specific instructions received from the client.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the material including understanding of the Module 1 and Module 2 reading material and the specific feedback received for your Module 3 assignment.
  • Communication and development of the contract including clear order of content, logical and well organised sequencing of clauses, and coherent linking of ideas.
  • Presentation, style and referencing including use of appropriate headings and paragraphs, clear expression, correct grammar, syntax and spelling, full and accurate references, and style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 27/05/2018
Return of Assessment: 28/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5

Mandatory Online discussion (5%)

Format: Two or three Wattle discussion board postings in the general ideas forum

Length: Two discussion board postings not exceeding 600 words in total

Submission Due Date: The discussion forum will close, and your final posting will be due, on Monday 27 May 2019 - 11.00pm (AEST)

Estimated Date of Results: No later than Friday 28 June 2019

Assessment Criteria:

You will be assessed on all of the following main criteria:

  • Demonstrated consideration of the views of others or, absent that, stimulation of discussion by asking questions of others.
  • Linking reading material and ideas with your own background and knowledge including relating the material to your own personal and professional experience.
  • Substantial contribution in regard to content and not engaging in discussion or debate on trivial issues.
  • Courteousness and being respectful of a range of views and opinions.

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 may be required to submit an assessment either through:

1.   Wattle dropbox and Turnitin, or

2.   Wattle dropbox only, or

3.   Turnitin only.

Please read the instruction for each assessment carefully.

Where assessments are to be submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site, you will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assessment.

Where assessments are to be submitted using Wattle dropbox in the course Wattle site, you will be required to electronically sign a declaration, by tick boxes, as part of the submission of your assessment. If you fail to do this, you assessment will be recorded as a draft only. This may affect its acceptance as a submitted assessment.

Please keep a copy of all your assessments for your records.

Assessments must be submitted in the format identified in the assessment instructions, for example, in accordance with relevant court or tribunal requirements; usual contract or will formats or advice format.

Research essays, reflective comments or similar documents must be submitted in 12-point font, double-spaced, formatted for A4-size paper, and with pages numbered. 

Hardcopy Submission

No hard copy submission will be accepted in this class.

Late Submission

Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • 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.
  • Please note that as this course uses modules, late submissions of assessment tasks will impact on the time take to complete the next assessment task.
  • Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

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.

Returning Assignments

Your written work will receive feedback and grading via the course Wattle site under the corresponding assessment drop box. Assessment results are typically available between 1-4 weeks after the due date via the same dropbox your assessments were submitted to. The Convenor will post announcements about when you can expect your assessment results.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments


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).

Dalvin Chien
+61 2 6125 3483
dalvin.chien@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


Dalvin has practiced as a senior commercial lawyer in the public sector, in the corporate sector and in private practice for a number of years. Dalvin's expertise is in the provision of end to end commercial legal services from advice on procurement options to negotiating and drafting contracts, followed by advice on contractual interpretation and management. He is often called upon to advise senior legal counsel and executives on complex transactional structuring and contracting arrangements, particularly in the technology and government sectors.

In addition to commercial law, Dalvin has a specific interest in e-commerce, technology, and cyber security. 

Dalvin previously lectured in the ANU GDLP and served as a special guest lecturer in Information Technology Law in the ANU LLB program. Dalvin has been convening and teaching Commercial Drafting for over 10 years.  

Dalvin Chien

Monday 09:00 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 17:00
Thursday 09:00 17:00
Friday 09:00 17:00
Dalvin Chien
+61 2 6125 3483
Dalvin.Chien@anu.edu.au

Research Interests


Dalvin Chien

Monday 09:00 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 17:00
Thursday 09:00 17:00
Friday 09:00 17:00

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