• Class Number 8612
  • Term Code 2970
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prue Bindon
    • Prue Bindon
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 17/11/2019
  • Class End Date 01/01/2020
  • Census Date 29/11/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 17/11/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the key areas of commercial law and how they relate to each other. The course offers students an opportunity to examine certain areas of commercial law in detail. The focus is on the idea of personal property, which forms the basis of all commercial law. The course will focus on concepts of bailment, agency and then deal with the complex provisions dealing with sale of goods. It is suitable for those students who want an overview of commercial law as well as those who want to bring themselves up to date with recent developments in this field.

Anchored in the sale of goods, the course covers a range of issues including the law relating to the transfer of property rights under a contract of sale, the delivery of goods, the various remedies available.

The course will also look at the new personal property securities regime due to its importance to commercial law and impact in sale. Areas that are dealt with in greater detail in other courses (such as dispute resolution), will only be touched on in this course.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify, explain and demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the theoretical principles and law relating to, for example, concepts of bailment, agency, sale of goods and person property securities;
  2. Identify, analyse and critically examine the principles and policies underlying the development of, and regulatory aspects of, commercial law in its application in business and society;
  3. Design, evaluate and apply principles to solve complex commercial law problems; and
  4. Plan, design and execute a substantial research project that identifies, critically examines and communicates solutions to complex practical problems, demonstrating relevant research principles and techniques.

Research-Led Teaching

This course aims at giving students a balance of theoretical and historical background and practical core skills. The distinctive elements of the course which facilitate student engagement with research include:

  • Research informed learning through a comprehensive introduction to a wide range of contemporary knowledge in commercial law, particularly in relation to the design of regulatory systems in commercial law and the intersection with common law and equity;
  • An application of critical theories to explain various areas of commercial law;
  • Student-led independent research to analyse and synthesise an area of commercial law through concepts covered in the course.

Additional Course Costs

This course is an intensive course taught at the ANU Acton Campus in Canberra. Students will need to cover costs associated with travel, accommodation, meals etc, if attending from out of State.

Required Resources

A reading guide will be available on the Wattle site which specifies ‘required readings’ and ‘additional readings’. The required readings are essential and the additional readings are optional.

The required readings are found in the prescribed text. The additional readings can be sourced from the Law Library.

The prescribed text for this course is Gail Pearson, Elisabeth Peden, GJ Tolhurst , Jeannie Paterson, Sheelagh McCracken, Anne McNaughton, Ryan Catterwell, Allison Silink, Commercial law: commentary and materials (Fourth edition, Lawbook Co, 2019). This text is available at the Co-op Bookshop on the University of Canberra campus. Contact the Co-op Bookshop at ucbruce@coop.com.au or on-line at http://www.coop-bookshop.com.au/. Alternatively, the text can be purchased directly online from the publisher Thomson Reuters at https://legal.thomsonreuters.com.au.

It is recommended that students download a copy of the Sale of Goods Act 1923 (NSW) (we use this because it is referred to in the prescribed text, but the States and Territories have substantively similar legislation) and the Australian Consumer Law (contained in Schedule 2 to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)) (which can be found in volume 3 of the downloadable Act).

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

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

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

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 any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction, Bailment, Agency, Sale of Goods Assessment item 1 (problem-style question) will cover most (if not all) topics addressed across the 4 sessions.
2 Sale of Goods (continued), Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth), Terms of the Contract Assessment item 2 (research essay) can focus on any one or more of the topics addressed across the 4 sessions according to the student’s preference.
3 Terms of the Contract (continued), Performance of the Contract
4 Remedies, Review/Group Workshop

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assignment Workshop 0 % 20/11/2019 20/11/2019 1,3
Assignment 50 % 10/12/2019 27/12/2019 1,3
Essay 50 % 06/01/2020 27/01/2020 2,4

* 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.


For all courses taught face-to-face in intensive mode, the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program and students are required to attend ALL classes (and all of each class).

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be granted permission by the Course Convenor, in consultation with the Stream Convenor or Director, LLM Program, to miss some classes, provided:

(a)    it does not exceed a maximum of 25% of the classes;

(b)    permission is requested in advance; and

(c)    the request is supported, where appropriate, by adequate documentation.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in a student receiving the grade of NCN (non-complete fail). The normal pressures of work or planned personal trips do not constitute exceptional circumstances to justify an exemption from full compliance of this policy.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 20/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 20/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Assignment Workshop

Nature of Task: Preparing and workshopping a skeleton answer/plan to a problem-style question. The task is compulsory insofar as it forms part of the compulsory face-to-face component of the course. It is formative and gives you a chance both to receive feedback and also to practice for task 2.

Word limit: N/A

Release: Students are provided with a problem-style question and are each required to prepare a skeleton answer/ plan. It is done during the final day of the face-to-face classes.  It will then be discussed together as a class before the conclusion of the final day.

Due date: 20 November 2019 during class.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Content

  • identification of the legal issues raised from the question
  • identification of the relevant legal principles relevant to the legal issues raised from the question
  • accurately summarising the relevant legal principles
  • identification of the relevant facts raised from the question and how they link to the legal principles
  • formulation of tentative conclusions

b) Structure/organisation

  • emphasis on the significant issues
  • skeleton answer/plan is coherent and structure logical

c) Expression

  • clear language appropriate to legal topic, reflecting capacity to develop suitable section headings and paragraphs in preparation for writing a full answer

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 10/12/2019
Return of Assessment: 27/12/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,3


Nature of Task: Problem-style question. This task is compulsory. Failure to submit the task will result in a mark of 0.

Word limit: 3000 words

Release: 21 November 2019

Due date: 10 December 2019 at 5 pm

Assessment Criteria:

a) Content

  • answering the question asked
  • identification of the legal issues raised from the questions
  • legal principles stated/explained with accuracy
  • legal principles stated/explained in appropriate detail
  • relevant facts recognised and linked to the legal principles
  • recognition and evaluation of judicial and statutory ambiguities and ‘grey areas’
  • originality/innovation in approach to issues
  • clear conclusions

b) Structure/organisation

  • emphasis on the significant issues
  • answer is coherent and structure logical

c) Expression

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit

Note that while all sources must be properly cited there is no need for a Bibliography.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 06/01/2020
Return of Assessment: 27/01/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,4


Nature of Task: Research essay. This task is compulsory and a failure to submit the task will result in a mark of 0 for the task.

Word limit: 3000 words

Release: Students are encouraged to devise their own choice of topic subject to approval by the convenor, but topics can be provided on request. Students must settle their topic with the convenor by 10 December 2019.

Due date: 6 January 2020 at 5 pm

Assessment Criteria:

a) Understanding of the Issues

  • addresses the topic and covers all the important points
  • evidence of close consideration of the issues raised by the topic and the research materials drawn on
  • material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively

b) Communication & Development of Argument

  • clear theme or argument
  • arguments logical and well-organised
  • ideas/paragraphs linked coherently

c) Argument/Analysis

  • originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
  • complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
  • suggestions for change where appropriate
  • interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate
  • addressing opposing arguments
  • well-reasoned conclusions

d) Research

  • research covering primary and secondary materials
  • good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used
  • use of theoretical material where appropriate
  • range of research sources
  • integration of material from research resources into the essay

e) Presentation, style and referencing

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit

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 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).

Prue Bindon

Research Interests

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By Appointment
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+61 2 6125 3483

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