• Offered by ANU School of Legal Practice
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law, Accounting, Commerce, Legal Practice, Business Administration
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Graeme Blank
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Summer Session 2019
    See Future Offerings

Business and personal insolvency impacts at all levels of society.  Its regulation is constantly being changed both legislatively and in the courts.  Other areas, such as the Personal Property Securities Register, which has transformed private property rights, has a direct and significant impact.  

A failed company can impact in a direct, but also indirect way, many aspects of society.  Employees lose jobs, third party companies that deal with the insolvent company lose trade and they too can become insolvent.  Families are affected, so much so that Bankruptcy law and Family law are now legislatively interconnected.

This course outlines the ways in which a person or a company can be placed in external administration, the process of that administration and the recovery of assets for creditors.  It provides a platform for understanding how insolvency operates and its interconnectedness with other aspects of society.  

This course will suit any student, but provides particular value for  students undertaking other commercial law and family law studies.  It has been designed to provide the platform necessary to understand the concepts discussed in the Personal & Company Insolvency Law and Practice course which is offered as part of the ANU Masters of Legal Practice (MLP) and Masters of Law (LLM).  Undergraduate corporations law study only briefly covers a couple of the issues raised in this course.

Learning Outcomes

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

By the conclusion of the course it is intended that students who have successfully completed all of the course requirements will be able to:
1. Demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge regarding personal and corporate insolvency principles.
2. Conduct research and synthesise complex factual information relating to insolvency processes to advise a client on the most appropriate approaches for their particular circumstances. 
3. Plan and execute a substantial research based project, whether by written submission to a government body or a court, an advice to a client or an essay.
4. Creatively use the tools available to identify, locate and either challenge or protect from challenge, assets sought to be recovered by an insolvency practitioner.
5. Analyse and synthesise complex information and problems at a theoretical level to then develop, justify and apply solutions as an advocate by communicating effectively with the judiciary, lay witnesses and experts.
6. Consolidate theoretical knowledge and its practical application through a capstone critical review and comparison of insolvency principles applied during the course and the achieved outcomes.

Indicative Assessment

The Course will provide a range of assessment tasks which will vary from course to course to address the contemporary issues and legislative reform program from time to time. The assessments will always include a research component (essay / letter of advice involving analysis of legal principles).  If a capstone component is included it will look at particular themes within the course.  The research / capstone component will comprise at least 30%.
The individual assessment items will vary but will be drawn from tasks such as:
Assessment Task, Value, Due Date and Linked Indicative Learning Outcomes 
1.   Critically review and finalise a draft letter of advice to a client / insolvency practitioner in light of available material and relevant legal principles (3200 words - 40%) ILO 1, 2, 4
2.   Prepare a submission to a Government Committee on an area of proposed law reform (3200 words 40%)ILO 1, 3
3.  20 minute Oral submission to a court (such as an application to wind up / resist a statutory demand or to seek directions/ judicial advice based on material raised in the course (25%)  ILO  1, 2, 5
4.   Written submission including legal argument on aspect of case file: (10-20% depending on which other assessment items are chosen)  ILOs  2, 3, 5
5.  Essay on a relevant area arising from the course content (3200 words - 40%)ILO 1, 2, 3
6.  Up to four substantial forum posts  (400 words - 5% each) to discussion forums for each topicILO 1, 2, 4, 5
7.  Prepare a court application and supporting affidavit material, compliant with court procedures and rules of evidence (20%)ILO 1, 2, 4, 5
8.  Participation in regular online discussion forums, including consideration of particular non-legal material relevant to the topic (10%)ILO 1, 2, 5
9.  Online quizzes (each CRS or 5% depending on topic)ILO 1, 2, 4, 5
10.   Review of the course including legal principles, processes and practical applications ("Capstone") (2500 words - 30%) ILO 1, 3, 6
An example course assessment may include:
A.  Letter of advice to a client about possible claims and defences to a factual scenario provided (40%)
B.  Participation in 3 assessable online forums (15%)
C.  Written submission and affidavit for an application to the Federal Court in relation to a trustee or liquidation event (eg challenge liquidator's appointment, seeking leave to proceed with litigation after insolvency) (15%)
D.  Capstone (30%)

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This is a 6 unit course which is considered to have the equivalent full time student load (EFTSL) of 6/48 = 0.125.  The number of hours allocated to an EFTSL of 0.125 is 10-12 hours per week.All course materials will be available online.
The course requires continuous online participation throughout the course.  Students may be required to participate in online discussion forums and other online activities as well as a moot conducted via tele- or videoconference.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Master of Laws (7300XLLM, MLLM), Master of Laws specialising in International Law (7300XSINTL), Master of Laws specialising in Law, Governance and Development (7300SLGD), Master of Laws specialising in Environmental Law (7300SEVNL), Master of Laws specialising in Government and Commercial Law (7300SGCL), Master of Laws specialising in International Security Law (7300SISL), Master of Laws in Migration (NLLML), Master of Laws in International Law (NLLIL), Master of Laws in Environmental Law (NLLEN), Master of Laws in Law, Governance & Development (NLLGD), Master of Laws in International Security Law (NLLSL), Master of Laws in Government and Regulation (NLLGR), Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312XLLMLP), Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883SINTL), Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP), Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL); OR Juris Doctor (7330XJD, 7330HJD or MJD) and have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses; OR Juris Doctor - online (MJDOL) and have completed LAWS8712 Australian Public Law & International Law B. Students undertaking any ANU graduate program may apply for this course. Enrolments are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the ANU College of Law for permission number.

Prescribed Texts

Murray & Harris, Keay's Insolvency (most recent edition), Thomson ReutersBankruptcy Act 1966 as revised at date of course, Corporations Act 2001 (most recent edition)Other cases not in the texts which will be provided on WATTLE
(Recommended) Annotated Corporations Act, Thomson Reuters or LexisNexis;(Recommended) Symes Brown and Wellard Australian Insolvency Law:  Cases and Materials (most recent edition) LexisNexis

Preliminary Reading

This will be provided at the time the Wattle site is open to students.

This will be provided at the time the Wattle site is open to students.

Assumed Knowledge

It will be assumed that students or participants (CPD and audit) have completed some legal studies which includes some study of corporations law.  Students who have undertaken an undergraduate bankruptcy or insolvency course may find they have covered some of the material in this course.


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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1642 04 Mar 2019 15 Mar 2019 22 Mar 2019 24 May 2019 Online N/A

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