• Class Number 4572
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Alexander Bruce
    • Dr Alexander Bruce
  • 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

This course investigates the new Australian Consumer Law (“the ACL”) regime that became effective on 1 January 2011.  The Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) No 2 Act 2010 (Cth) introduced a comprehensive national consumer protection and product liability law regime.  The variety of consumer protection statutes throughout Australia such as the Fair Trading Acts and Door to Door Sales Acts were entirely replaced by the ACL.

In particular, the former Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) was replaced by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (“the CCA”) that contains the ACL.  Accordingly, the CCA, the ACL and the various State and Territory application legislation are now the principal sources of consumer protection and product liability law throughout Australia.

The object of this elective is to introduce the Australian Consumer Law as it is applied as a law of the Commonwealth and as a law of the States and Territories.  This will involve a consideration of the role and function of consumer protection and product liability laws as part of Australia's National Competition Policy, misleading and deceptive conduct and its most common forms including silence, comparative advertising, passing off, sale of businesses, breach of contract and franchising industry issues, various forms of false conduct, "special" areas of consumer concern such as pyramid selling and false claims for payments, conditions and warranties implied into consumer contracts by the ACL including the status of ‘No Refund' policies, unconscionable conduct, Industry Codes of Conduct with an examination of the franchising industry, product liability, remedies under the CCA including damages, injunctions and other orders and enforcement of the Consumer Protection and Product Liability provisions of the CCA by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. define, describe and apply in a coherent fashion an advanced knowledge of the Australian Consumer Law ("ACL") as an integral component of National Competition Policy, including the ACL's specific consumer protection provision in providing solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence;
  2. define, describe and apply in a coherent fashion an advanced knowledge of product safety and defective product provisions in the ACL to provide solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence;
  3. explain and apply complex statutory provisions within the ACL specifically and as part of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ("CCA"), including analysing and applying relevant case law;
  4. synthesise and communicate a clear and coherent body of knowledge of consumer protection and product liability law in ways that can be comprehended by peers and the course lecturer;
  5. plan and complete a research project involving consumer protection and product liability law, with some independence.

Research-Led Teaching

Consumer Protection Law in Australia entered a new age with the introduction of the ACL in 2011. These amendments are responses to both domestic and international circumstances including increased sophistication of the market, globalization of markets, international coordinated consumer fraud and regulatory best practice. During this course we will integrate the latest research addressing these currents in consumer protection regulation. With his unique background in private legal practice, enforcement litigation with the ACCC and research with the ANU, A/Professor Alex Bruce is one of Australia’s leading researchers and writers in Consumer Protection Law.

Required Resources

The prescribed text for this subject is: Alex Bruce, Consumer Protection Law in Australia, (2nd Ed; 2014, LexisNexis Publishers).

Staff Feedback

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

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

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 current Grading Distribution Policy has been suspended pending the development of a new policy. For further information about the interim policy 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 and updates relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Foundations & Application
2 Application of ACL and CCA
3 Misleading & Deceptive Conduct Application
4 Misleading & Deceptive Conduct Application
5 Unconscionable conduct
6 Unfair Contract Terms Regime
7 Unfair practices · False conduct · Unsolicited supplies · Pyramid schemes · Referral selling · Harassment & coercion
8 Unsolicited consumer agreements
9 Consumer guarantees regime
10 Manufacturers liability
11 Industry Codes of Conduct - CCA Part IVB
12 Public Enforcement and Private Remedies

Tutorial Registration

Workshops begin on Tuesday of WEEK 4 and students should register for one of the three scheduled Workshops (WG1 from 9am - 11am, WG 2 from 2pm - 4pm or WG3 from 5pm -7pm) Students should register for their chosen Workshop via the course Wattle site from 10:00 am on Wednesday 27 February.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
On-line Quiz 0 % 10/05/2019 10/05/2019 1,2
Research Paper 50 % 06/05/2019 24/05/2019 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5
Exam 50 % 22/06/2019 04/07/2019 1, 2, 3, 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. 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.


Please note, that the dates used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams indicate approximate time frames. Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 10/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

On-line Quiz

Details of task: There will be a formative online Quiz covering all of the material covered in the course to date. This will enable you to gain some idea of how your understanding of the course content is taking shape.

Nature of task: This is a voluntary piece of formative assessment.

Release: Friday 10 May at 10:00 am (on Wattle site) and available for completion throughout the weekend of 11 and 12 May. This quiz will only be available over the weekend of 11 and 12 May. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Results: The quiz will be self-grading and students will know the results immediately.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 06/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5

Research Paper

Details of task: In legal practice, you will be required to undertake a variety of research and writing tasks. These include writing letters, composing memoranda of advice, drafting submissions to Parliamentary Committees and Inquiries about legal policy and preparing submissions for argument in court. This assessment task is intended to simulate two of the more common forms of legal research and writing tasks; drafting advice about a particular legal issue involving analysis of case law and statue and drafting a submission related to the philosophy and policy associated with Consumer Law. You will have a choice of which research task you would like to complete.

Nature of task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete this task will result in 0 marks being awarded for that task.

Value or weighting: 50%

Word limit: 2500 words

Release: Friday 5 April at 10:00 am (on Wattle site)

Due date: Monday 6 May at 4:00 pm (upload to Turnitin & in hard copy to Services Office). Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. Late penalties will be calculated from the date the research paper is uploaded to Turnitin.

Estimated return date: Research papers will be returned by Friday 24 May and available for collection from the Services Office.

Assessment Criteria: Research papers will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Statement of Argument about Research Topic:  5%

Is there a clear statement of what the research paper will argue and how that argument is to be developed throughout the paper?

Concise discussion of philosophical / legal principles: 10%

Development of reasoned argument or statement of simple assertions?

Knowledge and use of correct research materials:  15%

Key authorities (cases and/or legislation) identified and effectively used?

Appropriate secondary academic sources identified and effectively used?

Application of Legal and Economic principles in reaching reasoned conclusions: 15%

Evidence of critical analysis or mostly descriptive (ie 'compare and contrast' but not analytical)?

Organisation, Presentation and Structure  5%

Style, grammar and expression acceptable?

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 22/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4


Details of task: Students will sit a final semi-closed book examination during the exam period. The exam will be composed of 2 equally weighted problem-style questions that include issues drawn from the entire semester’s course work.

Nature of task: This final exam is compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete the exam will result in a grade of 0 for the exam.

Value or weighting:  The exam will be worth 50% of the marks available for the subject.

Timing: Please note, that the dates used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams indicate approximate time frames. Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Duration:  30 minutes reading time, 90 minutes of writing time.

Permitted Materials: The exam will be semi-closed book. This means that students will not be permitted to take any written materials into the exam except the following: Students may take the unannotated legislation (underlining is permitted) into the exam as well as 2 sheet of A4 paper that may contain any notes on both sides of the paper and made by students. Toward the end of the course, I will explain in great detail what "unannotated" actually means and clarify questions.

Assessment Criteria: Marks for each question of the exam will be allocated to reflect:

(i) Ability to define the legal issues required for resolution of the problem;

(ii) Ability to identify statutory provisions of the ACL relevant to the resolution of the problem;

(iii) Ability to identify appropriate case-law relevant to the resolution of the problem

(iv) Use of both statutory provisions and case law to develop resolutions to the problems;

(v) Ability to formulate a resolved conclusion to the problem.

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.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be available for collection from the Services Office when notified.

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 Alexander Bruce
02 61256897

Research Interests

Competition Law, Consumer Protection Law, Animal Law, Law and Religion

Dr Alexander Bruce

Thursday 10:00 11:00
Dr Alexander Bruce
6125 6897

Research Interests

Dr Alexander Bruce

Thursday 10:00 11:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions