When a person has been harmed by the conduct of another it is the law of torts which determines who has to bear the loss. This is an important aspect of the civil law (in contrast to criminal law). Historically, it derived largely from judicial decisions, and hence was largely what we call common law but in more recent times legislation has become increasingly important. The law of torts protects people against, and compensates them for, unreasonable interferences with a wide range of interests, including their bodily integrity, property, reputation, and financial interests. It does this through a range of different torts, including trespass, negligence, nuisance and defamation. In this basic and introductory course we will focus on the use of the torts of trespass and negligence in contexts where people suffer personal injuries. We will also look at the tort of trespass to land.
As this is generally the first substantive law course that students encounter in their law program, we will also begin to teach students some of the basic skills which you will need - in particular, to read, understand and apply case law and legislation. We will also explore in a basic way the interaction between case law and legislation.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Select and apply the fundamental legal principles of tort law
- Identify and frame torts issues within hypothetical scenarios
- Explore and analyse the context within which tort law has developed, including the common law’s unique form, goals, and history
- Synthesise and apply a range of legally specific research principles, methods, primary legal resources, and tools to respond to a factually complex tort problem
- Articulate legal reasoning, especially in the form of written analysis
- Details of the assessment for this course will be provided in the class summary before the start of semester. (null) [LO null]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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.
In the first two weeks of the semester there will be three hours of large group classes per week. From the third week of semester there will be two hours of large group classes and one hour-long tutorial per week. In addition, students will be expected to read in advance of classes, to prepare any tasks indicated during class, and to prepare preliminary answers to tutorial questions. Students are generally expected to devote approximately 10 hours overall per week to this course, with additional hours needed in the lead-up to assessment tasks. Students often report that reading takes them longer than this at the beginning of semester, as they are just developing their skills.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Please see the class summary.
A detailed reading guide will be available on the course web page.
Teachers in this course do NOT assume that you have done a Legal Studies course at school, and you will NOT be at a disadvantage if you have not done such a course. As with all your law courses, it will be important that you have good written communication skills in English. Students who have not done language-rich courses in English in years 11 and 12, must expect to do some extra work to bring their skills up to the required standard. The ANU's Academic Skills and Learning Centre provides courses to help you.
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.
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.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.