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.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- plan and complete a research project involving consumer protection and product liability law, with some independence.
Classes may be offered in non-standard sessions and be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (a minimum of 36 hours). Please refer to the LLB timetable for dates. Please contact the ANU College of Law Student Administration Services to request a permission code to enrol in classes offered in non-standard sessions.
- Exam (50) [LO null]
- Research essay (50) [LO null]
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Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week (a minimum of 36 hours). Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
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