• Class Number 4487
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Alex Bruce
    • Dr Alex Bruce
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
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. Critically analyse and apply to a range of scenarios Australian Consumer Law ("ACL") as an integral component of National Competition Policy, including the ACL's specific consumer protection provision, and provide solutions to a range of problems addressing consumer protection and product liability law
  2. Evaluate product safety and defective product provisions in the ACL and critically analyse case law and scholarly writing in this area;
  3. Critically analyse 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 to range of audiences a clear and coherent body of knowledge of consumer protection and product liability law
  5. Undertake a research project involving consumer protection and product liability law

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, (3rd Ed; 2019, 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 2 and students should register for one of the two scheduled Workshops (WG1 from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon in Law 6.1.20) or (WG 2 from 5:00 pm - 7:00pm in Marie Reay 3.03). Students should register for their chosen Workshop via the course Wattle site from 10:00 am on Thursday 27 February 2020.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
On-line Summative Quiz 10 % 01/05/2020 01/05/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Case Note Research Paper 40 % 20/04/2020 15/05/2020 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5
Take Home Online Exam 50 % * 09/07/2020 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. 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.


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: 10 %
Due Date: 01/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

On-line Summative Quiz

Details of task: There will be an online summative 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 and will assist in preparing for the case note research paper.

Nature of task: This is a compulsory form of assessment.

Value or weighting: 10%

Release: Wednesday 29 April at 10:00 am (on Wattle site) and available for completion by 11:50 pm on Friday 1 May. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Results: The quiz will be self-grading and students will know the results upon closure of the quiz.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 20/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 15/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5

Case Note 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, and preparing submissions for argument in court. This case note assignment invites you to locate, read and understand the relationship between several cases concerning consumer protection law issues. The assignment will ask you to demonstrate that understanding by writing about this relationship by identifying and then analysing certain trends emerging from those cases that are relevant to the research question.

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: 40%

Word limit: 2800 words

Release: Friday 20 March at 10:00 am (on Wattle site)

Due date: Monday 20 April at 5:00 pm (upload to Turnitin & in hard copy to Services Office by 9.30 am the next day). 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 8 May and available for collection from the College Student Administration Services Office.

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

  • Knowledge and use of correct authorities:10%

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

  • Concise discussion of relationship of cases:15%

Development of reasoned framework or simple assertion?

  • Understanding of Legal and Economic principles in reaching reasoned conclusions:10%

Evidence of critical analysis or mostly descriptive?

  • Organisation, Presentation and Structure: 5%

Style, grammar and expression acceptable?

  • Total: 40%

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Return of Assessment: 09/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Take Home Online Exam

Details of task: Students will sit a final take home online 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: Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date and time of the exam.

Duration:  150 minutes.

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 the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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. Extensions may be granted 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 Alex Bruce

By Appointment
Dr Alex Bruce
6125 6897

Research Interests

Dr Alex Bruce

By Appointment

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