• Class Number 7341
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Anne McNaughton
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

Commercial Law is designed to give students an understanding of the key areas of commercial law and how they relate to each other. The focus is on the areas of personal property and aspects of commercial contracts, as these form the basis of all commercial law. The course will consider the concepts of bailment and agency and the complex provisions dealing with the sale of goods. It is suitable for those students who want an overview of commercial law as well as those who want to bring themselves up to date with recent developments in this field. This course is an elective that builds on material in the compulsory course Contracts and articulates with Corporations Law, Property and other commercially focused electives such as Restrictive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection and Product Liability, for example.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. explain, outline and apply an advanced understanding of the areas of commercial law dealt with in this course;
  2. analyse critically particular areas of commercial law by participation in discussions and online forums;
  3. identify and provide solutions to complex problems in particular areas of commercial law,
  4. transform the analysis of case law into a proposition of commercial law that can be communicated to others;
  5. identify the relevant legal issues that arise on a given set of facts in the areas of commercial law dealt with in the course;
  6. where applicable, distinguish the facts in decided cases from those in a given set of facts; build this into an argument and structure an answer to a problem question in a logical and coherent manner;
  7. co-operate with your colleagues within limits set by rules governing proper academic discourse.

Research-Led Teaching

The central tenets of commercial law are well-settled and continue to be anchored in the areas of contract and property law, enhanced and modified by statute. Research in the substantive area of commercial law informs the selection of topics and the degree of detail in which they are considered. The content and structure of this course is informed by research in the fields of education, educational psychology and commercial law. The research in education and educational psychology has informed the restructuring of the course, spiralling the course curriculum by building on students’ previous compulsory studies (Contract Law); introducing new topics in the early weeks of the course and reinforcing and building on that material in subsequent weeks. 

Required Resources

The prescribed text for this course is Pearson, Peden et al, Commercial Law: Commentary and Materials, (4th ed, Thomson, 2019).

You will also need a copy of the Sale of Goods Act 1923 (NSW) which you can download from www.austlii.edu.au. The State and Territory sale of goods legislation is substantively uniform throughout Australia and the equivalent provisions in the ACT Act will also be referred to as appropriate. You may also like to download this Act from the Austlii site.

You will also need a copy of the Sale of Goods (Vienna Convention) Act 1986 (NSW).

Turner and Trone, Australian Commercial Law (33rd ed, Thomson, 2020); Traves, Commercial Law (5th ed, LexisNexis, 2020).

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 Introduction to Commercial Law
2 The Law of Agency
3 Nature of Personal Property (Personalty)
4 The Law of Bailment
5 Security Interests: Using personal property to secure payment
6 Contracts of Sale: Formation and Statutory Regimes
7 Transfer of Property and Title under a Contract of Sale
8 Express and Implied Terms of the Contract of Sale
9 Statutory Obligations in the Supply of Goods and Services
10 Misrepresentation and misleading conduct in Commercial Law
11 Unconscionability in Commercial Law
12 Performance and Remedies

Tutorial Registration

Students will be required to register for tutorials through the course WATTLE site.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Commercial Contract Construction Task 10 % 23/08/2021 20/09/2021 1,3,4,5,6
Discussant Role 20 % * 05/11/2021 1,2,3,4,5,7
Active Participant and Reflections 20 % * 05/11/2021 1,2,3,4,5,7
Research Task 50 % 28/10/2021 * 1,3,4,5,6

* 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 Academic Integrity . 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.


For all courses taught in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the program. Students are expected to attend all classes.


Examinations are held during the University's examination period .Students should consult the exam timetable when it has been finalised.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 23/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 20/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5,6

Commercial Contract Construction Task

Details of Task: The assessment involves a scenario consisting of relevant contractual provisions and questions testing the ability of the students to apply the proper approach to their interpretation.

?Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit will result in a mark of 0 for the task.

Weighting: 10%

Release Date: 26 July 2021 via course WATTLE site.

Due Date: 5pm Monday 23 August 2021 via Wattle. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Word limit: 500 words.

Estimated return date: 20 September 2021 via course WATTLE site

Assessment Criteria: You will be assessed on your ability:

  • define, distinguish and apply the basic concepts and terminology of the law of contract;
  • construct a proposition of contract law established by case law;
  • apply the proper approach to contract construction and the interpretation of contractual provisions;
  • distinguish the facts in decided cases from those in a given set of facts;
  • recognise and appraise the interaction between contract formation and construction;
  • formulate written arguments in response to the given set of facts;
  • use legal citation conventions appropriately in the course of legal writing;
  • write accurately and accessibly with correct use of grammar, punctuation and appropriate expression.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Return of Assessment: 05/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,7

Discussant Role

Details of Task: In this task, students will assume a “discussant” role and facilitate a 20-minute tutorial discussion about the week’s required reading.

Nature of Task: This task is compulsory and a failure to complete it will result in a mark of 0 for the task. It is not redeemable.

Weighting: 20%

Word Count: N/A

Release: 26 July 2021

Due Date: This assessment task will be completed over the duration of the semester. Students will be allocated to perform a lead role in one tutorial during the semester.

Estimated return date: Friday 5 November 2021.

Assessment Criteria: You will be assessed on your ability:

  • to guide the participants in a critical discussion of the set reading and how it relates to the associated course topic;
  • to assist your peers in grasping the central arguments of the reading;
  • to develop your own critique of the set reading and the discussion and argument presented in it as it relates to the associated course topic;
  • to capture the ideas presented in the discussion and post them to the Wattle site.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Return of Assessment: 05/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,7

Active Participant and Reflections

Details of the Task: This task involves two components: 

·       Active Participant: You will need to perform this role in each tutorial you attend (at minimum 75% of the course). It is your responsibility to ask questions, volunteer ideas, and add your voice to the conversation during the discussant-led sections of the tutorials. Your purpose is twofold: a) support your discussant peers by engaging in the conversation they are trying to lead, and b) develop your own thinking and the thinking of your peers by articulating ideas and exploring uncertainties.  

·       Reflective pieces: You will also be required to reflect on the discussion and the role you played in that discussion through a weekly forum post (4 posts) required across the semester). In each forum post you will be expected to reflect on the relevant week’s tutorial discussion, what contributions you made to the discussion, and where you would like to see the discussion go next.

Nature of Task: This task is compulsory and a failure to complete it will result in a mark of 0 for the task.

Weighting: 20%

Release Date: 26 July 2021

Due Date: This assessment task will be completed over the duration of the semester. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated return date: Friday 5 November 2021.

Word Limit for the reflective pieces: 200 per post.

Assessment Criteria as an active participant: You will be assessed on your ability to:

  • support your discussant peers by engaging in the conversation they are trying to lead;
  • contribute constructively to the tutorial discussion by asking questions, volunteering ideas;
  • demonstrate an understanding of how to develop and support a groupwide discussion by contributing as well as encouraging others in the group to contribute to the discussion.

Assessment Criteria for reflective pieces: You will be assessed on your ability to:

  • demonstrate an awareness of the group dynamic;
  • reflect on the nature of your own contribution to the discussion and in what way it was useful to the group;
  • reflect on how the discussion developed during the tutorial and where you would like to see it progress.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 28/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5,6

Research Task

Details of Task: Students will be required to undertake independent research on a provided question for the purpose of completing this piece of assessment.

Nature of Task: This task is compulsory and a failure to complete it will result in a mark of 0 for the task.

Weighting: 50%

Release Date: 26 July 2021.

Due Date: 5pm, Thursday 28 October 2021 via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Estimated return date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin. 

Word limit: 2500 words

Assessment Criteria:

  • Understanding of the Issues
  • Communication & Development of Argument
  • Argument/Analysis
  • Research
  • Presentation, style and referencing

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 tests or examinations.
  • Late submission with an extension. To ensure equity for all students, the 5% penalty per working day for late submission of work does not apply if you have been given an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time is provided in writing. Please note that the revised due date is calculated by including weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date are penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the assessment task per day or part thereof.

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.

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).

Anne McNaughton

Research Interests

Anne's particular research focus is at the intersection of international and comparative law. It includes the European Union as a legal system, comparative aspects of the EU and the Indo-Pacific region, legal transplants and the concept of mutual recognition with a focus on services and the professions; and the Europeanisation of private law, particularly in the areas of contract, property and commercial law.

Anne McNaughton

By Appointment

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