• Class Number 2710
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Dr Michelle Worthington
    • Cameron Roles
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course examines the fundamental laws governing corporations in Australia. Corporations now exist at the centre of Australian society and affect many areas of economic, political and social life. Forming an understanding of foundational corporate law concerns is essential in all areas of legal practice, not just commercial law. It is as important to family specialists as it is to those wishing to work with NGOs or in government practice. This course provides a broad introduction to corporations law, covering topics such as: incorporation, corporate powers, corporate decision making, directors’ duties, corporate finance, insolvency and shareholders’ rights and remedies.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse the fundamental rules and concepts of corporate law, such as separate legal personality, limited liability, corporate contracting, directors’ duties, insolvency and the rights of shareholders;
  2. Articulate the policy foundations and implications of corporate law rules such as the law on dividends, directors’ duties and maintenance of share capital.
  3. Critically evaluate the broader theorectical, social, political and economic issues underlying corporate law;
  4. Analyse complex sections of the Corporations Act
  5. Evaluate detailed legal problems involving corporate law issues;
  6. Synthesise corporate law rules into cohesive arguments in response to corporate law problems

Required Resources

The prescribed text is Stephen Bottomley, Katherine Hall, Peta Spender and Beth Nosworthy, Contemporary Australian Corporate Law (Cambridge University Press, 2nd Edition, 2020).

Students must also have a current edition of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Act). It is strongly recommended that students obtain a hard copy of the Act for learning purposes.

There are a number of excellent corporations resources that may assist students to refine their understanding of the law.

  • Paul Redmond, Corporations and Financial Markets (Thomson Reuters, 7th ed, 2017);
  • HAJ Ford, RP Austin, Ian M Ramsay, Ford's Principles of Corporations Law (available via the ANU Library's LexisAdvance subscription). Please note that this is a practitioner's resource and is more detailed than student texts tend to be.

Staff Feedback

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

  • grades awarded;
  • written comments; and
  • if a student seeks further information and the Convenor deems it appropriate, face-to-face consultation.

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 The nature of the corporation; the role of the corporation in society
2 The separate legal entity doctrine; regulation and types of companies
3 Share and debt finance; dividends
4 The corporate constitution; variation of class rights
5 Corporate contracting; section 129 assumptions
6 Division of power; company meetings
7 Directors’ duties; duty of care, skill and diligence
8 Duty of good faith; fiduciary duties
9 Fiduciary duties continued (Sections 182-183)
10 Members’ rights and remedies
11 External administration; voluntary administration
12 Liquidation

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration will be via the course Wattle page. We will be opening up at least 50% (and possibly more) of the tutorials 2 weeks before the start of semester. Tutorial registration will close at the end of week 3. Students should keep an eye on Wattle for further information on tutorial sign-up. Once enrolled in a tutorial group, you must attend the same tutorial group each week until the end of the semester.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online Quiz 15 % 26/03/2021 * 1, 4, 5
Research Essay 35 % 19/04/2021 17/05/2021 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Final Take Home Online Examination 50 % * 01/07/2021 1, 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.


This course involves three hours of lectures per week for the first three weeks of the course (taught across two lectures). From week four, the Course structure will shift, and we will move to a single two-hour lecture per week, plus one hour long tutorial. In general terms, students are expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.



This course has an examination. Please note that the date used in the assessment summary is approximate only. Students should consult the examinations timetable when it is released to confirm the date and time.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 26/03/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4, 5

Online Quiz

Details of task: The online quiz is comprised of 15 multiple choice and/or short answer questions which aim to test students' knowledge of the content covered in weeks 1-5 of the course. This quiz is an INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENT ITEM - students are not to consult any other person with respect to any of the questions in the quiz. Further information about the quiz will be available closer to the date of the quiz via Wattle. This is an open book quiz.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to participate will result in 0 marks for this task. If you experience unavoidable and extenuating circumstances and cannot sit the quiz at the due date and time, you should apply for an extension to the College of Law student admin team here:




The College will give you one opportunity to sit the quiz, at the same time one week later. This will be your final opportunity to sit the quiz. 

Weighting: 15%.

Release: Friday 26 March 2021 6:30pm via Wattle.

Duration: 1 hour. The quiz will commence at 6:30pm and close at 7:30pm (with the exception of any students who have negotiated with the Convenor for additional time in which to complete the quiz, in accordance with current Education Access Plans or in response to unexpected and pressing circumstances etc). The timing of the quiz is universal; i.e. if a student logs on at 7pm instead of 6:30pm, they will only have 30 minutes in which to complete the quiz. 

Due date: Friday 26 March 2021 7:30pm via Wattle.

Estimated return date: When all eligible students have completed the quiz.

Assessment criteria:

  • understanding of corporate history and theory, including foundational concepts of corporate and legal personality;
  • understanding of corporations law rules and principles;
  • interpreting and applying the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 19/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 17/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6

Research Essay

Details of task: Students will write an essay in response to one (1) of the essay questions provided. The essay is an INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENT ITEM - students are not to consult any other person with respect to interpreting and answering the essay questions, save of course for librarians, and persons permitted to provide proof-reading assistance.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to submit this task will result in a mark of zero (0) for this task.

Weighting: 35%.

Word limit: 2000 words (including headings but excluding footnotes).

Release: Week 1 (via Wattle).

Due date: Monday 19 April 2021 at 5pm. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, but a mark penalty will be imposed.

Estimated return date: Monday 17 May 2021. Students will be notified if assessment is to be returned later than this estimated date.

Submission: Essays are to be submitted via Turnitin on the Course wattle page. Students should submit their essay in Word format (docx). PDF format is NOT PERMITTED. Students should include their u number and the number of the question they are attempting in the file name of the essay.

Word length penalties: Default ANU CoL word length penalties will apply. See above for late submission penalty.

Assessment criteria: The following assessment criteria will be applied to the Essay:

  • quality of the thesis (including clarity and scope of thesis);
  • effectiveness of chosen structure;
  • quality of analysis;
  • quality of research;
  • quality of written expression;
  • commitment to Academic Integrity (including AGLC 4 compliance).

A rubric for the essay will be made available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Return of Assessment: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4, 5, 6

Final Take Home Online Examination

Details of task: This will be a HIRAC problem question style exam; all material in Weeks 1-12 is examinable.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Students who do not attempt the exam will receive a mark of zero (0) for the task.

Weighting: 50%.

Duration: 2 hours.

Word limit: There is no word limit for the exam.

Date and time: please consult the ANU end of semester examinations timetable when it is released.

Estimated return date: With release of final results via Turnitin.

Assessment criteria: The general criteria to be used is as follows:

  • ability to identify the legal issues raised by the question;
  • understanding of the relevant law raised by the question;
  • quality of analysis and argument (including application of relevant law to the facts);
  • quality of composition (including structure and written expression);
  • commitment to Academic Integrity.

A rubric for the final exam will be made available on Wattle.

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). Any hard copy submissions must use 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.

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 Michelle Worthington
+61 2 61251071

Research Interests

Corporate law, corporate theory, legal design, value theory, jurisprudence.

Dr Michelle Worthington

By Appointment
Cameron Roles
02 6125 3488

Research Interests

Cameron Roles

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