• Class Number 2633
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Wayne Morgan
    • Dr Heather Roberts
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course is a compulsory course required for admission to legal practice. Understanding the law of property is essential for any practising lawyer. The course builds heavily on the law of contract (which you have already completed) and will lead on to other compulsory and elective courses. It is closely related to Equity and Trusts (a further compulsory course) which you will study after Property. In terms of elective courses, understanding the basic law of property is essential before you go on to study courses such as intellectual property, commercial law, succession law and Indigenous Australians and the Law.

The course provides an overview of the law governing personal and real property, emphasising the concepts of possession and title, the fragmentation of proprietary interests, and the various ways in which common law and legislation resolve disputes between competing interests. The greater part of the course is devoted to the nature, creation, acquisition, exercise, and remedies for the protection, of interests in real property (land). The course covers legal and equitable interests in land, the acquisition and transfer of such interests by purchase, gift and adverse possession, priority rules, leases, mortgages, easements, and concurrent ownership. Particular attention is paid to the Torrens system of title by registration. (Property is not a course in conveyancing, which is covered in Practical Legal Training programs such as the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice in the Legal Workshop)


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define, explain, distinguish and apply the basic concepts and terminology of property law;
  2. Critically analyse the values and policy considerations involved in the legal regulation of property transactions;
  3. Recognise, define and appraise the role of property law in providing tools for the myriad of property dealings for commercial and private purposes, including transfers, securing of loans, leasing land, sharing of ownership, and regulating land use;
  4. Explain and demonstrate how the doctrines of property law apply to a factual problem, in writing and orally, and recognise any unresolved or ambiguous questions of law;
  5. Engage in legal research to formulate persuasive written arguments reflecting critically on the fundamental themes underlying and connecting policy and doctrines covered in the course, and how property has been, and can be, used as a vehicle for social change.

Research-Led Teaching

The teaching in this course is informed by the research of its teaching staff in specific issues of property law and in closely related areas of law and in approaches to legal interpretation and critical analysis of law and policy. Information on Wayne Morgan's publications and research can be found here https://law.anu.edu.au/people/wayne-morgan. Information on Heather Roberts' publications and research can be found here https://law.anu.edu.au/people/heather-roberts

Required Resources

B Edgeworth, C Rossiter, P O’Connor, A Godwin and L Terrill, Sackville and Neave Australian Property Law (11th ed), LexisNexis Butterworths, 2021. (referred to in Reading Guide as ‘casebook’).

This is a cases and materials book and is the most convenient way to access extracts from the leading cases on property law. A reading guide and some supplementary reading material and sample documents will be made available on the course Wattle site. There is also extensive statute law studied in this course. Lecturers will provide advice in class about essential reading of statutes.

J Gray, N Foster, S Dorsett and H Roberts, Property Law in New South Wales (4th ed; LexisNexis Butterworths, 2018)

Staff Feedback

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

  • Generic online feedback when all students have completed the online quizzes.
  • Discussion of factual scenario/problem questions in tutorials.
  • Individual written feedback on the research project.
  • General feedback comments (e.g. basis of marking and common errors) on final examination.

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

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

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: 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 What is property? Possession and Personal Property Finding and abandonment
2 Real Property and Personal Property Possession of Land
3 Tenure and Estates
4 Creation and transfer of interests in land
5 Priority between competing interests in land Tutorial 1
6 Mortgages - Creation and Power of Sale Tutorial 2
7 Leases Introduction to the Torrens System Tutorial 3
8 The Torrens System – Indefeasibility and Exceptions Tutorial 4
9 The Torrens System – Indefeasibility and Exceptions ctd Tutorial 5
10 Priority between Unregistered Interests Tutorial 6
11 Mortgages and the Torrens System Tutorial 7
12 Co-ownership of Land Tutorial 8

Tutorial Registration

Registration for tutorials is required. Students should register using WATTLE. Registration for most tutorial groups will be available from Monday 7 February. Subject to COVID conditions, there will be a mixture of online and on campus tutorials. Some tutorial groups will be held for release during the first week of the semester for the benefit of late enrolling students.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Optional Online Quiz 1 0 % * 28/03/2022 1
Optional Online Quiz 2 0 % * 23/05/2022 1
Research Project 40 % 28/03/2022 13/05/2022 2, 3, 4, 5
Final Online Examination 60 % * * 1, 2, 3, 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.


Please note, that the dates used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams indicate approximate timeframes. Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date and time of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Return of Assessment: 28/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1

Optional Online Quiz 1

This optional quiz will consist of ten multiple choice questions to be answered online.

Nature of Task: Optional

Weighting: 0%

Release: 9am, Monday, 14 March 2022 via WATTLE.

Due date: The quiz will remain open for submissions throughout the semester.

Estimated return date: Feedback will be given after the 28th of March.

Assessment Criteria: The mark for the quiz will be based on the number of correct responses.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 0 %
Return of Assessment: 23/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1

Optional Online Quiz 2

This optional quiz will consist of ten multiple choice questions to be answered online.

Nature of Task: Optional

Weighting: 0%

Release: 9am, Monday, 9 May 2022 via Wattle.

Due date: The quiz will remain open to submissions throughout the semester.

Estimated return date: Feedback will be given after the 23rd of May.

Assessment Criteria: The mark for the quiz will be based on the number of correct responses.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 28/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 13/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 5

Research Project

Students are to conduct independent research and write an essay on one of the topics provided on the course Wattle site in Week 1.This assessment task addresses learning outcomes 2 to 5.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit an essay will result in a mark of zero for the assessment item.

Weighting: 40%

Release: The essay question will be available on Wattle in Week 1.

Due date: 5pm, 28 March 2022 via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Estimated return date: Friday, 13 May 2022 (Week 10) via Turnitin.

Word limit: 2,400 words (maximum)

Referencing Requirements: Footnotes should be used for referencing of sources. All references should be in the style required by the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Other requirements: Please use 1.5 line spacing and a minimum of 11 point font.

Assessment Criteria: Independent Research, Written communication, Structure of Essay, Response to Question, Referencing and compliance with citation style. Refer to assessment rubrics on Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 60 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6

Final Online Examination

All topics are potentially examinable. More information about the precise format, e.g. number of questions, will be provided prior to the end of classes. This assessment task addresses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Students must obtain 45% or better on the final examination in order to pass the course. Students who do not obtain 45% on the final examination but whose overall mark for the course is at least 45% will be granted a supplementary exam. If such a student passes the supplementary exam, their final mark for the course will be 50 PS. If such a student fails the supplementary exam, that student's final mark for the course will be the mark obtained on the final examination held in June.

Weighting: 60%.

Duration: 3 hours

Due Date: The examination will be released via Wattle. Students should consult the ANU examination timetable once finalised to confirm the date, duration and time of the exam. Late submission will not be accepted.

Permitted Material: Any materials may be consulted during the online examination period but, during this period, students must not communicate with any other person apart from the course convenor for the purposes of asking questions about administrative matters.

Estimated return date: Official end of semester results release date via Turnitin. General feedback (i.e. comments on the basis for marking and common errors) will be made available on the course WATTLE site after results have been released. In addition, brief individual comments will be provided on each student's Turnitin submission.

Assessment Criteria: Content, Structure and Organisation, Written Expression and Referencing. Refer to assessment rubrics 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.

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 test 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. 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.

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

As all assessment will be submitted online, all marks and feedback will also be provided online on or about the return dates listed above.

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).

Wayne Morgan
+61 2 6125 8355

Research Interests

Wayne Morgan researches primarily in human rights, sexuality and gender identity. He also researches in private law, primarily Property and Equity.

Wayne Morgan

By Appointment
Dr Heather Roberts
+61 2 6125 0624

Research Interests

Dr Heather Roberts

By Appointment

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