• Class Number 2241
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Max Bruce
    • Dr Max Bruce
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces you to the Australian legal system and the law regulating business activities. Particular focus is given to the law of contract. The course also covers the laws relating to particular types of business contracts such as sales of goods and insurance contracts. Aspects of property law and negligence are also covered.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the sources of law that are applicable to Australia;
  2. Identify the legal areas of particular relevance in a business context;
  3. Articulate: (i) how binding agreements are formed under Australian law, and (ii) the rights and remedies that arise in relation to legally binding agreements;
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the circumstances in which persons, particularly in business, could have a legal liability in relation to careless conduct;
  5. Recognize the major pieces of Australian legislation of relevance to business, and be able to articulate the legal obligations and duties that such legislation imposes;
  6. Approach a legal problem, including knowing when it would be appropriate to seek professional legal advice.

Research-Led Teaching

This is an introductory course which provides a broad overview of the Australian legal system and examines several areas of law relevant to business. The aim of the course is to enable students to understand what laws govern a commercial arrangement, including what rights, obligations and risks are assumed, and to make appropriate commercial judgments accordingly. The text and the course draw on relevant current examples and research. Most chapters will refer to recent journal articles in the area.

Field Trips

Many of the institutions discussed in this course are located in Canberra. No field trips are organised and attendance is not a requirement of the course, however students should be aware that there are free tours available at Parliament House and the High Court and are encouraged to visit these places in their own time.

Examination Material or equipment

The exam will be open book. No special equipment is required.

Required Resources

Prescribed textbook: Graw S, Parker D, Whitford K, Sangkuhl E and Do C, Understanding Business Law, 9th edition, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2019.

Students are expected to have access to a copy of the prescribed book for the duration of the semester. A few copies of the text are available for 2 hour loan in the reserve loan section of the Chifley Library. An ebook version of the text is available from the Chifley Library (https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/anu/detail.action?docID=6265461). This is the same textbook used in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Copies of earlier editions will differ from the current edition, and the current edition is preferred.

Recommended reading (available from the library)

Giancaspro, Nosworthy, Brown, Golding, Viven-Wilksch, Wawryk, Villios and Zito, Contemporary Australian Business Law, 1st edition, Cambridge

Cook C, Creyke R, Geddes R and Hamer D, Laying Down the Law, LexisNexis Butterworths, 11th edition 2020.

Gibson A and Fraser S, Business Law, Pearson Australia, 11th edition, 2019.

James N, Business Law, Wiley, 5th edition, 2019.

Parker D and Ward L, Business and Law in Australia, 3rd edition, Thomson Reuters 2020

Turner C, Australian Commercial Law, Sydney, Thomson Lawbook, 32nd edition 2019.

Web sites:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/ - the austlii site gives you free access to Australian cases, statutes and some other legal material. It also has links to equivalent overseas sites.

  • http://anulib.anu.edu.au/online/eresources/ - you can gain access to various other commercial databases to which the ANU subscribes via the library. Go to on-line resources, select e-resources and search under subject Law.

See also http://anulib.anu.edu.au/subjects/law/ for guidance on law e-resources.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in various ways in this course, including verbal or written feedback on the return of assessment tasks, during class discussion, or during consultation with the lecturer and tutors.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information


As a further academic integrity control, students may be selected for a 15 minute individual oral examination of their written assessment submissions.

Any student identified, either during the current semester or in retrospect, as having used ghost writing services will be investigated under the University’s Academic Integrity Rule.


Email and the Wattle Course Website

Email and the Wattle course website are the preferred ways of communication.

If necessary, the lecturer and tutors for this course will contact students on their official ANU student email address. Students should use this email address when contacting staff as spam filters used by ANU may not allow other email addresses to be received. Information about your enrolment and fees from the Registrar and Student Services' office will also be sent to this email address.


Students are expected to check the Wattle site for announcements about this course, e.g. changes to timetables or notifications of cancellations. Notifications of emergency cancellations of lectures or tutorials will be posted on Wattle or on the door of the relevant room.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to the Australian Legal System: Part 1 (Ch 1)
2 Introduction to the Australian Legal System: Part 2 (Ch 2 and 3) Tutorial Preparation 1 Due
3 Tort of Negligence (Ch 24 and 25) Tutorial Preparation 2 Due
4 Contract Law: Part 1 (Chapter 4) Tutorial Preparation 3 Due
5 Contract Law: Part 2 (Chapter 5) Tutorial Preparation 4 Due
6 Contract Law: Part 3 (Chapters 6 and 7) Tutorial Preparation 5 Due / Tutorial Preparation results returned / Mid Term Exam Released
7 Sale of Goods and Consumer Law: Part 1 (Chapters 8 and 10) Mid Term Exam Due
8 Sale of Goods and Consumer Law: Part 2 (Chapters 10 and 11)
9 Insurance Law (Chapter 23)
10 Property Law (Chapter 20)
11 Intellectual Property Law (Chapter 21) Mid Term Exam results returned
12 Agency Law (Chapter 15) and Revision

Tutorial Registration

Tutorials will be held weekly (starting from Week 2). Tutorials will be available both on campus and via zoom. ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities/tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Please see Wattle for tutors’ information.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Preparation 10 % * 31/03/2023 1,2,4,5,6
Mid Term Exam 30 % 17/04/2023 19/05/2023 1,2,3,5,6
Final Exam 60 % 01/06/2023 29/06/2023 1,2,3,4,5,6

* 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 Integrity 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 Skills 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.


Course delivery: on-campus lecture (recording on Echo360) and weekly tutorials (delivered on-campus and via live Zoom). Attendance at all teaching events, while not compulsory, is expected in line with “Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning”, clause 2 paragraph (h).


Information regarding permitted examination materials for the course will be available on the examination timetable website when the examination timetable is released: http://timetable.anu.edu.au/

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Tutorial Preparation

Due Date: Students must submit Tutorial Preparation for identified question(s) on Turnitin by Monday 10.00am in weeks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (i.e. on 5 occasions). If the Monday is a public holiday then the submission is due by 10:00am on the following Tuesday of that week. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Marking Criteria: A maximum of 2 marks per submission can be obtained for satisfactory preparation. 2 marks will be awarded where the submission shows a genuine attempt to answer all questions set for the tutorial and the answer refers to relevant legal principles. 1 mark will be awarded if the submission is not quite satisfactory but shows some attempt to answer the questions. No marks will be awarded if the student has failed to prepare, or if it appears that the notes are too vague or obviously irrelevant. Even where the submission appears to be complete with relevant material, a mark of 1 or 0 will be awarded where the student has copied excessively from teaching or other materials and overall it appears the student has not made a genuine attempt to answer the set questions.

Return Date: The final tutorial preparation mark for all applicable weeks will be made available by the end of Week 6. No marks will be given for individual weeks prior to this date, however, the set tutorial questions will be reviewed in tutorials. Students are also welcome to approach the lecturer or tutor for further feedback during consultation or by email.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 17/04/2023
Return of Assessment: 19/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5,6

Mid Term Exam

Due Date: 10:00am Monday of Week 7

Marking Criteria: You will be required to answer 10 questions of equal weight in short answer format. The questions will cover material from Weeks 1-5. You will need to consider the application of various legal principles and rules in several common commercial scenarios – you will need to identify and explain the relevant rules and legal principles and explain how they apply on the given facts A rubric will be provided on WATTLE prior to the release of the assessment. The exam paper will be available on the Wattle course site, and students will complete their answer and upload it through turnitin on the course home page.

The expected time required to write a very good answer to the Mid Term Exam is about 1 day (10-12 hours working time). You will be given two weeks over the Mid Term Break to complete it so that you can fit it around your other commitments. You need to treat the Mid Term Exam like an ordinary exam: this means that you cannot discuss the question with your classmates and you need to prepare the answer entirely by yourself. You cannot seek help from your lecturer or tutor. Of course, if you think some aspect of the question is unclear, you may seek clarification from your lecturer. Late submission is not possible. Feedback will be provided on individual papers, and a detailed answer guide will also be published on WATTLE.

Length: 2,000 words (this is a guide only, papers with lesser or greater word counts will be accepted without penalty)

Presentation requirements: typed using size 12 font and either 1.5 or double spacing.

Weighting: 30% of final mark

Estimated return date: By the end of Week 11.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 01/06/2023
Return of Assessment: 29/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Final Exam

Centrally administered examinations through Examinations, Graduations & Prizes will be timetabled prior to the examination period. The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date. Please check ANU Timetabling for further information. Information regarding exam script viewing will be provided in due course.

Marking Criteria: The Final Exam will be in the same format as the Mid Term Exam. You will be required to answer 10 questions of equal weight in short answer format. All material is examinable including areas examined in the Mid Term Exam. The exam paper will be available on the Wattle course site, and students will complete their answer and upload it through turnitin on the course home page. The Rubric for the Mid Term Exam will also apply in the Final Exam.

Return Date: University results release date / Thursday 29 June

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

No hardcopy submission.

Late Submission

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.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Feedback will be provided on your assessment via turnitin and you may seek further feedback during lecturer and tutor consultation.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

There is no option to resubmit.

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 Max Bruce
02 6125 4262

Research Interests

Dr. Bruce is a lecturer in Taxation Law in the College of Business and Economics. He is a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia and of the High Court of Australia. He holds an LL.B. G.Dlp. and PhD. from the University of Adelaide. Dr. Bruce is also a Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia.

He has formerly lectured in the College of Business, Government & Law at Flinders University and taught at the University of Adelaide Law School and at the Nankai University in Tianjin, China. He is experienced in the teaching of commercial and tax law courses to both undergraduate and postgraduate commerce students.

Dr. Bruce is a recipient of the Baker Scholarship of Law for excellence in legal research in addition to receiving both a Divisional Scholarship and the Zelling Gray Supplementary Scholarship. He researches primarily in the area of corporate tax avoidance and is a former researcher with the Adelaide Law School Regulation of Corporations Insolvency and Tax (ROCIT) research group.

Dr Max Bruce

Monday 10:00 12:00
Monday 10:00 12:00
By Appointment
Dr Max Bruce
02 6125 4262

Research Interests

Dr Max Bruce

Monday 10:00 12:00
Monday 10:00 12:00
By Appointment

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