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Unit of study_

LAWS5006: Torts and Contracts II

Intensive July, 2020 [Block mode] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit aims to develop the integrated study of the law of civil obligations and remedies. Liabilities in tort, contract and under statute frequently overlap in practice. Equitable principles also play an important role in providing remedies in a contractual context. This course builds on the introduction to tort law and contract law which students acquired in Torts and Contracts respectively. It will include the study of more advanced topics in both areas and consider related statutes such as the Australian Consumer Law. Core topics are: (a) Causation and remoteness of damage principles in contract law and the calculation of damages for breach of contract; (b) Vitiating factors and other factors affecting contracts, including: unfair or unconscionable dealing; unfair terms in contracts; mistake and misrepresentation; duress; and undue influence. This topic includes a study of equitable as well as common law principles and statutory rights and remedies (such as those under the Australian Consumer Law); (c) Liability and remedies for misleading or deceptive conduct under statute (in particular, under s 18 of the Australian Consumer Law); (d) Trespass to Land including damage by aircraft (e) Nuisance; (f) Intentional Interference with goods; (g) Negligence Liability for property damage and pure economic loss in tort, including liability for negligent misstatement, liability for economic loss suffered by third parties rather than the primary victim, liability for defective construction; (h) Proportionate liability where it applies to tort, contract and statutory liabilities. Other topics may be studied to the extent class time allows. These topics may include: the intentional economic torts such as deceit; breach of statutory duty; illegality in contract.

Unit details and rules

Unit code LAWS5006
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
(LAWS5000 or LAWS1006) and (LAWS5001 or LAWS1012) and (LAWS5002 or LAWS1015)
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Natalie Silver,
Lecturer(s) John Anthony Eldridge,
Natalie Silver,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam hurdle task Examination
Open book 24-hour examination.
65% -
Due date: 24 Jul 2020 at 10:00
2.5+ hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Assignment hurdle task Assignment
Written assignment on topics 1-3 only.
35% -
Due date: 08 Jul 2020 at 15:00
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary


  • Assignment: Topics 1-3 only will be examined.
  • Final examination: An open book 24-hour examination, where examinable materials include topics 1 and 4-14 inclusive. Topics 2 and 3 will not be re-examined in the final exam.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.


Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

  • Completely answers the question.
  • Contains striking originality of approach or analysis.
  • Demonstrates exhaustive or innovative research (where independent research required).
  • Exceptionally well written, structured and expressed.
  • Is otherwise exceptional in some way.


75 - 84

  • Completely answers the question.
  • Achieves a critical and evaluative approach to the issues.
  • Content and structure is well organised in support of the argument.
  • Demonstrates extensive research and analysis to support a well-documented argument.
  • Generally well expressed and free from errors.
  • Has a clear structure and is well articulated.


65 - 74

  • Covers main issues fairly well in answering the question.
  • Contains no significant errors.
  • Demonstrates an attempted critical approach to the issues.
  • Demonstrates reasonably sound research and analysis in addressing the key issues.
  • Has a clear structure and reasonably clear expression.


50 - 64

  • Identifies the key issues, but does not follow through with a reasoned argument.
  • Contains some significant errors.
  • Displays satisfactory engagement with the key issues.
  • Offers a descriptive summary of material relevant to the question.
  • Superficial use of material, and may display a tendency to paraphrase.
  • Demonstrates little evidence of in-depth research or analysis.
  • Adequate expression.
  • Overall, demonstrates the minimum level of competence in the assessment and satisfies the requirements to proceed to higher-level studies in the degree or subject area.


0 - 49

  • Does not answer the question.
  • Contains significant or numerous errors.
  • Few or no identifiable arguments.
  • Content that is inappropriate or irrelevant.
  • Lack of research or analysis.
  • Difficult or impossible to understand through poor grammar, expression or structure.
  • Overall, does not demonstrate the minimum level of competence in the assessment.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The late submission of a piece of assessment, which has not been granted an extension, will attract a penalty of 10% of the total marks allocated to the piece of assessment per calendar day or part thereof.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Pre-semester 1. Introduction: Tort and contract; 2. Causation and remoteness of damage in contract; 3. Measure of damages in contract and sums fixed by contract. Seminar (6.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
4. Introduction to vitiating factors and the remedy of rescission; 5. Duress and mistake; 6. Undue influence, unconscionable conduct and unfair contract terms. Seminar (6.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
7. Misrepresentation at common law and statutory liability for misleading or deceptive conduct. Seminar (6.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
8. The tort of trespass to land; 9. The tort of private nuisance; 10. Tort liability for interference with goods. Seminar (6.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
11. Liability for pure economic loss (PEL) I: Negligent misstatements and professional negligence; 12. Liability for PEL II: Third party property damage and third party injury. Seminar (6.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
13. Liability for PEL III: Defective structures and products; 14. Multiple wrongdoers: proportionate liability. Revision. Seminar (6.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: All students are required to attend a minimum of 70% of small group classes (ie, tutorials or seminars) to satisfy the pass requirements for each unit of study. Failure to meet this requirement may result in a student being precluded from sitting the final assessment, and being discontinued from the unit of study, resulting in an Absent Fail.
  • Referencing requirements: The Sydney Law School expects you to use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th edition, 2018) for your footnoting style, although you should confirm this with your lecturer, and a link to the library website where this is set out comprehensively is available at 
  • Word count penalty: A piece of assessment which exceeds the prescribed word limit will attract a penalty of 10% of the total marks available for the piece of assessment for every 100 words, or part thereof. The total word count for written assessments will: Exclude: footnote numbers; footnote citation; cover page and Include: body text; headings and sub-headings; quotations; anything other than numbers and citations in footnotes.  

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • B McDonald, R Anderson, and DK Rolph, Cases on Torts, 6th, Federation Press, 2017 (note: a supplement to this book is available on the Federation Press website
  • J W Carter, Cases and Materials on Contract Law in Australia, 7th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2019 (or Paterson, Robertson, Duke, Contract Cases and Materials, 13th ed, 2016).

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Demonstrate an understanding of the theory and policies underpinning contract law and tort law and the contexts in which the law operates.
  • LO2. Analyse hypothetical and real-life situations involving contract law and tort law, learn learning how to identify those issues and apply relevant legal principles from primary and secondary sources.
  • LO3. Write, in a clear, persuasive and logical manner, and explain facts, issues and principles in oral presentations, using concise and clear language with reference to contract law and tort law.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes have been made in response to student evaluations: more tutorial time has been added in place of some lectures.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.