LAWS11063 - Torts A
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for LAWS11063 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

This first year unit introduces students to the law of torts in Australia as one of the main categories in the law of civil obligations. Along with contract law, this unit will provide students with a solid foundation in many of the civil law issues faced in legal practice. Tort law is constantly evolving and often raises unique and complex social and moral questions. The unit will develop students’ ability to think critically about the relationship of law to social, economic and political conditions. The unit commences with an overview of tort law origins, structure and theory. The unit will examine the intentional violation of the legal rights of individuals, personal and real property; nuisance; liability for animals; and vicarious liability. The unit concludes with a consideration of the role and classification of damages in tort awards including modifications to personal injury awards under the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld). Consideration will also be given to relevant defences and remedial relief for the torts covered, limitation periods, wrongful death and survival of actions.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 3
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite or co-requisite: LAWS11057

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Distance

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 30%
2. Portfolio 20%
3. Examination 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Students generally very positive about the course structure, quality of teaching by Anna and coordination of the course. Course evaluation and student emails It is recommended to continue with current approach of engagement and broad course structure.
Students generally very positive about the amount of feedback provided on the problem assignment. Students appreciate the student exemplars and detailed task sheets. Course evaluations; informal student feedback Continue with current approach with regards to assignment feedback and preparation.
Students generally very positive about the course materials. One student indicated the powerpoints on the weekly recorded videos are not very clear. Course evaluation It is recommended that video production quality in Echo360 lectures could be improved.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Evaluate the essential elements of tort obligations and their place in the broader domain of obligational law.
  2. Compare the operation of Australian tort law with overseas tort law, particularly in relation to nuisance.
  3. Identify and analyse legal wrongs at common law (other than negligence) as supplemented by the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) and other legislation.
  4. Research, interpret and apply legal principles to the analysis of tort obligations and disputes.
  5. Demonstrate skills in communication, critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment    
2 - Portfolio    
3 - Examination

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1. Communication
2. Problem Solving  
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy
5. Team Work          
6. Information Technology Competence    
7. Cross Cultural Competence    
8. Ethical practice  

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment      
2 - Portfolio  
3 - Examination      

Prescribed Textbooks

The New Law of Torts
Author/s: Mendelson, D Year: 2014
Edition: 3rd edition Publisher: Oxford University Press Australia
City: Melbourne State: Victoria
Country: Australia
Focus: Torts
Author/s: Davies, M and Malkin, I Year: 2015
Edition: 7th Publisher: Lexis Nexis Australia
City: Chatswood State: NSW
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

Other Resources

These are not compulsory, but may assist you:
The New Law of Torts Case Book
Author/s: Mendelson, D Year: 2014
Edition: 3rd edition Publisher: Oxford University Press Australia
City: Melbourne State: Victoria
Country: Australia
Tort Law Principles
Author/s: Richards, B; De Zwart, M and Ludlow, K Year: 2017
Edition: 2nd Publisher: Thomson Reuters Lawbook Co
City: Pyrmont State: NSW
Country: Australia
Other resources may be available at CQUniversity Library. Note:

STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE:

  • It is assumed that students have access to the latest editions of the two prescribed texts. The decision to source and use earlier editions is up to each individual student to make. If purchasing the supplementary text by Richards et al, please note that the earlier 2013 edition will suffice.
  • All books listed here are the same texts that will be prescribed and recommended for LAWS11064 Torts B in Term 2, 2017. They are a worthy investment for a year long study of tort law.
  • This course has an open book, invigilated university exam as part of the assessment regime. Please note that you are not allowed to take any electronic devices, and therefore eBooks, into the exam room. Physical copies of textbooks are permitted.

** Please note that the small Casebook by Mendelson is supplementary and not a prescribed text. The casebook simply contains extracts of judgments tailored specifically to the topics covered by the main textbook. It may be able to be purchased in a 'pack' with the prescribed textbook.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Adobe Reader (or alternative programs suitable for the device or operating system being used)
  • Microphone and speakers for participation in online discussions/tutorials and presentations
All submissions for this unit must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorAnna Farmer (a.farmer@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Introduction to Torts

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Make sure your webcam and microphone are working. You will need both of these to participate effectively in the Zoom session held each week.

Week 2 13-03-2017

Legislative Reforms and Statutory Compensation

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Week 3 20-03-2017

Intentional Torts to Persons

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Week 4 27-03-2017

Intentional Torts to Personal Property

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Week 5 03-04-2017

Trespass to Land

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Defences and Remedies to Intentional Torts

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Week 7 24-04-2017

Skills focus: Reading case law

See weekly module guide

Week 8 01-05-2017

Nuisance

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Problem Exercise Due Wednesday (03 May 17) 11:00 PM AEST
Week 9 08-05-2017

Vicarious Liability

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Week 10 15-05-2017

Classification of Damages, Survival Actions and Wrongful Death

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Week 11 22-05-2017

Multiple Tortfeasors and Limitation of Actions

See weekly module guide

Online Discussion via Zoom

Week 12 29-05-2017

Course Review

Online Discussion via Zoom

Learning Diary Due Monday (29 May 17) 11:00 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

Unit Coordinator Email: a.farmer@cqu.edu.au

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Problem Exercise
Task Description

In response to a hypothetical legal problem, students are required to provide reasoned legal arguments and advice drawing on material covered in the first 6 weeks of the unit. Students are also required to complete and submit a self-evaluation form as the first page of their assignment.

Length: 1500 words (excluding footnotes and the self-evaluation). Answers that are substantially longer than this or shorter than 1500 words are unlikely to score as highly as those that make the best use of the word length (being on target and making the best use of the word allocation is always better than being off-topic). Words in excess of 10% over the limit will not be read by the marker.

Format: The assignment must be typed and submitted in a Microsoft Word format only. PDF submissions will not be accepted. Please do not include a title page, contents page or abstract, but DO put your name and student number in the header or footer of the document.

Full details of the assignment task, self-evaluation form and assignment rationale will be provided on the Assignment 1 link on the Torts A Moodle site after the commencement of term. Please ensure that you read all of the information on the Assignment 1 page and task sheet.

Assessment Due Date Week 8 Wednesday (03-May-2017) 11:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 10 Friday (19-May-2017)
Marked assignments will be returned to students on the Moodle site.
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

These criteria are a general guide as to the standard expected at the various levels. It is not necessarily the case that all these criteria will be met at a particular standard, as there may be a superior performance on one of the criteria and not so satisfactory performance on another. A more detailed marking rubric will be provided in the assignment task sheet.

High Distinction standard

· the answer is very well written and clearly expressed

· there is a demonstrated appreciation and understanding of the issues involved

· the answer is very well structured and logically organised

· demonstrated mastery of referencing system

· there is evidence of a comprehensive analysis of the issues

Distinction standard

· the answer is well written and expressed

· the answer is structured and logical

· the issues have been reasonably well identified and appreciated

· there is correct use of referencing

· issues have been analysed

Credit standard

· the answer is generally well written and expressed

· the answer is structured and sequential

· referencing is satisfactory

· issues are identified and addressed

· there has been an attempt to analyse some of the issues

Pass standard

· the answer is able to be followed and understood

· the answer could perhaps be better organised and structured

· the referencing may need improvement

· issues may need to be identified and addressed in more depth

· analysis when present may be incorrect

Fail standard

· the answer is sometimes significantly short of the required length

· the written expression is poor and difficult to understand

· the answer is poorly organised

· there has been a failure to address the issues in the question

· referencing is generally inadequate

Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Online submission using the Assignment 1 link on the course Moodle site.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

3. Identify and analyse legal wrongs at common law (other than negligence) as supplemented by the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) and other legislation.

4. Research, interpret and apply legal principles to the analysis of tort obligations and disputes.

5. Demonstrate skills in communication, critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence



2 Portfolio

Assessment Title Learning Diary
Task Description

This task requires students to produce a Learning Diary incorporating a series of short "reflection notes" produced throughout the term documenting their own learning experiences in the unit. It encourages students to review and consolidate learning, to evaluate their performance, and to plan future learning based on past experience.

As a reflective exercise it should be commenced at the start of term and students should make brief notes each week on their learning experiences. The assessment task sheet will outline particular prompts that must be responded to in the submitted diary. Please take note of these prompts. The diary entries should not be simple reiterations of the study materials each week.

Students are encouraged to publish their brief notes/thoughts on the "Reflections and Check-In" forum on the Torts A Moodle site. Publishing your thoughts and comments on the forum is not an assessable component of the task but will provide you with an opportunity to track your progress over the unit and work on your communication, collaboration and self-management skills. The sharing of experiences on the forum will also allow you to compare your experiences with those of your colleagues.

This task is not intended to be a time consuming exercise. However, you may find it a challenging task as it encourages you to become an active learner who consciously thinks and writes about 'how', 'why' and 'what' you are learning.

The submitted learning diary should be no less than 1000 words, but for some students who include weekly insights, the final word length may be higher. There is no upper word limit for this assessment. In your diary, you are also free to incorporate diagrams or pictures to represent the key ideas along with written prose. Alternatively, you may wish to present your learning diary (and even your weekly thoughts) in video format.

Full details of the assignment task and assignment rationale will be provided under the Assignment 2 link on the unit Moodle site at the commencement of term. Samples of reflection entries will also be provided during the term and we will discuss the task in more detail in the first few weeks of the unit.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Monday (29-May-2017) 11:00 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Review/Exam Week Thursday (08-Jun-2017)
Please note that the return date for the marked Learning Diary may be after the Final Examination for the unit.
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria

Marks will be given for quality of reflections, presentation and completeness. The criteria below are a general guide as to the standard expected at the various levels. A more detailed marking rubric will be provided in the Assignment Task sheet.

High Distinction:

The learning diary

  • shows deep learning on the topics and the "big picture";
  • proficiently demonstrates reflection and incorporates personal touch and applications;
  • considers concepts and topics from various perspectives (eg. different contexts, areas of law, disciplines etc);
  • demonstrates creative solutions and critical thinking skills;
  • is well-focused; with arguments or perspectives explained very well;
  • demonstrates clear steps in the developmental learning process.

Distinction:

The learning diary

  • shows wider learning and reflection;
  • makes connections between topics, and personal context and previous experiences;
  • demonstrated attempt to analyse the issues from a number of different perspectives
  • is coherent and focused with arguments or perspectives clearly stated;
  • demonstrates steps in the author's learning process.

Credit:

The learning diary:

  • shows learning of the topics;
  • makes some connections between topics, and personal context and previous experiences;
  • provides some personal perspectives and reflection on these;
  • some analysis present, but tends to be from a limited number of perspectives;
  • is organised, but not deep enough to be very insightful about the author's learning process.

Pass:

The learning diary:

  • shows some reflection;
  • minimal evidence of using multiple perspectives in analysing concepts/topics or ideas;
  • demonstrates consideration of events, concepts or topics but using a relatively descriptive style of language;
  • shows some misunderstanding of central concepts;
  • is largely a descriptive "report" with author's development gained from the learning process hardly observable.

Fail:

The learning diary:

  • shows grave misunderstanding of topics;
  • does not show any original thinking or perspectives and is chaotic in organisation and presentation of ideas
  • entries are mere descriptions of events or theoretical knowledge rather than showing a sequence of learning steps
  • little or no effort put in the work.
Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Online submission via Written Assignment 2 link on the course Moodle site.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Evaluate the essential elements of tort obligations and their place in the broader domain of obligational law.

4. Research, interpret and apply legal principles to the analysis of tort obligations and disputes.

5. Demonstrate skills in communication, critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice



Examination

Outline Complete an examination
Date During the University examination period
Weighting 50%
Length 180 minutes
Details Law dictionaries, Business and Law dictionaries (discipline specific dictionaries) are authorised.
No Calculators Permitted
Open Book
Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Evaluate the essential elements of tort obligations and their place in the broader domain of obligational law.

2. Compare the operation of Australian tort law with overseas tort law, particularly in relation to nuisance.

3. Identify and analyse legal wrongs at common law (other than negligence) as supplemented by the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) and other legislation.

4. Research, interpret and apply legal principles to the analysis of tort obligations and disputes.

5. Demonstrate skills in communication, critical legal thinking, reasoning and reflection.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

8. Ethical practice


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