University of Technology Sydney

79708 Contemporary Business Law

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject provides students with an understanding of the Australian legal system and law-making process. Students first explore the laws of property, torts and contract to develop a framework for understanding subsequent business law topics. Areas of law that are of practical relevance to business are then explored such as commercial contracts and trade practices legislation, consumer protection, business structures, competition law, insolvency, and intellectual property. A focus on recent developments in these areas ensures that students can apply their knowledge of emerging trends in business law on completion of this subject.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Apply a coherent knowledge of Australia’s legal system and the law-making process;
2. Identify the relevance and impact of law on the business community;
3. Identify and apply Australian business law;
4. Investigate contemporary issues from a legal, business and personal perspective; and
5. Speak and write in a logical, succinct and persuasive manner as individuals and in groups.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Legal Knowledge
    An advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of legal knowledge including:
    a. The Australian colonial and post-colonial legal system, international and comparative contexts, theoretical and technical knowledge;
    b. The broader contexts within which legal issues arise and the law operates including cultural awareness, social justice and policy;
    c. The principles and values of justice and ethical practices in lawyers’ roles;
    d. The impact of Anglo-Australian laws on Indigenous peoples, including their historical origins in the process of colonisation and ongoing impact; and
    e. Contemporary developments in law and its professional practice. (1.1)
  • Research Skills
    Specialist cognitive and practical skills necessary to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues including an ability to:
    a. Demonstrate intellectual and practical skills necessary to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions; and
    b. Apply ethical research practices. (4.1)
  • Communication
    Well-developed professional and appropriate communication skills including:
    a. Highly effective use of the English language to convey legal ideas and views to different and diverse audiences and environments;
    b. An ability to inform, analyse, report and persuade;
    c. An ability to strategically select an appropriate medium and message;
    d. A cognisance of advanced communication technologies and willingness to adopt where appropriate; and
    e. An ability to respond respectfully. (5.1)
  • Indigenous Professional Capability
    A well-developed capacity:
    a. To work with Indigenous peoples in a professional context;
    b. To respect, recognise and advocate for Indigenous strengths and self-determination;
    c. To acknowledge and respect Indigenous Knowledges;
    d. To understand the impact of colonisation, specifically historical and ongoing racism and the economic impact of dispossession resulting in social and economic exclusion; and
    e. To identify and challenge the deficit narratives and biases of Anglo-Australian laws towards Indigenous Australians. (7.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1: Preparation for class.

Students familiarise themselves with the substantive law to be covered in the seminars before each class, by reading and reflecting on the prescribed reading. The preparatory readings and proposed timetable for classes is available on CANVAS. This is an essential learning strategy for this subject. Students are also encouraged to bring to class a recent business-related article from the web or a newspaper demonstrating some legal issue. Preparation for class enables students to develop knowledge that forms the basis of their participation in seminars as well as small group collaborative discussions.

Strategy 2: Consolidating Learning in Seminars

The subject will be taught through a series of interactive seminars. During class, students will discuss concepts and ideas that have been raised by the readings and their responses to prepared questions as a class and in small group collaborative discussions. Students may also present business-related articles in class to discuss the legal implications. In addition, students undertake readings to consolidate their learning. Reading and discussing the weekly prescribed readings helps all students to understood business law concepts and how the law applies to Australian businesses.

Strategy 3: Individual and Collaborative Research

Students research a topic relating to law and business in groups and present their findings to the class. Participating in group research and presentations provides students with an opportunity to integrate the learning from their preparation for interactive seminars and the research conducted for their presentation. By drawing on their preparation in this way students further test and develop their knowledge of business law together with their research skills and capacity to collaborate. Students also develop skills in presentation and communication as they present their group research, raise questions, contribute their observations and respond to their peers. In this way, students develop and test their learning while also obtaining feedback from their teacher and peers (see Feedback below). Students also present their individual research in an individual report.

Strategy 4: Feedback

Both formal and informal feedback will be provided throughout the session. Feedback comes from a variety of sources including: from peers in the class who respond to a student’s contribution in the class or on CANVAS; from the teacher in response to a student’s questions in class, presentations and written assignments; and from personal reflection. Students have an opportunity to test their understanding of the readings completed in preparation for the seminar by asking questions or contributing their observations. In this way, the teacher will address and explore students’ understanding and respond to students’ questions and observations while also providing feedback on students’ developing understanding. Formal feedback is offered on students’ case notes, seminar presentations and research essays providing an opportunity for students to implement suggestions in subsequent assessment tasks.

Subject Delivery

Teaching method for Weekly mode

The subject will be delivered by way of, a weekly recorded lecture/podcast and a weekly seminar. The weekly recorded lecture will be available to students prior to the seminar. Students are expected to listen to the recorded lecture prior to attending the weekly seminar. Seminars will be delivered in accordance with the timetable.

Teaching method for block mode

The weekly recorded lecture will be available to students prior to the seminars. Students are expected to listen to the recorded lecture prior to attending the seminar. The seminars will be delivered in accordance with the timetable.

An aim of this subject is to help you develop academic and professional language and communication skills in order to succeed at university and in the workplace. To determine your current academic language proficiency, you are required to complete an online language screening task, OPELA (information available at .If you receive a Basic grade for OPELA [or a written diagnostic task], you must attend additional Language Development Tutorials (each week from week 4 to week 12) in order to pass the subject. These tutorials are designed to support you to develop your language and communication skills. Students who do not complete the OPELA and/or do not attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials will receive a Fail X grade.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction to the Australian legal system. The development of common law in Australia and the Australian Constitution.
  • The role of Parliament. The court system, judicial reasoning and the participants in legal proceedings.
  • Property: Real property; personal property; bankruptcy and personal insolvency.
  • Business Structures: sole traders, partnerships, trusts and companies.
  • Company Law: Directors duties; company meetings, issuing and transferring of shares and corporate insolvency.
  • Torts: Negligence; negligent misstatement; and the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW)
  • Contracts: formation; terms; breach of contract; vitiating factors; remedies for breach of contract.
  • Australian Consumer Law: misleading or deceptive conduct; unfair contracts; unconscionable contracts; the role of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
  • Data protection: The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth); privacy principles; role of the Office of the Information Commissioner; dispute resolution procedure.
  • Australian Competition Law: Anti-competitive practices; authorisations and notifications; compliance and risk management in business.
  • Indigenous Peoples: European settlement; native title; Constitutional recognition and the Uluru Statement.


Assessment task 1: Attendance and Class Participation


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1.1 and 5.1

Weight: 25%

Written paper 500 words.

Oral presentation 10 minutes.


Students will be assessed on class attendance 5%, active participation in seminar discussions 5% and presentation of seminar presentation 15%.

Assessment task 2: Research Paper


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

4 and 5

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1.1, 4.1 and 5.1

Weight: 25%

Research assingment: 1,500 -1,800 words.

  • Investigate a contemporary issue from a legal, business and personal perspective (SLO4, GA 1 & 4).
  • Speak and write in a logical, succinct and persuasive manner (SLO5, GA5).
  • Utlise appropriate communication strategies when presenting group research (SLO5, GA5).
  • Presentation is conducted within the specified time constraints (SLO5, GA5).

Assessment task 3: Final Exam


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1.1, 5.1 and 7.1

Weight: 50%

2,500 words

  • Demonstrate a coherent knowledge of Australia’s legal system and the law making process (SLO 1, GA 1, 5 and 7);
  • Identify the relevance and impact of law on the business community (SLO 2, GA1 & 5);
  • Identify and apply Australian Business Law (SLO 3, GA 1 & 5);
  • Examine contemporary issues from a legal and business perspective (SLO 4, GA1, 5 and 7)

Minimum requirements

It is a requirement of this subject that all students complete OPELA. Students who received a Basic grade in the OPELA are required to attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials in order to pass the subject. Students who do not complete the OPELA and/or do not attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials will receive a Fail X grade.

Required texts

  • Andrew Terry and Des Giugni; Business and the Law, 7th Edition, Thomson Reuters
  • To acquire the text direct from the publisher:
  • Directly via the Thomson Reuters website:
  • To help ensure students can purchase their textbooks in time, Thomson Reuters have set up a student page on our website collecting relevant textbooks together in one place.

    Students can receive 15% discount and free shipping if they sign up for the student Promo Code. Book and eBook bundles can be purchased at a 25% discount.

    The site is:

  • Online Resellers:
  • We have a large range of our textbooks in stock with online resellers Booktopia, Amazon and Zookal. All online bookshop sites offer discounted prices on our texts and good delivery options:

  • The session notes provided during the subject will be accessible on CANVAS.
  • Additional readings for weeks 4,5 and 12 are available from the library.

Recommended texts

Note: Students are not expected to read all these references. They are available for research topics or some students may find them easier or provide more depth.

  • Andy Gibson, Business Law 10th Edition, Pearson
  • Paul Latimer, Australian Business Law, Oxford University Press, latest edition
  • Turner, Australian Commercial Law, Law Book Co, latest edition
  • Davenport and Parker, Business & Law in Australia, Thomson Reuters, latest edition
  • Vermeesch and Lindgren's Business Law of Australia - LexisNexus latest edition
  • John Taggart, Mark Squire & Penelope McCann, Contemporary Business Law - TK Tekniks Publications Pty Ltd

Students’ attention will be drawn to a number of useful websites throughout the course


  • Law Handbook
  • Law Webpage
  • Student Admin Unit
  • Student Centres
  • UTS Policies

Other resources


The UTS Library has a wide range of services and resources that you will find useful, including law reports, law journals, textbooks, and access to online resources

Relevant materials in this subject may also be available on Closed Reserve, which is a special borrowing service that allows you to use the material for two hours or overnight, to ensure the materials are available to many students. Materials on closed reserve are listed in the library catalogue by subject details and Subject Co-ordinator.


The BELL (Becoming an Effective Lifelong Learner) website provides information, self-testing and links to help you develop your learning skills. Visit the BELL web site


This subject has a CANVAS site ( The site may include announcements made in seminars, copies of seminar overheads/slides, and clarification of administrative and assignment matters. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they are registered on CANVAS for this subject, and regularly check CANVAS for announcements.