Fundamentals of Built Environment Law

Subject ABPL90290 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours (3 hrs per week, 2 hrs lectures, 1 hr tutorial)
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

Entry into the Melbourne School of Design or approval from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None specified
Recommended Background Knowledge: None specified
Non Allowed Subjects: You are not eligible to enrol in this subject if you have already completed the subject below:
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Ms Valerie Francis


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

An introduction to the principles and legal concepts that apply to the built environment professions and how this law develops and changes. The subject covers:

  • the fundamentals of common law;
  • liability in tort law for injury or loss caused to other people or their property;
  • legally binding contracts, their terms, obligations and breaches. These concepts extend into construction contracts, standard forms of contract, liabilities, litigation and arbitration;
  • concepts of property and ownership in Australia. The legal nature of land, improvements, fixtures and chattels, land registration systems and encumbrances. Co-ownership: subdivision, joint tenancy in common. Licenses and leases. Occupier's liability;
  • planning law;
  • environmental law;
  • intellectual property covering copyright, patents and consultancy issues.

Objectives: Students who have successfully completed this subject should:
  • have a sound general understanding of the principles and legal concepts of common law and tort law;
  • be aware of the different forms of construction contracts and the characteristic features and differences between each;
  • understand the land tenure systems in Australia including ownerships, subdivisions and property leasing arrangements;
  • be familiar with planning and environmental laws, the implementation systems and adoption by the professions;
  • have a basic understanding of ownership rights with respect to intellectual property.
  • A major case study scenario assignment due mid semester (40%).
  • End of semester examination (60%).

A minimum mark of 40% must be obtained in the examination in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Comprehensive coursework notes including selected readings provided via the University book room.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
  • the capacity to analyse a range of legal environmental frameworks;
  • the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • ability to find and apply legal principles within the environment professions.

Related Course(s): Master of Construction Management
Master of Property

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