Construction Law

Subject BLAW40001 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, 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: One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: 144 hours.

BLAW10001 Principles of Business Law or 702-117 Management of Construction 1 (with a pass in the components relating to Introduction to Law, Contract and Tort) or otherwise with permission of the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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 providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Mr Matthew Bell


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475
Subject Overview:

This subject builds upon the general legal principles and methodologies encountered in Principles of Business Law or other basic law subjects undertaken by students. It provides detailed treatment of select construction law topics, tailored to the needs of professionals within the building and construction industry, including: the regulatory framework (including security of payment and building regulations); contract methodologies and selection (including traditional and alternative forms of contract); subcontract issues; causes of action, and liability, arising in contract, negligence and on other grounds; insurance and performance security; and dispute resolution and avoidance.

On completion of the subject students should be able to:

  • Understand the evolution of the law relating to contractual disputation;
  • Recommend appropriate methods of dispute resolution for situations arising in the construction industry;
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of different construction contract models;
  • Understand and apply construction contract models;
  • Comprehend the legislative and regulatory framework governing the construction industry;
  • Deal with issues relating to insurance.

On completion of the subject students should be able to:

  • Identity the key components of the legislative and regulatory framework governing the construction industry;
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of different procurement models in the delivery of construction projects;
  • Understand how causes of action in breach of contract, negligence and misleading and deceptive conduct under the Trace Practices Act both inform construction contract drafting and negotiation and apply to construction disputes;
  • Recommend appropriate methods of dispute resolution and avoidance for situations commonly arising in the construction industry;
  • Understand the role, within the context of construction industry practice, of specialist areas of law including insurance, performance security, trade practices and professional liability.
Assessment: Legal research assignment (30%), due mid-semester and 2-hour exam (70%), during examination period.
Prescribed Texts:

Printed materials will be available from the Melbourne Law School.

Recommended Texts:

Any additional texts beyond the printed materials will be advised via the subject webpage.

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 for close reading and analysis of a range of sources;
  • The capacity to engage in critical thinking and to bring to bear a range of conceptual analyses upon a given subject matter;
  • The capacity for independent thought and reflection;
  • The capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding of complex ideas in written form;
  • The ability to engage in interdisciplinary work;
  • The further enhancement of academic writing that engages with various modes of expression including descriptive, analytical and critical forms;
  • The ability to confront unfamiliar or challenging issues and to consider appropriate ethical responses.
Related Course(s): Master of Construction Management
Master of Construction Management

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