Australian Consumer Law

Subject LAWS70380 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

May, 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: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


Dr Jeannie Paterson


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Subject Overview:

The Commonwealth Government has recently put in place far-reaching changes to consumer protection law in the form of the co-operative Australian Consumer Law. The Law appears as a schedule to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), which will apply in all jurisdictions across Australia. Similar consumer protection provisions are found in the ASIC Act 2000 (Cth), applying to financial services and products. This subject will provide participants with a detailed knowledge of the new Australian Consumer Law and of the common law principles and policy imperatives that underpin it. The lecturers include one of the Law School‘s team of private lawyers with specialist expertise in consumer law and an expert with extensive practical experience in advising businesses on consumer law issues.

Principal topics will include:

  • Purposes of consumer protection law
  • The regulatory toolkit
  • Common law doctrines underlying the legislative regime
  • The Australian consumer law:
    − Misleading and unconscionable conduct
    − Unfair contract terms
    − Unfair practices
    − Consumer guarantees and implied terms
    − Product safety
    − Enforcement and remedies.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

• Have a detailed knowledge of Australian Consumer Law, the consumer protection provisions in the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Act 2001 (Cth) and the common law doctrines relevant to those regimes;
• Have a detailed knowledge of the interaction between common law doctrines and consumer protection legislation;
• Understand the policy concerns which underlie consumer protection legislation;
• Understand the different regulatory tools for promoting consumer protection;
• Be in a position to evaluate critically the effectiveness of the Australian Consumer Law and proposals for further reform; and
• Have developed skills in advising stakeholders such as regulators, traders and consumers on issues raised by consumer protection legislation in Australia;
• Have developed practical skills in drafting contracts and structuring transactions that comply with the new consumer law regime.


Class participation (10%)

Take home examination (90%) (12 pm 22 June to 5pm 25 June)

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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