Payment Matters in Construction Projects

Subject LAWS70239 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 29-Jun-2015
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 31-Jul-2015
Assessment Period End 28-Oct-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 15-Dec-2014
Census Date 27-Jul-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 18-Sep-2015

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:

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
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: None
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 and critique 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 to 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:


Mr John Baartz


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Payment has always been at the heart of construction contracting, and payment disputes have been—and remain—at the centre of construction law case law. This subject aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of the contractual procedures for payment and associated issues such as set off. Its major focus is upon the ‘security of payment’ reforms of recent years. This state and territory-based legislation was designed to simplify the payment stream and disputation yet, in practice has spawned hundreds of court cases, further complicating the contracting landscape for construction projects. The lecturers are based in the two states that have been at the forefront of the reforms—Queensland and New South Wales—and are therefore well placed to guide students through this area of law.

Principal topics include:

  • Payment processes under construction contracts, including treatment under standard forms and the impact of the security of payment legislation enacted in various jurisdictions
  • History and policy underpinnings of the security of payment legislation, including comparison of the regimes in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand
  • Processes to resolve payment disputes, including those under security of payment legislation (with detailed consideration of bases for judicial review of such processes)
  • Associated issues, including set off, securing payment to workers and subcontractors, and means of dealing with the consequences of late payment.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal, commercial and technical aspects which relate to payment in construction projects
  • Have enhanced their expert and specialised cognitive and technical skills required to practise as interdisciplinary professionals in the construction industry
  • Be familiar with, be able to critically reflect on, and be confident in applying, means of promoting efficiency in payment processes under construction contracts
  • Be able to demonstrate the analytical and communication skills required to independently investigate, examine and synthesise existing and emerging legal issues relating to payment in construction projects.
  • Take-home examination (100%) (4-7 September)
  • 10,000 word research paper (100%) (28 October) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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