Advanced Construction Law

Subject LAWS70128 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

June, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 25-May-2016
Teaching Period 22-Jun-2016 to 28-Jun-2016
Assessment Period End 21-Sep-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 14-Dec-2015
Census Date 22-Jun-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 12-Aug-2016

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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24-26 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

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.


Melbourne Law Masters Students: Successful completion of either of the below subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

JD Students: Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2
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 Student Equity and Disability Support.



Professor Ian Bailey SC (Coordinator)
Mr Michael Earwaker

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Advanced Construction Law is designed as a capstone subject, explicitly aimed at enhancing students’ ability to make a significant contribution to the ongoing development of construction law in Australia and overseas. The emphasis is on analysing and testing cutting-edge case law, commentary and other legal developments in the classroom and via research papers.

In addition to the core areas of time (including delay claims methodologies), workscope/variations, defective work and security, detailed treatment is given to extra-contractual remedies such as those under the Australian Consumer Law and those based on unjust enrichment and negligence.

Principal topics include claims in the following categories:

  • Time: Risk allocation, delay, liability for delay, extensions of time
  • Methods for assessment of delay
  • Concurrency, causation, damages and additional cost, assessment and analysis
  • Prevention and liquidated damages: Recent developments
  • Scope of work: Variations, adjustments under the contract
  • Quality: Measure of quality, identification and breach of required standard
  • Assessment of quality and damages
  • Security: For performance and for payment, access to security
  • Australian Consumer Law: application in construction, tender documents
  • Passing on of misleading and deceptive documents, unconscionable conduct, remedies
  • Interpretation of contracts
  • Equitable remedies
  • Restitution: Unjust enrichment, statutory exclusion, quantum meruit
  • Payment: Progress payments—certification and adjudication
  • Negligence in construction.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the role and function of law in relation to construction projects
  • Have an advanced capacity to critically compare and analyse the legal framework applicable to construction across Australian and overseas jurisdictions, as relevant, and to consider recommendations for reform of aspects of the Australian approaches in light of those comparisons
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of, and ability to engage in, the complex theoretical, policy and practical debates taking place internationally in relation to construction law
  • Through the assessment involving a research paper, have developed specialised skills in self-directed legal research and in the autonomous and creative production of a substantial piece of legal writing that is thoroughly researched and develops arguments in a highly structured, supported and referenced way, with a high degree of original content.

10,000 word research paper (100%) (21 September) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Construction Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Juris Doctor
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Construction Law
Master of Laws

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