Payment Matters in Construction Projects

Subject LAWS70239 (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:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 27-Jun-2016
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 29-Jul-2016
Assessment Period End 19-Oct-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 31-Jan-2016
Census Date 25-Jul-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 09-Sep-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: None

JD Students: Successful completion of the below subject:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
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.


Mr John Baartz



Mr John Baartz (Coordinator)
Mr David Campbell-Williams

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 (5,000-6,000 words as specified in the subject reading guide) (100%) (9 - 12 September)
  • 10,000 word research paper (100%) (19 October) 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 Environmental Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Juris Doctor
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Construction Law
Master of Environmental Law
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Tailored Specialisation

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