LAWS5103 Equity and Trusts

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit introduces students to the principles of equity, which supplements and complements the common law and the law of trusts. It discusses the development of equity in the Courts of Chancery and the relationship between equity and the common law. In doing so, students examine a number of equitable doctrines including fiduciary relationships, breach of confidence, unconscionable bargains, illegitimate pressure, undue influence and estoppel. The unit also introduces students to the nature and the essential characteristics of the trust and the usefulness of the trust in modern society. It examines the formal and substantive requirements for the creation of a trust as well as the principal features of trustees' powers and duties and trustee and beneficiary rights. The class discussions include an examination of equitable remedies, with a key aim of the unit being to explore the relationship between equitable doctrines and equitable remedies and to locate the place of equitable doctrines and remedies within the wider Australian legal landscape.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of (a) relevant equitable doctrines, principles of trusts law and associated remedial doctrines; (b) the relationship between equity and the common law in particular contexts; (c) comparative international perspectives in relation to select equitable doctrines; (d) the historical, social and economic dimensions of trusts law and equity; (e) contemporary and creative applications of equity and trusts law; (2) identify and critique the alternative ethical responses that may arise in the application of select equitable doctrines and make appropriate, just choices from the alternatives identified; (3) (a) critically analyse a complex equity and trusts problem and identify and articulate the relevant facts and legal issues raised; (b) identify, interpret and apply fundamental and relevant legal principles and reasoning in resolving complex issues relating to equity and trusts; (c) critically read, analyse and evaluate cases and secondary material at an advanced level by reference to specified equitable doctrines and remedies; and (d) identify and critically assess different theoretical views and arguments relevant to equitable doctrines and remedies and trusts law; (4) conduct legal research collaboratively by locating, collating, analysing and applying primary and secondary material on a specified area of trusts law to be applied in a self-learning exercise, and use and cite correctly appropriate authorities in written work; and (5) collaborate professionally and effectively in a team in the research of a particular area of trusts law, and contribute meaningful and responsibly to class discussions.
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) tutorial participation; (2) assignments: equity (case analysis) and trusts (paired); and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Natalie Skead
Unit rules
LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4107 Land Law
LAWS4103 Contract
Contact hours
4 hours per week
Unit Outline

Dal Pont, G. Equity and Trusts in Australia 6th ed: Thompson Law Book Co. 2015

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.