LAWS4106 Torts

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit covers a broad range of non-contractual civil actions available to those who have been subjected to the wrongdoing of another. It examines the elements and governing principles of selected tort actions. It also introduces students to the analytical framework of current Australian tort law and addresses the context in which torts law operates. Students are encouraged to engage with the policies and critical theories that underpin the development of the law and have the opportunities to engage in critical analysis. The unit considers the kinds of interests protected by torts law and includes an examination of the torts of trespass and nuisance. Reflecting its dominance in modern Australian torts litigation, a more detailed treatment is given to actions in negligence. The principal defences, and other limitations to a defendant's potential liability, is also considered. Close attention is paid to the Civil Liability Act 2002 (WA), particularly in the context of claims for negligently inflicted personal injury. Students develop an understanding of the interaction between case law and legislation, as well as their ability to interpret and apply statutory provisions. Students are also able to analyse novel problems, write opinions, advise clients and present arguments. The unit requires an ongoing development in reading and analysing case law and in conducting legal research.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of (a) actions in negligence for physical injury, mental harm and pure economic loss; and (b) trespass, nuisance and liability for harm done by others; (2) demonstrate a developing understanding of (a) the similarities and differences between persuasive common law with Australian legislation; (b) political, social and philosophical issues surrounding tort law; and (c) the context in which tort law operates, including understanding the rationales underpinning liability in tort law, and alternative compensation systems; (3) appreciate the interaction between legislation and the common law in the development and operation of the law of torts; (4) analyse a hypothetical fact scenario and identify and articulate the relevant facts and legal issues raised; (5) identify, interpret and apply tort law principles to resolve legal problems involving torts issues; (6) critically read and analyse cases and legislation with a view to identifying the emerging principles; (7) develop an appreciation and understanding of the evolution of the law of torts and an understanding of the interaction between the common law and statute; (8) conduct comprehensive and accurate research into a torts issue using both primary and secondary sources and undertake independent research into torts materials not covered in class, and in so doing, identify, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues; and (9) participate effectively and meaningfully in class discussion by commenting on, explaining and analysing case and statute law, and discussing and arguing the application of legal principles to hypothetical legal problems, and engage in informed and articulate oral discussion of political, social and philosophical issues surrounding tort law.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online participation; (2) moot; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Assistant Professor Kate Offer and Dr Marco Rizzi
Unit rules
LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering
Contact hours
4 hours per week

Davis, Rizzi & Offer, Connecting With Tort Law, OUP 2020

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