LAWS5104 Corporations Law

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit explores the nature, function and regulation of companies in Australia, with a view to understanding and being able to apply corporations law principles arising at common law, in equity and under statute. It engages with corporate governance principles, comparative perspectives and recent developments in the law to critically study the internal structure and governance of the company, placing emphasis on duties owed by directors to the company and rights and remedies available to members. In the context of ongoing debate concerning the role and theory of the corporation, students consider the relationship between corporations and the outside world in the form of corporate liability in contract, tort and criminal law. Through class discussion, students develop appreciation of the ethical issues confronting company directors and their advisers and hone their skills of analysing legal issues, advising as to the application of corporations law to hypothetical problem scenarios and effectively debating policy issues. Students refine their research, analytical and communication skills by preparing a research assignment based on a corporations law problem or policy scenario. They then carry out a critique of their own work to identify how they can further improve these key skills so as to become effective participants in the practice and policy development of corporations law.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of (a) the fundamental principles of corporations law, including the interaction of the statutory, equitable and common law sources of corporations law; (b) the relationship between corporations and the outside world; (c) the historical, political, social and economic policy considerations underlying Australian corporations law, and difficulties inherent to regulating corporations at the domestic and international level; and (d) contemporary developments and issues in corporations law and any need for reform; (2) identify and critique (a) ethical issues raised by the separate legal entity and limited liability doctrines; and (b) ethical issues faced by company directors and their advisers; (3) analyse a complex corporations law problem or policy issue and draw on corporations law principles and reasoning to provide substantiated advice or recommendations; (4) critically analyse and synthesise cases and legislation with a view to providing advice on hypothetical corporations law problems and policy issues; (5) engage in advanced legal research to provide and substantiate legal advice prepared in response to a complex corporations law scenario or policy issue; (6) provide accurate, clear and persuasive oral and written legal advice on complex factual scenarios or policy issues involving companies; and (7) critically reflect on their research, problem-solving, communication and argument substantiation skills.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research assignment (including critique); (2) tutorial participation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Rebecca Faugno
Unit rules
LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4106 Torts
LAWS5103 Equity and Trusts
Contact hours
Lectures x 3 hours per week
Tutorials x 1 hour per week
Unit Outline
Semester 2_2019 [SEM-2_2019]
  • 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.