Studying online

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Unit Overview


This unit covers the key concepts associated with general insurance as a risk transfer loss spreading arrangement, including the duty of utmost good faith, causation, subrogation and double insurance and contribution, and includes analysis of the common law and relevant equitable principles and close examination of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth).

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Students are able to (1) demonstrate, at an advanced level, knowledge of (a) the nature and the purpose of the laws relating to the insurance context; (b) the common law and equitable principles relevant to insurance law; (c) the terms and operation of key provisions of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cwlth); and (d) the policy and reform issues which are relevant to the insurance industry; (2) demonstrate (a) the ability to reflect upon and respond to ethical issues arising in the insurance context; and (b) a developing ability to exercise professional judgment; (3) demonstrate the ability to (a) identify and articulate complex issues arising for resolution in insurance law; (b) apply legal reasoning to solve hypothetical problems, in particular developing and explaining arguments in resolving issues; (c) engage in critical analysis of the legislation and the scholarship in the area of insurance law; (4) identify, research, evaluate and synthesise legal problems and conflicts arising in insurance law; and recognise and articulate the complex policy issues associated with insurance law; and (5) demonstrate an ability and willingness to (a) participate and contribute to seminar discussion; (b) present arguments in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive to legal and non-legal audiences.

Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) class participation; (2) assignment; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Gregory Pynt
Unit rules
Enrolment in 20820 Juris Doctor
and LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and five Unit(s)
LAWS4102 Criminal Law
, LAWS4103 Contract
, LAWS4104 Property
, LAWS4106 Torts
, LAWS4107 Land Law
, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law and ( LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics
or LAWS4110 Interpretation
) ) For Graduate Diploma in Insurance Law students: LAWS5890 Insurance Claims and Dispute Resolution and
LAWS5891 Principles and Practice of General Insurance Law
or LAWS5892 Principles and Practice of Life Insurance Law
or a completed Law degree
For all students: no prerequisites
LAWS3383 Insurance Law
Advisable prior study
LAWS4106 Torts,
and LAWS5103 Equity and Trusts
Approved quota: 60—first come first serve, but with a guaranteed place in the unit for any student enrolled in the GDIL.
Contact hours
17-21 July 2023 - Please refer to the timetable website for session times and venues. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory.


Pynt, Gregory, Australian insurance law : a first reference, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2018, 4th edition.


Suggested Additional Texts

The two most useful alternative texts are:

•              Mann’s, Annotated Insurance Contracts Act, 7th Ed. (2016), Law Book Company

•              Enright and Merkin, Sutton on Insurance Law in Australia, 4th Ed Thomson Reuters, 2015

Other useful resources (in alphabetical order) include:

•              Australian Law Reform Commission, Report No 20, Insurance Contracts, 1982

•              Birds J, Modern Insurance Law, 9th Ed. (2013), Sweet & Maxwell Ltd

•              CCH, Australian & New Zealand Insurance Reporter

•              Clarke M, The Law of Insurance Contracts, 6th Ed. (2009), Informa Publishing

•              Derham, Subrogation in Insurance Law, The Law Book Company Ltd

•              Derrington and Ashton, The Law of Liability Insurance, 3rd Ed. (2013), LexisNexis (Butterworths)

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.