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Unit Overview


This unit examines the fundamentals of construction law with an emphasis on their use in the context of petroleum and mining projects. Topics covered include the nature of resource project contracting arrangements and construction contracts, common terms in construction contracts, risk allocation in construction contracts, contract formation, common issues including liquidated damages, extensions of time, causation and procedural issues for claims, variations, indemnity and insurance provisions, liability for defects, warranties and indemnities. The unit examines these in the context of a construction project for a mine site, involving either a power station for the mine or a desalination plant. The workshop sessions involve participants familiarising themselves with a standard form of contract widely used in the resources industry in Australia.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) critically describe the fundamental principles of construction law; (2) explain the common terms of construction contracts; (3) critically apply those principles and terms in hypothetical case studies to demonstrate understanding of construction law; (4) critically analyse the application of those principles and terms in situations relevant to mining and petroleum projects; and (5) create clear, concise and persuasive legal arguments using correct and plain English both verbally and in writing.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) case study analysis and (2) take home assessment. 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)
Chris Ryder
Unit rules
Enrolment in
20810 Doctor of Juridical Science
enrolment in
Master of Mining and Energy Laws (20550), Master of International Commercial Law (21510), Graduate Diploma in Mining and Energy Law (20370), Graduate Diploma in Law (20320), Master of Commercial and Resources Law (20560)
or Master of Laws (20500)
or Master of Architecture (25520)
Enrolment in
LAWS5398 Construction Law
Contact hours
This unit will run 21-24 November 2023. Please refer to the timetable website for session times and venues. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory.
  • 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.
  • 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.