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This subject studies the nature, goals and structure of private law remedies, and is organised around the remedial goals of compensation, perfection, vindication, disgorgement, restitution and punishment. The subject explores how and why these different remedial goals are accorded differing priority and/or are given effect in different ways across different areas of private law, specifically torts, contract and equity, thereby deepening the student's understanding of remedies and also the nature of each of these substantive fields of private law.
Topics to be covered in the subject will include:
- Compensation (compensatory (including aggravated) damages for breach of contract, tort and in equity);
- Perfection (debt, specific performance and injunctions);
- Vindication (damages in substitution of rights and vindicatory damages);
- Disgorgement and accounting for profits;
- Restitution (the measure of restitution; rescission; unjust enrichment);
- Punishment in private law (exemplary damages); and
- Statutory remedies.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will have demonstrated an advanced and integrated knowledge of:
- The most important theoretical debates concerning private law remedies
- The principles governing the award of private law remedies
- The relationship between rights and remedies across the spectrum of private law
A student who successfully completes this subject will also have developed specialised cognitive and technical skills enabling them to:
- Critically assess proposals for the reform of the law of remedies
- Apply the principles governing the award of remedies to private law disputes
- Reflect thoughtfully and critically from doctrinal and theoretical perspectives on core issues in the field of private law remedies, including the relationship between rights and remedies and why different remedies issue for breach of different rights
- Communicate complex legal principles, theories and frameworks governing the award of private law remedies and the relationship of these remedies to the private law as a whole to expert and non-expert legal audiences
Upon successful completion of this subject, students will also have developed an acute understanding of the critical importance of having an integrated understanding of the private law as a whole.
On completion of the subject, students will have developed sophisticated cognitive technical and creative skills in:
- Demonstrating mastery of private law remedies and the relationship between rights, remedies and private law as a whole;
- Understanding, interpreting, comparing and reflecting critically on case law and statute relating to private law remedies from the various Australian jurisdictions and overseas;
- Analysing, comparing and reflecting critically on scholarly commentary from the various Australian jurisdictions and overseas;
- The ability to engage in precise and nuanced legal reasoning and argumentation at a high level;
- The ability to think creatively about solutions to complex legal problems;
- The ability to examine legal doctrine from different theoretical perspectives, to evaluate different theoretical frameworks, and to formulate original theoretical arguments.
- The ability to conduct original research into complex legal questions;
- The ability to communicate complex knowledge and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences; and
- Understanding the effects of choices made over particular causes of action and remedies for the outcomes of legal claims.
Last updated: 9 July 2020