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  3. Commercial Applications of Equity

Commercial Applications of Equity (LAWS70011)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70011
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Equitable doctrines and remedies lie at the heart of commercial conduct, transactions and private law litigation. They provide unique standards of conduct that restrict and guide commercial dealings and a raft of powerful personal and proprietary remedies that dictate defendant liability when transactions fail. Over recent years their influence has been seen not only in important judicial decisions affecting commercial dealings, but in the raft of legislation that now builds on those equitable foundations. This subject considers some of the more pressing points of convergence between equitable doctrine and commercial practice, and examines their ongoing relationship with key statutory counterparts. In doing so, the subject is tightly structured to ensure that students are exposed to cutting-edge legal theory concerning court-led equitable developments and to the ramifications of those developments at the coal-face of commercial practice and dealings.

This subject will be relevant to transaction lawyers involved in planning, initiating and drafting contracts, for corporate lawyers and regulators involved in consumer and banking law and for commercial litigators. The lecturers are internationally recognised experts in the commercial applications of equitable doctrines and remedies. They are also exceptional teachers, evidenced by the consistently outstanding results in the student experience surveys for this subject.

Principal topics include:

  • The role of equity in commercial transactions
  • The nature of the fiduciary obligations, including the avoidance and ‘management’ of fiduciary conflicts
  • Undue influence, mistakes and the enforcement of domestic guarantees in banking contexts
  • Quistclose trusts
  • The role of estoppel in commercial transactions
  • Equitable remedies for breach of obligation, with special reference to gain-based awards and constructive and resulting trusts.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have a specialised understanding of the relevance of equitable doctrines, remedies and related statutory provisions to modern commercial transactions
  • Be able critically to examine and assess the interaction of equity and statute in resolving commercial disputes
  • Understand the role of discretionary considerations that inform the application of doctrines and the award of equitable remedies
  • Develop an independent understanding of the potential for further development in and interaction between equitable doctrines and remedies and their cognate statutory provisions
  • Have the technical skills independently to examine, research and analyse equitable doctrines and remedies in the context of commercial transactions and disputes
  • Have developed communication skills clearly to articulate and convey complex legal concepts both orally and in written form to legal specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Last updated: 20 August 2019