LAW 306 - Equity

Credit points: 20 points
Offered: Full-year
Contact hours: Lectures - 2 hours per week, 8 tutorials - 1 hour per fortnight
Course Director: Professor Peter Devonshire (S1) / Rohan Havelock (S2)
Prerequisites: LAW 201, 211, 231, 241

Course description

This course introduces and develops the central principles of equity and its principal remedies. It is largely taught through case law. In order to acquire a fundamental understanding of the subject it is necessary to consider the history of equity and its evolution to the present day. The law of trusts is examined in depth. This includes private trusts and charitable (public) trusts. Private trusts are particularly analysed in terms of the requirements for their creation and the duties of trustees. Trusts arising by operation of law are also examined.

The fiduciary principle and leading judgments in this area are analysed, as well as the core fiduciary obligations. Attention is directed to equitable remedies and their philosophical foundations together with accessory and recipient liability. In addition, this course examines the principles of the law of succession.

Content outline

The course begins with a study of the history of equity and its eventual formalisation, maxims of equity and the Judicature Acts. Then attention is directed to trusts arising by operation of law (constructive trusts and resulting trusts), and express trusts. The latter includes fixed and discretionary trusts, the three certainties, sham trusts and the status of powers of appointment. This is followed by a discussion of fiduciary obligations and equitable remedies, including equitable compensation, account of profits and proprietary claims. The liability of third parties is addressed with respect to knowing receipt and dishonest assistance. The course includes discussion of charitable trusts, the duties of trustees, wills and succession, including restrictions on testamentary freedom.

Assessment

Final grade: 5% for attendance at all eight tutorial rounds AND either (i) Final Examination 95%, or (ii) plussage calculated as follows: test 15%, essay 10%, final examination 70%.

Completion of one tutorial essay, with a pass grade (regardless of whether plussage applies), is compulsory. In exceptional circumstances, students who fail the essay may be permitted to take a second essay. The second essay will only be marked as pass or fail. Students who fail the second essay will be deemed to have not completed the course. 

Procedures are in place for exceptional cases where students need to attend an alternative tutorial (for example, for medical reasons). The procedure will be outlined in the 2018 handbook.

Both the test and the final exam are open book. This means that you may, if you wish, bring into the test and exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Plussage

Plussage applies to the test and essay components in LAW 306.

Plussage is a system that enables the best possible final mark for a course providing the requirements are met.

Students must achieve a minimum of 45% in the examination for plussage to apply.

All coursework must be completed for plussage to apply.

If a student does not achieve a minimum of 45% in the examination, and/or does not complete the test, or does not complete the essay, plussage will not apply.

If plussage does not apply the mark for the course will be calculated as:

Exam (95%), tutorial attendance (5%)

Completion of one tutorial essay, with a pass grade (regardless of whether plussage applies), is compulsory. In exceptional circumstances, students who fail the essay may be permitted to take a second essay. The second essay will only be marked as pass or fail. Students who fail the second essay will be deemed to have not completed the course.

If a student completes all coursework (the test and the essay) and achieves at least 45% in the exam, plussage will apply.

The mark will be calculated by: EITHER exam (70%), test (15%), essay (10%), tutorial attendance (5%);

OR exam (95%), tutorial attendance (5%);

whichever results in the higher grade.