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Trusts - JURD7623
 Basser Steps

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011; Corequisite: LAWS2311.
Excluded: LAWS3023
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


The course seeks to introduce the students to the law of trusts by exploring the concept of the trust and its use in a modern context. The course will allow students to investigate and distinguish types of trusts, trust powers, different types of fiduciary relationships, the elasticity of the trust concept, the creation and enforcement of trusts, the principles governing charitable, resulting and constructive trusts. The course will examine equitable interests in land, the duties of trustees and the remedies for breach of trust. An important aim of the course is to build a conceptual foundation upon which students will be able to make practical use of the elasticity of the trust concept. The course will, where relevant, focus upon the trust as a commercial tool and will analyse the interaction between trusts and contracts.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

At the end of this course, students will have:
  • A functioning knowledge of the trust concept
  • An appreciation of how the trust functions as a means of wealth planning tool and also how it may function in a commercial setting
  • Developed or enhanced their ability to identify legal issues, analyse them, and apply the relevant principles of law to provide solutions
  • An ability to evaluate and criticize many rules of law
  • An understanding of the development of trust principles
  • Developed the capacity to research into practical issues and find solutions
  • An understanding of the social contexts in which trust law operates
  • Ability to form a value judgment about social responsibility of using trust as an avoidance tool, the obligations of those having properties or control of properties belonging to others as well as the responsibilities to the wider community through investments

Main Topics

  • Classification of trusts
  • Family trusts and unit trusts
  • The settlor’s Intentions and the three certainties
  • Discretionary trusts and powers
  • The beneficiary principle
  • Charitable trusts
  • Non-charitable purpose trusts,
  • Gifts to unincorporated associations;
  • Resulting trusts
  • Public appeal fund surpluses
  • Trustees' fiduciary duties
  • Protector concept
  • Investment powers
  • Trusts in commerce, including Quistclose trust and Kayford trust


Class participation, including preparation and participation in class discussion: 15%

Individual exercises and Mid-Term test: 15%

Final examination: 70%

Course Texts


  • # Dal Pont & Chalmers: Equity and Trusts in Australia (4th ed) Thomson Lawbook Co.
  • # Dal Pont Chalmers Maxton: Equity and Trusts - Casebook: Commentary and Materials (4th ed) Thomson Lawbook Co.


  • Evans: Equity & Trusts (2nd edition) 2009 - Lexis-Nexis Butterworths
  • Jacobs' Law of Trusts in Australia: 7th ed Lexis-Nexis Butterworths
  • Graham Moffat: Trusts Law (4th ed) Cambridge University Press

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.