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Commercial Contracts - JURD7723
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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: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: Academic Program JD (9150) Co: JURD7211
Excluded: LAWS8023
Fee Band: 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


The course examines systematically and in-depth (to an extent not feasible in basic undergraduate Contract law courses) major principles of Australian law governing the performance, breach and termination of many commercial and conveyancing transactions. It is primarily concerned with complex applications of general contract law principles rather than the more specific rights that are sometimes conferred by statutes dealing with "consumer" contracts.

As well as investigating many practical problems in applying the law, the course makes a sustained attempt to assist students to discern frequently unrecognised interrelations between legal principles, and thus to acquire a better integrated view of an area of law which (despite its practical importance) is widely regarded as amorphous and highly challenging. The course addresses a range of difficult practical, legal and evidentiary questions that have been raised in recent appellate judgements but often remain incompletely answered.

LLM Specialisations

Corporate and Commercial Law; Corporate, Commercial and Taxation Law.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

  • To assist students to develop an in-depth understanding of the major principles of an area of contract law that is of immense importance in commercial activity: i.e. the law of performance, breach and discharge of contractual obligations
  • To assist students to develop further their capacities for disciplined analysis of facts and for legal reasoning according to the methods of the common law
  • To stimulate students to examine the law of contract in a social and historical context

Main Topics

The course examines systematically (and in sequence) the following major areas of contractual performance:
  • Contingent conditions precedent to performance
  • Promissory and Concurrent conditions
  • Discharge by performance
  • Nature of breach
  • Entitlement to terminate for breach and repudiation
  • Entire and severable contracts
  • Affirmation following serious breach
  • Nature and consequences of termination for serious breach


Class participation Preparation and engagement in class 20%
Research essay 4,000 words 40%
Take home exam 3 questions (1,500 words per question) 40%

Course Texts



  • Contract Law in Australia, 4th ed (2002) Butterworths, by JW Carter and DJ Harland
  • Principles of Contract Law, 2nd ed (2005) Law Book Co, by JM Paterson, A. Robertson and P.G. Heffey
  • The Law of Contract (1987) with supplements to 1993, Law Book Co, by D.W. Greig and JLR Davis, especially Chapters 20 and 21; (more advanced)
  • Breach of Contract, 2nd ed (1991), Law Book Co, by J.W. Carter (more advanced)


Please refer to course outline provided by the Lecturer.

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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.