Business Law Researching texts, articles, online materials, comprehending and understanding, writing drafts, critical thinking and analysis, problem solving


The purpose of the assignment is to allow you to undertake independent research into a particular aspect of law, to reflect on and consider particular legal issues and to apply your legal skills to them. It is important for you to have time to think through how to structure and present arguments, and to discuss what the law is or should be in a particular area. This assessment task also gives you the opportunity to put the skills you have learned in tutorials into practice.

The length of the assignment is to be 1,500 words. Do not include the references or bibliography in the word count.

Comprehensive details relating to the assignment are included below. We recommend that you carefully read this information, making sure that when you write your assignment you answer the questions asked and address the criteria. Most marks are given for analysis; very few marks are given for the mere stating of information. See the presentation requirements and the warning about plagiarism below.


John agrees to build an extension to Chen s house. At the time they enter the agreement, the price of building materials is increasing week by week. John is reluctant to set a price for the work until he knows how much it is going to cost. Chen agrees in the contract that he will pay John the purchase price of materials as at the date of completion plus $6000 for labour. The parties also agree that the work must be completed by the end of June, as Chen s family is coming to visit him at that time. Before the work begins, there is an unexpected increase in labour costs and an equally unexpected drop in the price of building materials. John tells Chen that he will need to increase the labour component to $10,000 or not do the job at all. Chen is anxious that the work be completed by the end of June so reluctantly agrees to the change. John builds the extension but does not finish it until the middle of July. Because of this, Chen had to pay for his family to stay in a hotel for three weeks at a total cost of $1500. Chen is now refusing to pay John more than the price of materials plus $6000 for labour. In addition, he wants John to compensate him for the money he had to pay for the hotel.

Required: Answer the following questions. In each case, give reasons for your answers.

a) What arguments could Chen use to support his refusal to pay John more than the original agreed price? (10 marks)
b) What arguments could Chen use to support his claim for compensation? (10 marks)
c) What arguments could John use to support his claim to the $10,000 he wants Chen to pay? (10 marks)

Submission requirement: Please lodge your assignment according to the instructions (see 1.15 of this description). You should also keep a copy of anything you submit and copies of any articles or materials you have used in your assignment. If plagiarism is suspected you must be able to produce the materials you used to write your assignment. The due date for the assignment is Friday of week 8 of the semester at 10 am.

Extensions of time/late submissions
Extensions of time will only be granted for good reasons and must be asked for BEFORE the due date (unless there are extenuating circumstances). You will need a medical certificate when asking for an extension due to illness. Late submissions (where no extension of time has been granted) will only be accepted at the discretion of the course co-ordinator and, if so accepted, can be penalised one mark for each day past the due date. Please ensure you comply with the requirements regarding who to ask for an extension and the paper work to be filled in.
Return of marked work
Any work not collected during the semester will be disposed of at the end of week 3 in the following semester.
A note on research
In this course it is expected that you will use textbooks, journal articles, government/regulatory web sites etc to research the law. Refer to the sources and internet databases in section 6 of this Course Description to start your research. Wandering aimlessly around the internet should be avoided!

You are not expected to spend time finding original cases and reading them. Generally, sufficient information on the main cases can be found in texts and articles. In addition Commentary and cases (with headnotes (summaries)) can be accessed from the CCH online library. Woodward, Bird and Sievers also has a section called Tips on Studying (page xiii-xvii) which includes a sample case study answer “ well worth looking at.

Essay Criteria:

You will be assessed on:

Readable connected prose NOT point form summaries
Accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation, paragraph construction and proofreading
Effective use of HEADINGS
Consistent and accurate acknowledgment of sources using a recognised style “ both in relation to in-text referencing and bibliography. This can be footnoting or other recognised styles but you MUST be consistent. If you do not reference in the body of your assignment the actual resources you have used (which will mostly be textbooks and articles), under Regulation 6.1.1 you may be given a mark of zero
Identification of the reference style being used (please put on title page)

Typed and double-spaced
Title page with student name and number, course code and name, referencing style used
4cm margin
A4 paper
Sequential page numbering
No folders

Analysis (most of the marks are allocated here)
Depth of understanding of the topic and identification of relevant issues
Accuracy of the law (legislation and cases) used to support discussion
Clarity and coherence of the debate/discussion (think of leading a non-lawyer reader along a pathway, explaining the features, their importance and impact)
Quality of discussion and argument
Attempt to canvass a range of views and to offer an individual opinion on the state of the law.

Research “ depth and quality (needed in order to analyse)
The use made of appropriate legal sources, particularly cases (it is appropriate to rely on the summaries of cases located in secondary sources)
The breadth and use made of relevant secondary legal sources, in particular a number of legal texts, internet sites and academic journal articles.

Additional Guidance for the Assignment
Grades are awarded on the following basis:

High Distinction (HD): Excellent . 80-100
A detailed, coherently written, organised assignment that answers the question succinctly. An objective reasoned argument that focuses on the relevant issues of the topic, and is expanded and developed with appropriate examples. Principles of law integrated well into the analysis. Shows evidence of having read relevant texts, journals, and so on and clearly references any authors quoted in the assignment. No or very minor errors of expression.

Distinction (D): Very Good 70-79

Gives a sound analysis with most of the principles of law applied. Principles defined and explained to an acceptable level. Shows a good understanding of most of the principles and integrates them satisfactorily into the analysis. Some good examples given. Lacks the depth of an A analysis. Well structured “ minor inadequacies. Referencing is good but some minor flaws evident. ainly logical and coherently organised. Clear and concise and correctly written.

Credit (C): Good.. .60-69

Analysis is good with most of the main principles identified and applied. T he main argument is sustained but may have some weaknesses. Generally demonstrated reading and thinking about the topic. Structured reasonably well and organised in a logical fashion. All sources acknowledged correctly. Generally presented well and with consistent use of terminology, correct spellings and expressions.

Pass (P): Satisfactory50-59
Analysis is adequate with a number of the main principles of law identified and applied. Difficulty in sustaining or developing a coherent argument, showing some confusion, but generally demonstrating evidence of reading and thinking about the topic. Structured reasonably well and organised in a somewhat logical fashion. Sources acknowledged. Generally correct expression and spelling with writing of a satisfactory standard.

Fail Level 1 (MF): Unsatisfactory… 40-49

Analysis shows some understanding but incomplete and inconsistent. Argument is not complete or comprehensive. Some support offered for the argument but inadequate and/or irrelevant. Explanation of the issues and solution is not adequate. Somewhat superficial overall, some attempt to establish a structure but inadequate. Inadequate referencing.

Fail Level 2 (F) Poor..0-39

Analysis shows little understanding of the problems and few principles discussed. Lacks examples, definitions and explanations in some instances. A superficial, general analysis supplying mainly anecdotal information. Not logically organised. Inadequate referencing and poor expression of concepts.

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