Torts (LAWS1012)


This is a general introductory unit of study concerned with liability for civil wrongs, with a particular emphasis on torts protecting personal and property rights. The unit seeks to examine and evaluate, through a critical and analytical study of primary and secondary materials, the function and scope of modern tort law and the rationale and utility of its governing principles. It also aims to build students' skills in problem solving and applying the law to hypothetical or real life situations. Particular topics on which the unit will focus include:
(a) The relationship between torts and other branches of the common law including contract and criminal law;
(b) The role of fault as the principal basis of liability in the modern law;
(c) Historical development of the action of trespass and the action on the case and the contemporary relevance of this development;
(d) Trespass to the person (battery, assault, and false imprisonment);
(e) Trespass to land and airspace
(f) Private nuisance;
(g) The action on the case for intentional injury;
(h) Defences to intentional torts;
(i) Development and scope of the modern tort of negligence, including detailed consideration of the principles underpinning a duty of care in a range of common situations, the determination of breach of duty and the issues of causation and remoteness of damage, with particular reference to personal and psychiatric injury;
(j) Compensation for personal injuries, including special and alternative compensation schemes;
(k) Injuries to relational interests, including compensation to relatives of victims of fatal accidents;
(l) Defences to negligence.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture and 1x1hr tutorial/week from week 2


Assignment (30%) and tutorial participation (10%) and 2hr exam (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules




LAWS1005 or LAWS1010 or LAWS3001 or LAWS5001

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.