Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013



Consumer protection legislation is well established in Australia. The last couple of decades have, however, seen a massive global reassessment of the role of the state, with moves away from traditional 'command and control' regulation and increasing reliance on new forms of regulation and self-regulation. Globalisation has at the same time rendered traditional governmental control in some areas problematic. These trends, in turn, have produced significant shifts in the ways in which consumer interests are being protected. Moves towards self-regulation in the private sector, and corporatisation and privatisation in the public sector, have underlined the importance of establishing and monitoring corporate accountability and compliance with consumer protection obligations.

This unit will examine state and federal legislative consumer protection mechanisms, and the development, operation and monitoring of self-regulatory and industry-based mechanisms such as licence and contract conditions, Codes of Practice, Customer Charters and Standards. Seminars with the lecturer, together with a range of guest presenters, will examine the role of industry regulators, dispute resolution regimes such as industry-based Ombudsman schemes, and compliance, enforcement and monitoring mechanisms. There will also be consideration of the influence of, and importance of achieving compliance with, global consumer protection obligations, together with specific issues raised by the new information technologies.


Upon completion of this unit students will have:

  1. an understanding of the existing mechanisms for consumer protection in Australia
  2. an understanding of a range of methods for regulating for consumers
  3. an understanding of, and ability to evaluate, the options for protecting consumer interests and of monitoring compliance when formulating a regulatory framework
  4. an understanding of likely trends in consumer protection
  5. enhanced research skills as a result of undertaking a substantial piece of writing.


Research assignment (5,250 words): 70%
Take-home examination: 30%
Research assignment (7,500 words): 100%

Contact hours

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)