LAW5008 - Principles of equity - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Dr Susan Barkehall Thomas Research ProfileResearch Profile ( (Trimester 1)
Nadine Huels (Trimester 2)
Vicki Vann (Trimester 3)

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Trimester 1 2019 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 2 2019 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 3 2019 (On-campus)


LAW5000 or LAW5080 or LAW5081, LAW7265 or LAW5002, LAW5005 and LAW5004 (for students beginning in 2015 or later)




For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7269


The unit introduces students to the nature and function of equity in the modern Australian legal system. Students learn about the relationship between equity and the common law, and study the key doctrines of equity. These include: equitable assignments, breach of confidence, fiduciary relationships and breach of fiduciary duty, third party liability and tracing, personal and proprietary remedies in equity and equitable defences.


At the successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of key doctrines of equity (including principles and standards), their relationship to common law, their historical development and trajectories, and their theoretical underpinnings;
  2. demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills in interpreting and evaluating professional conclusions and in making reasoned and appropriate choices among alternatives;
  3. exercise advanced and integrated professional judgement and responsibility to generate responses to complex factual scenarios, evaluating both jurisprudential and practical considerations;
  4. communicate effectively and persuasively in a format appropriate for scholarship or professional practice; and
  5. learn and work with a high level of autonomy, accountability and professionalism and reflect on and assess their own performance.


  1. Research assignment (3,000 words): 40%
  2. Examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading time): 60%

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 36 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.