On Friday 11 November 2011 the Adelaide Law School and the Law Society of
South Australia co-hosted a highly successful conference on Advanced Contract Law.
An appreciative group of legal practitioners attended the day-long event, which featured visiting experts Prof John Carter (Sydney University) and Prof James Devenney (Exeter University), as well as the Law School’s own Prof Andrew Stewart, Assoc Prof Melissa de Zwart, Dr John Gava and PhD candidate Mark Giancaspro. Also speaking were local practitioners Andrew Schatz (Australian Government Solicitor) and Darren Blight (Edmund Barton Chambers).
The event included a presentation from David Fredericks from the Attorney-General’s Department in Canberra, outlining the Attorney’s plans to investigate the preparation of a National Contract Law. This was a useful update on the progress of this project, which was also the subject of a panel discussion that benefited greatly from the participation of Justice Paul Finn of the Federal Court. It was also interesting to hear James Devenney reflect on current (and more advanced) proposals to move towards a single contract law code in the European Union.
Besides the question of codification, other subjects covered included the Australian Consumer Law, interpretation of commercial contracts, the ‘practical benefit’ doctrine, and the possible recognition of a duty of good faith and fair dealing. For the technologically-minded (or indeed-challenged), there was also a fascinating look at some of the contractual issues that arise in relation to Web 2.0 sites and online communities such as Facebook, Twitter, Second Life and multi-player games such as World of Warcraft.
Many of the issues ventilated at the Conference will be explored in more depth in the Masters course on Advanced Contract Law which will be run as an intensive on 20, 21, 23 and 24 February 2012 by Andrew Stewart and James Devenney. This can be taken either as a non-award course for professional development purposes, or as part of the Adelaide Law Masters program.
Further details can be found at
http://www.law.adelaide.edu.au/degrees/masters, or by telephoning 08 8303 4020.