Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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

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

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)


Banking law and regulation around the globe have gone through tremendous changes over the last decade. The technological and multimedia developments, recent financial crises, changes to the commercial environment and financial markets globalization have all brought to the emergence of new banking policies coupled with innovative and advanced banking services. As banks and the services they supply are a key component in any modern financial system, policy makers, courts and legal practitioners are now facing more challenges than ever before.

The course deals with the law and practice of banks and their relationship with their customers, while focusing on the most recent changes and advanced innovations in the banking industry. It is designed to impart the students with unique knowledge on one of the building blocks of the commercial and financial market from a comparative and global perspective.

Principle topics will include

  1. Legal definitions of 'banker' and 'customer'
  2. The juridical nature of the relationship between the parties and their special obligations (including banks fiduciary duty and bank's secrecy
  3. The payments system:
    1. Law governing negotiable instruments and cheques
    2. Payment cards
    3. Electronic banking
  4. The banks right to combine accounts
  5. The lien and bank opinions
  6. The termination of the banker-customer relationship
  7. Deregulation of the financial system and statute law relating to banks and other financial institutions.


Students completing this subject will:

  1. acquire an understanding of the Australian financial and banking system
  2. be familiar with the general principles of law governing the Australian payments system and negotiable instruments with particular emphasis on cheques
  3. appreciate the legal relationship that exists between customers and their banks and the duties owed to each other
  4. attain a sound grasp of the day to day issues that can arise between banks and customers such as wrongful conversion of cheques, confidentiality, combinations of accounts and appropriation of payments and recovery of money paid mistakenly
  5. be familiar with the banking ombudsman system and mediation of banker-customer disputes
  6. learn to solve problems arising out of the application of statute and case-law to specific banker-customer transactions
  7. identify emerging trends of bankers' liability especially the impact of consumer protection legislation to banking business.


Research assignment (2000 words): 40% and examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

An intensive unit of 4 hours of lectures per week in weeks 5-11 of the semester comprising of 2 additional hours of lectures per week in weeks 7-10.


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2100 or LAW2101 and LAW2102