MNMGT201-19B (HAM)

Business Law and the Legal Environment

15 Points

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Division of Management
School of Accounting, Finance and Economics


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Paper Description

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The course begins with an examination of the need for law as a means for regulating conduct in society. This is followed by a discussion of 'what is law' and the sources of New Zealand law. The two main avenues for the creation and modification of law will be examined namely legislation created by Parliament and judicial precedent or case law, created by judges in New Zealand and influential overseas courts. There will be coverage of various classifications of the law such as procedural and substantive law and the distinctions between public and private law. This last distinction is vital before a discussion of much of private law which forms the core part of the course. The first and important branch of private law in business transactions is contract law, which contains legal rules affecting agreements between individuals. This examination of general contract law, will be followed by the law on special kinds of contracts such as consumer and employment contracts. In addition to contract, the second major branch of private law to be explored will be the law of torts which deals with the civil obligation to refrain from causing harm to one's neighbours. In the business context, the most significant tort, namely negligence, will be examined in the context of the legal duty to exercise care. Students will also be introduced to the law of privacy, as well as the purpose and scope of the Privacy Act 1993 and the relevance of the law of privacy in business. The final private law topics that will be covered will include aspects of property law in the context of personal, real and intellectual property.
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Paper Structure

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This course will have three hours of lectures, which will be recorded using Panopto, and a one hour tutorial session which will be held each week, beginning in Week 3, which commences on Monday 22nd July 2019. Tutorial homework will be handed to the course tutor at the beginning of the tutorial, and it will not be possible to submit tutorial homework otherwise, unless the Convenor has given permission for this to happen.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will be able to:

    1. Identify the sources of New Zealand law and the relevance of distinctions such as those between substantive and procedural law on the one hand and public and private law on the other.

    2. Gain an appreciation of the origins of the Treaty of Waitangi and its modern day relevance in the context of business activity in New Zealand.

    3.Gain an understanding of particular business entities such as partnerships and companies through which business is conducted and the legal obligations imposed on those charged with their governance.

    4. Gain an understanding of the relevance of significant branches of private law that have a direct impact on the conduct of business.

    5. Exercise appropriate judgment in being able to determine particular legal problems which can be resolved by advice from the perspective of a buisness advisor, in contrast to more complex legal issues which require the input and advice of a professional legal advisor.

    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 50% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 50% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Tutorial Homework
  • Hand-in: In Tutorial
2. Take Home Assignment
2 Aug 2019
11:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Take homeTest
6 Sep 2019
11:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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1. The required text for this paper is Commercial Law in New Zealand Business, by Philip Alexander-Crawford, Nigel Sutton, David Sutton and Dawn Duncan, Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd, Wellington. Tutorial questions will be closely related to the chapters of this book, so students must have a copy of the book.

2. Reading lists may also be made available for this paper on a topic basis as considered appropriate. The information in the reading lists will assist students in completing tutorial homework, and in their understanding of the content of the paper. Material in the reading lists may also be used for test and examination questions.

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Recommended Readings

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Miller L & Barber M., Undertsanding Commercial Law, 9th Edition, 2019, LexisNexis New Zealand .Limited, Wellington


Miller L., Understanding Commercial Law, 8th Edition, 2014, LexisNexis New Zealand Limited, Wellington

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Other Resources

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The lectures will be recorded on Panopto to assist students in this paper. Further assistance can be obtained from either the Convenor or Tutor of this paper on matters which involve the course content.
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Online Support

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Online support is provided by using the links on the Moodle page for this paper.
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This is a 15 point paper so it is expected that the total time spent on this paper during the semester should be approximately 150 hours. There are four contact hours per week, so students must arrange their time so as to meet the expected work hours.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: ACCT224, ACCT321, ACCT324, MNMGT301

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