Recent Question

Dear students
In relation to my previous e-mail, pl note the following information. There is a long list of topics you may select. You may select an organisation, policy area, statute law or case law and critique the selected area in the light of information provided by the course coordinator. Possible topics:
(a) Policy behind Consumer Protection laws in Australia (i.e. the Australian Consumer Law)
(b) Review of the Law of Negligence, why was it necessary (Ipp Report and its recommendations)
(c) How the corporations can be held responsible for Misrepresentations? What does the case law and statute law say on that issue?
(d) Implications of breaching the Occupational Health and safety laws both for corporations and individuals?
(e) Corporate responsibility in negligence and breaches of contract
(f) What is the policy behind unconscionable conduct by corporations?
(g) Unconscionable provisions under the Australian Consumer Law?
(h) Why is it necessary for corporations to keep Environmental considerations in their policies and practices?
(i) Laws relating to anti-competitive behaviour of corporation and State Owned Enterprises
(j) Why does the law protect intellectual property? What are the implications for corporation for infringing the intellectual property rights of others?
The list of topics is endless. My advice is to select a topic which interests you so that you learn something as you do research on the topic.
Anyway, here are some instructions based on the coordinator's requirements.
Managing the Legal Environment (BULAW5911)

Written Report (25%)

Due date: Friday 11 September, 12 noon
__________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Students

Note that this is the major piece of work for this subject. You should follow the following criteria:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the legal/regulatory environment and relevant laws as well as economic, ethical, social/cultural, international and political issues
2. Demonstrate the ability to investigate, synthesise and analyse
3. Demonstrate understanding as to the most appropriate, efficient and effective means of managing the legal risks that arise from the circumstances
4. Clearly and convincingly communicate the findings
5. Your assignment should be between 4000-5000 words

There are two ways you should go about this. Either, select and organisation OR select a piece of legislation. The criteria has been loosely set out as follows:
A. You may select an organisation (i.e. company, private business enterprise or non-government organisation) and write the following critiquing the organisation’s strategies to manage the legal environment. For example, how the organisation have and should work in the legal environment, what risks it can take, how it can manage the risk and what strategies it has taken/may take to fulfil its legal obligations and corporate responsibility.
As a guide, you should follow the criteria below:
(a) Summarise in about 250-500 words the characteristics/features of the organisation (you can choose a statutory/government body or select a business or not-for-profit organisation if you prefer and describe what goods/services it provides).
(b) Outline any legal governance, management and relationship issues that affect the organisation as a whole (this is to link you into the lecture material) (about 250-500 words – awareness not depth is required at this stage)
(c) List any general and specific legislation that is of particular importance in regulating the organisation and any relevant industry or similar bodies
(d) Outline areas of high legal risk for the organisation as a whole and SELECT ONE to be the centre of your discussion and analysis
(e) Explore the reasons and implications of this legal risk for the organisation both short –term and those that may arise in the long-term.
(f) Identify and describe strategic options for management of this legal risk and evaluate those options in terms of cost and benefit to the organisation
(g) Offer recommendations as to the most appropriate option and the rationale for those recommendations.

B: The second way is to select a piece of legislation, legal policy area or area of common law (case law):

(a) Summarise in about 250-500 words the focus/rationale/intent of this policy, legislation or common law

(b) Outline any legal governance, management and relationship issues that are shaped by the above (this is to link you into the lecture material) (about 250-500 words – awareness not depth is required at this stage)

(c) List how the legislation etc applies to organisations and any relevant industry or similar bodies

(d) Outline areas of high legal risk for organisations that emerge from the policy etc and SELECT ONE to be the centre of your discussion and analysis

(e) Explore the reasons and implications of this legal risk for such organisations both short –term and those that may arise in the long-term.

(f) Identify and describe strategic options for management of this legal risk and evaluate those options in terms of cost and benefit to organisations

(g) Offer recommendations as to how this legal risk might be managed, the most appropriate option and the rationale for those recommendations.

Rough Plan of your Assignment
Assuming that your essay is around CSR (corporate social responsibility) and commercial responsibility of a particular company owned by the government (an SOE or State Owned Enterprise).
One of the most important areas to look at is governance.
Area to discuss: Main theories of governance as they relate to such a company.
· Major theories of corporate governance
o Agency
o Stakeholder
o Institutional
o Resource Dependency
· Possible References/resources….The reference list will differ according to the topic you select
o Statute (Corporations Act 2001 – formation and governance generally , Competition and Consumer Act 2010 – competitive neutrality)
o Donaldson, T., & Preston, L. E. (2005). The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence and implications. The Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 65-91. (Stakeholder Theory – what it is)
o Fama, E., & Jensen, M. (1983). Separation of ownership and control. The Journal of Law and Economics, 26(2), 301-25. (Agency Theory, rationale and application)
o Francis, R. (2000). Ethics and corporate governance: An Australian handbook. Sydney: University of NSW Press. (identifies and discusses the relationship of ethics (relevant to CSR) and governance in Australia)
o Freeman, R. E., & Reed, D. L. (1983). Stockholders and stakeholders: A new perspective on corporate governance. California Management Review, 25(3), 93-94. (discusses difference between shareholder and stakeholder approaches to governance)
o Van der Steen, P. Institutional theory. Unpublished paper. (examines and discusses institutional theory)
o Rutherford, M. (1995). The old and new institutionalism: Can bridges be built? Journal of Economic Issues, 29(2), 443 (describes the different sorts of institutional theory)
o Pfeffer, J. and Salancik, G.R. (1978). The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective. New York: Harper and Row (discussion of resource dependence theory and its application to companies/boards of directors)
o Provide a separate Table of cases and Table of statutes
· Other questions you may like to discuss or research further:
o How do the theories of corporate governance relate to governance in the particular context in which the corporations operate?
o What critiques/ criticisms/recommendation have been levelled at the governance practice in State Owned Enterprises?
o How does governance practice tie into Corporate Social Responsibility?
Additional notes to remember:
· You should get information from academic books, journals and Official websites of State Owned Enterprises.
· Federation University Library website has various electronic databases (AGIS, INFORMIT, WESTLAW, LEXISNEXIS) that will give you the information for your assignment.
· Look at the syllabus for the subject and find the topic which takes your fancy.

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