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Business and Company Law

Business and Company Law (BLO5540)

Semester Two, 2018

Law report case study (10% of Total Assessment)

Students are required to complete a law report case study of Re Colin Gregory Ryan [2014] QSC 18.


In this subject you will often consider common law cases and how they interpret and apply common law principles as well as how they interpret and apply statute law in the study of company law.

In doing this case study you will observe the judges legal reasoning and the application of the doctrine of precedent that you would have studied in Business Law. In addition to this you would have studied terms like “ratio decidendi” and “obiter dictum” and again you may observe the judgement applying these principles.

‘Ratio decidendi’ means literally ‘the reason for the thing having been decided.’ This is generally said to be the reason why a case was decided.

‘Obiter dictum’, means literally ‘a thing said by the way’. ‘Obiter’ is Latin for ‘by the way’ or ‘incidentally.’ A ‘dictum’ is something which has been said. This refers to other observations which are made by the judge in deciding the case but which were not necessary to decide it

In completing this case study task you will see how statements of law are applied to the facts of the case you are asked to consider. It requires critical and analytical thinking skill as you need to sift through the different aspects of cases and locate the key elements in them.

Further these critical and analytical thinking skills that need to be applied to various problem situations you will be asked to consider in research assignments, problem tutorial questions and exams in this subject.

In reading the designated case you will also acquire knowledge of certain legal terms and in some instances some key phrases – some legal jargon – and understanding of what they mean.

Requirements of the Case Study:

Prepare a 500 word case summary after identifying and analysing the following:

The major legal issues – area(s) of law in dispute

The background facts- there should only be brief discussion of this.

The relevant law (cases and statutes) relied on by the judge in making his/her decision- In particular, you should explain the legal principles (from these cases) which were applied by the court to the current facts. In addition, you should explain the wording of the relevant sections of the legislation the court relied on.

The actual decision and reasons for the decision of the court.

Brief Observations of the significance of this case for people in business. You may do additional research (consulting journal articles) for this part.

Additional Pointers:

-The case summary should be written in your own words, except where there is specific legal terminology (which should not be paraphrased).

-For purposes of this assessment task, there is no requirement to consider other cases, use footnotes or prepare a bibliography, nor is it necessary to do further reading outside the case report itself. However, for students who wish to do additional research and include brief observations on the case (as discussed in (e) above, you may do so). These articles must be referenced in the Bibliography if used.

-The written report must be uploaded on the turnitin link on VU Collaborate by

24 August 11.59 pm.

-Students should also note that there are materials on Collaborate that may assist students with the case study. Students are encouraged to read the topic relevant to the case (in the textbook or/and materials on Collaborate) before reading the case to make them familiar with relevant laws.


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