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This course introduces students to the doctrines of equity and the law of trusts. It traces the historical development of equity and its relationship with common law. Students will critically consider the appropriate application of a range of equitable doctrines to particular scenarios and the availability of different remedies. Students will also be introduced to the law of trusts and, in particular, the nature of a trust, legal requirements in establishing a trust as well as the rights, duties and powers associated with trusts. The course assumes familiarity with equitable doctrines taught in Principles of Private Law and Contracts (alternatively Contracts 1 and 2), for instance estoppel, undue influence, unconscionability. For students who have not completed Principles of Private Law, the course will include a transitional module on personal property to introduce subject matter that was previously taught in Property, Equity and Trusts and will in future be taught in Principles of Private Law. This is an important pre-requisite for learning about trusts, which involve property. 

This course is one of the core subjects for law and will normally be taken after completion of Contracts. It fits within the private law stream, which includes such subjects as Torts, Contracts and Land Law. It provides a good grounding for further studies in this area.

The aim of the course is to ensure that you are familiar with the central principles of equity, including the law of trusts. In particular, the course will cover the following topics:

Main Topics:

  • Equitable rights and equitable titles
  • Fiduciary obligations
  • Assignment and Priorities (excluding Torrens land)
  • Express trusts, including types of express trust, trusts distinguished from contract, charge, lien, bailment and corporation, lifecycle of an express trust
  • Trustee duties, powers and rights
  • Beneficiary rights
  • Tracing
  • Personal liability of accessories and recipients
  • Remedies
  • Resulting and constructive trusts
  • General bars to relief
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1, Term 3



Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Prerequisite: Principles of Private Law (LAWS1150/JURD7150) and Contracts (LAWS1075/ JURD7175)

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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