Understanding Contract Law

Course Group: 
Organisational and Contract Management


Public and private sector organisations engaged in commercial dealings need to have regard to many different facets of the law and be conscious of how the law impacts on their operations and relationships with other entities, including suppliers of goods and services. The risk of protracted and expensive disputes, or even litigation, for organisations that do not give adequate consideration to contract law is real and requires effective management.

This course is designed to provide an exposure to, and understanding of, the legal framework and principles of law surrounding the formation and enforceability of contracts. The course examines the essential areas of contract law (formation, interpretation of terms, lack of true consent, termination, breach and remedies) as well as other related topics such as tenders and the legal management of disputes. No prior legal knowledge is required to undertake this course and it is assumed participants do not have a formal legal background. It is taught in a way that explains the law in a manner most readily grasped by non-lawyers.

Who Should Attend

Course Outline

Presenter Background

Dates & Registration

Duration: Two days

Delivery mode: Classroom


Advertised: Canberra

In-house: The Understanding Contract Law and other legal courses taught by Dr Natalie Cujes are available to be presented in-house in Canberra and elsewhere in Australia. Contact the  for more information. Recommended for groups of 10 or more.

What you will receive:

  • Comprehensive set of course materials
  • UNSW Canberra certificate of attendance
  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea


"The basics of contracting were a very good start and the discussion on structure of the court system was enlightening. Natalie's experience and lecturing style made for easy listening and comprehension." 13/09/2016

"The course taught me a lot of things I was unaware of to begin with, I wouldn't change the content" 13/09/2016




Anyone requiring an understanding of contracts and the legal rules that underpin them, including: business managers; project managers; risk managers; procurement staff; capability management staff; and any person involved with the negotiation, management and enforcement of contracts. The course is of particular interest to members of the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.





  • Morning: 

       1. Introduction to contract law within the Australian legal system (including the sources of law and how to locate them).
       2. Understanding the nature of business entities as parties to a contract.
       3. How do you know if a contract has been made?

  • Afternoon:

       4. Practical exercise – determining whether a contract exists.
       5. Tender processes and the duty of good faith.
       6. What have the parties actually agreed to and what does it all mean?


  • Morning:

       1. Practical exercise – would you sign this contract?
       2. When is an otherwise enforceable contract unenforceable?

  • Afternoon:

       3. Ending or breaching a contract and what are the potential remedies?
       4. Dealing with contractual disputes – the legal options and things to consider.
       5. Discussion forum - What makes a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ contract and what are the consequences of getting it wrong?




Natalie is a barrister and solicitor, the principal of Cujes Legal, the resident law academic with the School of Business at UNSW Canberra (at the Australian Defence Force Academy) and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law (University of Canberra). She has extensive experience in teaching contract law and business law, including to military and civilian members of the Department of Defence, at the undergraduate and master’s degree levels. As a senior legal practitioner, Natalie specialises in contractual negotiations, drafting and dispute resolution and in commercial and federal litigation.

For a decade, Natalie served as a Registrar of the Federal Court of Australia and of the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. In the past few years she has published a number of books and other publications on the conduct of federal civil litigation, as well as having contributed to the contract law chapter of a legal encyclopaedia. Currently, she holds a number of appointments with various committees of the Law Council of Australia, including as an elected Executive Committee Member of the Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section (2014-16). In 2009, Natalie was awarded an Excellence in Teaching (Student Satisfaction Recognition) Award by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra.

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