This course introduces students to the legal frameworks that govern co-operative organisation in Australia. The main point of reference will be company law. The course will compare the key legal identity features of the company and the co-operative models and consider how these features are divided between the models enabling framework and its internal governance rules. The course will explore the impact of laws and regulatory infrastructure on the co-operative model and its ability to develop and grow. The course will mainly consider Australian co-operative law, but we will compare laws in other jurisdictions where there are significant variations in application or effect.
Availability2018 Course Timetables
- Trimester 2 - 2018
On successful completion of the course students will be able to:
1. Identify and compare the key legal characteristics of companies and co-operative business models;
2. Explain the legal requirements for formation and maintenance of the co-operative and compare these with the requirements for companies;
3. Evaluate the role of internal governance rules in ensuring the co-operative's effective legal identity;
4. Analyse the co-operative's capital conundrum and the advantages and disadvantages of legal reforms that allow access to external capital;
5. Critically evaluate the potential role of social accounting and audit in reinforcing the co-operative's distinct legal identity.
The topics in this course include the following:
MODULE 1: CO-OPERATIVE LEGAL IDENTITY
- What is a co-operative? – a legal perspective.
- The choice of legal entity for a co-operative business
- Co-operative formation and registration
MODULE 2: MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE
- Internal governance – Management
- Internal governance – Members and meetings
- Directors and director’s duties
MODULE 3: BUSINESS DEALINGS
- Transacting with others
- Access to capital
- Dealing with financial stress
MODULE 4: REPORTING, DISCLOSURE AND AUDIT
- Legal obligations and the financial metric of performance
- Measuring value, the case for social accounting and audit.
Foundation knowledge of the Australian legal system, LEGL1001 or equivalent
Quiz: Revision Multiple Choice Questions
Written Assignment: Case Study
Written Assignment: Research Report
Online 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Students will be required to complete 4 hours of guided learning via online preparation, discussion groups or self-directed learning and an additional 6 hours of independent study per week.