Curriculum Guideline

Introductory Business Law

Effective Date:
Course Code
BUSN 1320
Introductory Business Law
Commerce & Business Administration
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 3 Hours Seminar: 1 Hour Total: 4 Hours
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Lectures, videos, analysis of legal issues, discussion of legal cases, case assignments, and group activities

Course Description
The course will conduct a general review of the meaning, sources and administration of business law, and in particular, will provide in-depth coverage of the law of contracts and the law of torts. In addition, students will gain an understanding of the key aspects of business organizations and the law of real property. The course will also consider legislation regulating business and recent and relevant changes in Canadian law that may potentially affect the business climate.
Course Content
  1. Introduction to the field of law and the administration of justice
  2. Sources of Canadian and British Columbia law
    1. distinction between private and public law
    2. Acts of the Canadian Parliament and the provincial legislatures (emphasis on British Columbia)
    3. Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    4. subordinate legislation including by-laws and government regulations
    5. the court process, case law, and judicial precedent
  3. Law of Torts
    1. general principles including liability insurance, vicarious liability and alternative compensation schemes
    2. intentional torts including assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass, and invasion of privacy
    3. business torts including nuisance, occupier's liability, defamation, injurious falsehood, deceit, unlawful interference with economic relations, and conspiracy
    4. the tort of negligence including duty of care, breach of standard of care, causation of harm, and the available defences
  4. Law of Contracts
    1. nature of a contract
    2. elements of a contract
      1. mutual agreement (offer, acceptance, and invitation to treat)
      2. capacity of the parties
      3. legal consideration and its exceptions
      4. the concept of privity of contract and its exceptions including assignment
    3. terms of a contract
      1. express terms and implied terms
      2. conditions and warranties
    4. grounds of impeachment
      1. misrepresentation
      2. incapacity
      3. illegality
      4. mistake
      5. duress, undue influence, and unconscionable transactions
    5. discharge and breach of contract
      1. discharge by performance
      2. discharge by agreement
      3. discharge by frustration
      4. discharge by breach
    6. contractual remedies
      1. damages
      2. specific performance
      3. injunctions
  5. Law of Real Property
    1. Interests in Land
  6. Business Organizations
    1. Sole proprietorships
    2. Partnerships and Limited Partnerships
    3. Corporations


Learning Outcomes

The successful student will be able to:

  1. describe the structure of the Canadian legal system;
  2. identify the basic principles of common law and statute law that apply to most business situations. Although the course is not designed to make the student a lawyer, it will provide the student with sufficient background and sophistication to understand circumstances that require a lawyer;
  3. recognize the main aspects of the Canadian judicial system including the sources of law, the levels and roles of courts in the judicial system, and the basic elements of the court process;
  4. set out the difference between common law, statute law, administrative law, and criminal law;
  5. explain the methods by which legal precedents are established and applied;
  6. demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the law of contracts, its principles and application to various business situations;
  7. describe the basic principles of tort law and identify many of the important common law torts, especially torts that arise in the business context;
  8. summarize the different interests relating to real property;
  9. identify the different forms of business organizations and the benefits and drawbacks associated with each type; and
  10. relate legal principles to economic, political and social situations that may arise in the business world. 









Means of Assessment
Term examinations (2) 30 - 40%
Mid-semester examination 20 - 25%
Final examination 25 - 35%
Class participation and/or assignments and/or quizzes   5 - 10%


Textbook Materials

McInnes, Kerr, and VanDuzer, Managing the Law: The Legal Aspects of Doing Business

Latest Edition, (Toronto: Pearson Education Canada).

(or such other textbook as agreed upon by the Business Law Instructors)

Additional cases and readings decided by the Instructor.







Which Prerequisite

BUSN 3720 Business Law for Accountants

BUSN 3730 Law for Finance Professionals