Romancing the PPSA: Challenges for instructors in teaching and reconciling new concepts with traditional norms
Date of this Version
Over the past two years the teaching of Personal Property Law has undergone a major transformation. At this point in time, after the end of the two year transitional period of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) ('PPSA ') it is clear that the traditional common law principles now need to be examined in the context of a statute based approach. The PPSA has made significant inroads into the way personal property is dealt with in commercial transactions. Not only has the PPSA impacted on various types of security agreements such as mortgages, charges and pledges, but it also reaches into areas such as leases, liens and bailments. Probably the most important effect the PPSA has had on the way property ownership is perceived is the way it has disenfranchised the concept of nemo dat quad non habet, where personal property securities are involved. The dilemma for educators teaching in the area of personal property transactions is to make sense of these ground breaking developments in a way students can understand The challenge is to do so in a way that familiarises students with the traditional common law concepts, while teaching them the ground rules and intricacies of the PPSA as they apply to personal property. This article examines the challenges in teaching new statute-based law in relation to existing common law principles, and proposes a two-step approach: Firstly, it recommends a contextual teaching approach and secondly, it advocates a practice-based or experiential learning approach for educators.
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