Rio Tinto Limited has been in the headlines recently.

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CO5121: LAW OF BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS

SP 23 2017

 

ASSIGNMENT

 

Due date: A written assignment is due by 2 January 2018 17:00.

 

Weighting: The assignment is worth 30% of the marks for the subject.

 

Individual Assignment: This is an individual assignment – students are not to copy each other’s work.  Rather, their essay is to be a reflection of their original thoughts, analysis and research.

 

Lodgement: you must lodge assignments in hard copy to your lecturer during class on the due date with an assignment cover sheet that has been time and date recorded. You must ALSO lodge your assignment electronically via the LearnJCU website as a backup copy (and to check for plagiarism). Please ensure you retain a photocopy of the assignment. Your electronic copy of the assignment must also be submitted before the due time on the due day. Note the link on the web site to the University’s policy on submitting assignments electronically.

To submit your electronic copy of the assignment, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to your subject site in Learn JCU, select Assignments from the left-hand navigation bar.
  2. You will see an icon that looks like a blue page – Click on View/Complete.
  3. To attach your file, click on the ‘Browse’ button and double click on the file you wish to submit. You can also write a comment about the file you are sending eg if you have an extension, you might want to say “Extension Granted” Please note that you are only able to submit the assignment in one document.

For more information go to http://learnjcu.jcu.edu.au and click on LearnJCU Toolbox under the Support tab.

 

Penalty for late submission: the penalty for late submission of assignments without an extension having been granted is the loss of 5% of the total marks available (for the piece of assessment) per day vanishing down to a mark of zero after 20 days.

 

In fairness to all students, extensions of time will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and where there is cogent evidence supporting the need for extension.  If an extension is applied for close to the due date, normally the assumption of the lecturer will be that the student has had up to five weeks to work on the task and has done so consistently.  The co-ordinator may require the student to produce their work completed to the time of the request for an extension.

 

If your circumstances warrant the need for an extension, or you would like to request an informal review of your assessment, please refer to the Subject Outline for further details.  The “Review of Assessment” and “Request for Extension” forms are available in hard copy from the Law School office or from the Law School web site:  http://www.jcu.edu.au/law   Please note that all enquiries and concerns relating to assessment review and teaching and learning issues should, in the first instance, be addressed to the Lecturer/Subject Coordinator. The Head of School will not enter into discussion without evidence that the Lecturer/Subject Coordinator has been formally consulted.

 

Word Limit: Assignment – 1500-2000 words. Note that your emphasis should not be on length but rather on clarity and precision of thought and expression. You must indicate the length of the assignment on your paper. Word count not recorded – Students will be penalized 2 marks for failing to record the correct word count on the cover sheet or assignment. Word count exceeded – Students will be penalized 1 mark for each 100 words (or part thereof after the first 100 words) above the 1,500-2000 word limit.

 

 Style Guide: include footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography. These are not included in calculating the paper’s word length (unless the footnote is used for extremely long passages of text that may run the risk of circumventing the word limit). Referencing for all Law assignments must be based on the following – Australian Guide to Legal Citation (latest edition) University of Melbourne. 

(http://www.mulr.law.unimelb.edu.au/go/AGLC3)

 

Marking Schedule: a marking sheet is attached. Marks will be primarily awarded for content, analysis and reasoning (based on sound research) but expression, grammar and spelling, presentation and form will also be taken into account (especially where such detracts from the strength of the argument/analysis). Regard shall be had to the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated familiarity with the relevant law and policies (based on sound research);
  2. Evaluation of arguments/critical analysis of the relevant law and policies (based on sound research);
  3. Development of argument (based on sound research);
  4. Structure and organisation;
  5. Originality;
  6. Quality of expression, spelling, grammar, and punctuation; and
  7. Referencing and bibliography.

 

Structure: While there is always a place for creativity in answering the questions set, somewhere towards the early part of the answer, there should be an outline/summary/statement of your argument/answer to the question in a nutshell.   (Where a question includes a quotation to be analysed, ensure that you address the nub of the quotation in all aspects of the assignment).  The assignment should also typically include:  brief statement of the law/development or change proposal/development; analysis (eg what was/is the change meant to achieve and why; has it achieved/is it likely to achieve that goal; is it too early to tell; what does the case law and scholarly analysis tell us?) The conclusion ought to consist of a summary showing how your analysis supports your opinions/deductions.  It is significant to note that good research supports good analysis.  Headings may also be useful.  For the problem section of the question, the IRAC (issue, rule, apply, conclude) technique may be useful.

 

Research Skills: Please refer to Milne, S & Tucker, K, A Practical Guide to Legal Research, latest edition, Law Book Company.  You will note from the schedule for the course, that the lecturer takes students through research databases and methodologies that are relevant to the assignment, also.  It is important to attend that class – as it is important to attend most classes.

 

Policy on Plagiarism: Please note the link on the web site to the University’s policy on plagiarism. This WILL be enforced. Recent case law has confirmed that evidence of plagiarism at University will be considered by a court upon an application for admission. Failure to disclose such evidence is viewed very seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question:

 

Rio Tinto Limited case study (30 marks)

Please read the following news link:-

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-18/rio-tinto-and-former-bosses-charged-with-fraud-over-mozambique-/9060898

 

Rio Tinto Limited has been in the headlines recently.

 

This is a recent case study that is currently subject to investigation. It is important never to prejudge an issue that is ongoing. Without doing that, discuss the following:-

 

What are the corporate legal issues facing Rio Tinto Limited in Australia? (10 marks)

 

What avenues may be open to law enforcement authorities and directors confronted by these issues? (10 marks)

 

Briefly outline any earlier major decided cases where similar issues have arisen, might those cases be significant? (10 marks)

 

 

 

In your answers, demonstrate a clear understanding of both the facts, allegations and the law.

 

You are expected to conduct your own wide reading and to familiarize yourself with the facts.

 

You will need to undertake legal research and analysis in order to provide support for all of your answers above and this includes references to the relevant law where applicable.

 

 

 

 

[Total 30 Marks]

 

 

CRITERIA FOR LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT – CO5121 Legal Research and Analysis Assignment

 

CRITERIA/ WEIGHTING FAIL less than 50% PASS 50-64% CREDIT 65-75% DISTINCTION 75-84% HIGH DISTINCTION  85% (+)
LAW/ISSUES:

Ability to write a clear statement of the law pertaining to the quotation as the basis for the identification  of key issues in

question.  Show legal

understanding of question/problem and issues in it.

30 %

Has failed to adequately

state the law/development. Failed to identify some/most of the legal issues. Failed

to address quote/problem as relevant to question.

Has stated the law/development in a basic format; identified some of the legal issues; attempted to accurately address the question.

 

Has adequately stated the law/development; identified some/most of the legal issues; accurately addressed the question. Has appropriately and adequately stated the law/development and

identified most/all of the legal issues and accurately addressed the question.

Has clearly, accurately and appropriately stated the law/development and identified all legal issues and accurately and appropriately addressed the question.
RESEARCH AND

ANALYSIS:  Ability to critically analyse

the issues and law arising in the

quotation/problem.

Evidence of understanding of legal issues,

developments and influences on the law supported by

Has failed to critically analyse

quotation/problem;

lacks evidence of

understanding of legal issues/developments/

influences on law. Little

or no use of scholarly authority to support argument/legal opinion

Has attempted to critically analyse the quotation/evidence;

some evidence of basic understanding of legal

issues/developments/ influences on

law/application of law to

facts. Some use of legal authority to support argument.

Has provided a reasonable critical analysis of the

quotation/problem, which

demonstrates reasonable understanding of legal

issues/developments/influ ences on the law.

Scholarly authority used to support argument and legal opinion.

Has provided an in-depth critical analysis of the

quotation/probelm, which demonstrates in-depth understanding of legal issues/developments/ influences on the law.

Authority appropriately used where necessary to support argument.

Has provided an in-depth critical analysis which has by sophisticated use of legal reasoning demonstrated

comprehensive/detailed understanding of issues/developments/influence s on the law. Scholarly

authority consistently used to support argument.

Understands application of law to facts

scholarly authority and research.

50%

         
Organisation and structure

 

10%

Disorganised/ incoherent Shows some attempt to organise in a logical manner, including

linking paragraphs/law

to facts

Shows organisation and coherence Carefully and logically organised Carefully and logically organised; shows

sophisticated attention to

purpose

Written expression, referencing & bibliography quality/form

10%

Meaning unclear and/or  grammar, spelling

and/or referencing  contain frequent errors

Meaning apparent but language not always fluent; grammar,

spelling and/or

referencing may contain

errors

High standard of conventional English;

grammar, spelling and referencing mainly accurate

Very high standard of conventional English;

grammar, spelling and referencing accurate

Sophisticated use of English employing an academic style; grammar, spelling and referencing accurate
COMMENTS:      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Rio Tinto and former bosses charged with fraud by US regulator over Mozambique coal

By business reporter Michael Janda

Updated 18 Oct 2017, 12:20pm

PHOTO: Tom Albanese was Rio Tinto’s chief executive between 2007 and 2013. (Christinne Muschi, file photo: Reuters)

RELATED STORY: Rio Tinto chief quits after heavy write-downs

RELATED STORY: Riversdale board backs Rio’s $3.9b offer

MAP: United States

Rio Tinto and its former chief executive and chief financial officer have been charged with fraud by US authorities for allegedly attempting to cover up multi-billion-dollar losses on an African coal investment.

Key points:

  • US Securities and Exchange Commission alleges Rio Tinto delayed announcing write-downs of a $US3.7b Mozambique coal project
  • SEC alleges that Rio and its then leadership failed to follow accounting standards
  • Rio Tinto says it will “vigorously defend” itself against the allegations

The $US3.7 billion purchase of Mozambique coal assets in 2011 had already cost then chief executive Tom Albanese his job, when Rio Tinto was forced to write-off more than $US3 billion from the value of its investment in January 2013.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission today said Rio ended up selling the Mozambique assets for just $US50 million in 2014.

However, it is not the value destruction that has triggered fraud charges against Rio Tinto, Albanese and his then chief financial officer Guy Elliott.

Rather, it is an alleged failure to follow accounting standards and hide or delay disclosure of the mounting losses.

“Rio Tinto and its top executives allegedly failed to come clean about an unsuccessful deal that was made under their watch,” said Steven Perkin, the SEC’s co-director of enforcement.

“They tried to save their own careers at the expense of investors by hiding the truth.”

Rio Tinto, Albanese and Elliott are charged with violating the anti-fraud, reporting, record keeping and internal control provisions of federal securities laws.

The SEC is seeking permanent injunctions, return of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, civil penalties from all defendants and to bar Albanese and Elliott from serving as public company officers or directors.

Rio Tinto shareholders do not appear too worried by the case, with the company’s shares off 0.2 per cent to $71.30 by midday (AEDT).

Investors allegedly misled over subsidiary worth -$US680m

After Rio Tinto bought the Mozambique coal assets from Riversdale in 2011, the SEC alleges that the project suffered setbacks almost immediately.

The SEC case contends that Rio and its senior executives soon became aware there was less coal and of a lower quality than they had previously thought, and that an application to barge the coal to port for export had been rejected by Mozambique authorities.

The regulator argues that, having already twice written down the value of Rio’s disastrous Alcan acquisition, the two executives knew that disclosing the Mozambique failure would call into question the company’s business model.

The SEC further goes on to state that Rio Tinto raised $US5.5 billion from US investors — including $US3 billion that was raised after May 2012, when executives from Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique (RTCM) had allegedly told Mr Albanese and Mr Elliott that RTCM was likely worth negative $US680 million.

The US regulator is arguing that the alleged fraud was only uncovered in January 2013 when an executive in Rio’s technology and innovation group discovered that the coal assets were being carried on the books at an inflated value and reported this to the company’s chairman Jan du Plesis.

The SEC said an internal review triggered by this report led to the RTCM assets finally being written down.

Rio Tinto, executives to ‘vigorously defend’ fraud charges

Rio Tinto said it intends to vigorously defend itself against these allegations.

“Rio Tinto believes that the SEC case is unwarranted and that, when all the facts are considered by the court, or if necessary by a jury, the SEC’s claims will be rejected,” the company noted in a statement to the Australian share market.

Mr Albanese and Mr Elliott are not speaking with reporters, but have denied the allegations.

“There is no truth in any of these charges,” Mr Albanese said in a statement.

“I echo Rio Tinto’s confidence that these will be proved baseless in court.”

“Guy also fully refutes these charges and will be vigorously contesting them,” said a spokesperson for Mr Elliott.

After leaving Rio Tinto, from March 2014 until August 2017 Mr Albanese was chief executive of London-listed Indian firm Vedanta Resources.

Rio Tinto said it had separately reached a settlement with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in relation to the timing of the announcement writing down the value of the Mozambique assets in January 2013.

The FCA determined that Rio Tinto should have carried out an impairment review in relation to Mozambique as part of its 2012 interim results, which would have exposed the write-downs about six months earlier.

The FCA determined that Rio had breached the UK’s disclosure and transparency rules and fined the company 27.4 million pounds.

Rio Tinto said the FCA made no findings of fraud or any systemic or widespread failure by the company.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is also reviewing the Mozambique write-downs, according to Rio Tinto.

 

CO5121: LAW OF BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS

SP 23 2017

 

ASSIGNMENT

 

Due date: A written assignment is due by 2 January 2018 17:00.

 

Weighting: The assignment is worth 30% of the marks for the subject.

 

Individual Assignment: This is an individual assignment – students are not to copy each other’s work.  Rather, their essay is to be a reflection of their original thoughts, analysis and research.

 

Lodgement: you must lodge assignments in hard copy to your lecturer during class on the due date with an assignment cover sheet that has been time and date recorded. You must ALSO lodge your assignment electronically via the LearnJCU website as a backup copy (and to check for plagiarism). Please ensure you retain a photocopy of the assignment. Your electronic copy of the assignment must also be submitted before the due time on the due day. Note the link on the web site to the University’s policy on submitting assignments electronically.

To submit your electronic copy of the assignment, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to your subject site in Learn JCU, select Assignments from the left-hand navigation bar.
  2. You will see an icon that looks like a blue page – Click on View/Complete.
  3. To attach your file, click on the ‘Browse’ button and double click on the file you wish to submit. You can also write a comment about the file you are sending eg if you have an extension, you might want to say “Extension Granted” Please note that you are only able to submit the assignment in one document.

For more information go to http://learnjcu.jcu.edu.au and click on LearnJCU Toolbox under the Support tab.

 

Penalty for late submission: the penalty for late submission of assignments without an extension having been granted is the loss of 5% of the total marks available (for the piece of assessment) per day vanishing down to a mark of zero after 20 days.

 

In fairness to all students, extensions of time will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and where there is cogent evidence supporting the need for extension.  If an extension is applied for close to the due date, normally the assumption of the lecturer will be that the student has had up to five weeks to work on the task and has done so consistently.  The co-ordinator may require the student to produce their work completed to the time of the request for an extension.

 

If your circumstances warrant the need for an extension, or you would like to request an informal review of your assessment, please refer to the Subject Outline for further details.  The “Review of Assessment” and “Request for Extension” forms are available in hard copy from the Law School office or from the Law School web site:  http://www.jcu.edu.au/law   Please note that all enquiries and concerns relating to assessment review and teaching and learning issues should, in the first instance, be addressed to the Lecturer/Subject Coordinator. The Head of School will not enter into discussion without evidence that the Lecturer/Subject Coordinator has been formally consulted.

 

Word Limit: Assignment – 1500-2000 words. Note that your emphasis should not be on length but rather on clarity and precision of thought and expression. You must indicate the length of the assignment on your paper. Word count not recorded – Students will be penalized 2 marks for failing to record the correct word count on the cover sheet or assignment. Word count exceeded – Students will be penalized 1 mark for each 100 words (or part thereof after the first 100 words) above the 1,500-2000 word limit.

 

 Style Guide: include footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography. These are not included in calculating the paper’s word length (unless the footnote is used for extremely long passages of text that may run the risk of circumventing the word limit). Referencing for all Law assignments must be based on the following – Australian Guide to Legal Citation (latest edition) University of Melbourne. 

(http://www.mulr.law.unimelb.edu.au/go/AGLC3)

 

Marking Schedule: a marking sheet is attached. Marks will be primarily awarded for content, analysis and reasoning (based on sound research) but expression, grammar and spelling, presentation and form will also be taken into account (especially where such detracts from the strength of the argument/analysis). Regard shall be had to the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated familiarity with the relevant law and policies (based on sound research);
  2. Evaluation of arguments/critical analysis of the relevant law and policies (based on sound research);
  3. Development of argument (based on sound research);
  4. Structure and organisation;
  5. Originality;
  6. Quality of expression, spelling, grammar, and punctuation; and
  7. Referencing and bibliography.

 

Structure: While there is always a place for creativity in answering the questions set, somewhere towards the early part of the answer, there should be an outline/summary/statement of your argument/answer to the question in a nutshell.   (Where a question includes a quotation to be analysed, ensure that you address the nub of the quotation in all aspects of the assignment).  The assignment should also typically include:  brief statement of the law/development or change proposal/development; analysis (eg what was/is the change meant to achieve and why; has it achieved/is it likely to achieve that goal; is it too early to tell; what does the case law and scholarly analysis tell us?) The conclusion ought to consist of a summary showing how your analysis supports your opinions/deductions.  It is significant to note that good research supports good analysis.  Headings may also be useful.  For the problem section of the question, the IRAC (issue, rule, apply, conclude) technique may be useful.

 

Research Skills: Please refer to Milne, S & Tucker, K, A Practical Guide to Legal Research, latest edition, Law Book Company.  You will note from the schedule for the course, that the lecturer takes students through research databases and methodologies that are relevant to the assignment, also.  It is important to attend that class – as it is important to attend most classes.

 

Policy on Plagiarism: Please note the link on the web site to the University’s policy on plagiarism. This WILL be enforced. Recent case law has confirmed that evidence of plagiarism at University will be considered by a court upon an application for admission. Failure to disclose such evidence is viewed very seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question:

 

Rio Tinto Limited case study (30 marks)

Please read the following news link:-

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-18/rio-tinto-and-former-bosses-charged-with-fraud-over-mozambique-/9060898

 

Rio Tinto Limited has been in the headlines recently.

 

This is a recent case study that is currently subject to investigation. It is important never to prejudge an issue that is ongoing. Without doing that, discuss the following:-

 

What are the corporate legal issues facing Rio Tinto Limited in Australia? (10 marks)

 

What avenues may be open to law enforcement authorities and directors confronted by these issues? (10 marks)

 

Briefly outline any earlier major decided cases where similar issues have arisen, might those cases be significant? (10 marks)

 

 

 

In your answers, demonstrate a clear understanding of both the facts, allegations and the law.

 

You are expected to conduct your own wide reading and to familiarize yourself with the facts.

 

You will need to undertake legal research and analysis in order to provide support for all of your answers above and this includes references to the relevant law where applicable.

 

 

 

 

[Total 30 Marks]

 

 

CRITERIA FOR LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT – CO5121 Legal Research and Analysis Assignment

 

CRITERIA/ WEIGHTING FAIL less than 50% PASS 50-64% CREDIT 65-75% DISTINCTION 75-84% HIGH DISTINCTION  85% (+)
LAW/ISSUES:

Ability to write a clear statement of the law pertaining to the quotation as the basis for the identification  of key issues in

question.  Show legal

understanding of question/problem and issues in it.

30 %

Has failed to adequately

state the law/development. Failed to identify some/most of the legal issues. Failed

to address quote/problem as relevant to question.

Has stated the law/development in a basic format; identified some of the legal issues; attempted to accurately address the question.

 

Has adequately stated the law/development; identified some/most of the legal issues; accurately addressed the question. Has appropriately and adequately stated the law/development and

identified most/all of the legal issues and accurately addressed the question.

Has clearly, accurately and appropriately stated the law/development and identified all legal issues and accurately and appropriately addressed the question.
RESEARCH AND

ANALYSIS:  Ability to critically analyse

the issues and law arising in the

quotation/problem.

Evidence of understanding of legal issues,

developments and influences on the law supported by

Has failed to critically analyse

quotation/problem;

lacks evidence of

understanding of legal issues/developments/

influences on law. Little

or no use of scholarly authority to support argument/legal opinion

Has attempted to critically analyse the quotation/evidence;

some evidence of basic understanding of legal

issues/developments/ influences on

law/application of law to

facts. Some use of legal authority to support argument.

Has provided a reasonable critical analysis of the

quotation/problem, which

demonstrates reasonable understanding of legal

issues/developments/influ ences on the law.

Scholarly authority used to support argument and legal opinion.

Has provided an in-depth critical analysis of the

quotation/probelm, which demonstrates in-depth understanding of legal issues/developments/ influences on the law.

Authority appropriately used where necessary to support argument.

Has provided an in-depth critical analysis which has by sophisticated use of legal reasoning demonstrated

comprehensive/detailed understanding of issues/developments/influence s on the law. Scholarly

authority consistently used to support argument.

Understands application of law to facts

scholarly authority and research.

50%

         
Organisation and structure

 

10%

Disorganised/ incoherent Shows some attempt to organise in a logical manner, including

linking paragraphs/law

to facts

Shows organisation and coherence Carefully and logically organised Carefully and logically organised; shows

sophisticated attention to

purpose

Written expression, referencing & bibliography quality/form

10%

Meaning unclear and/or  grammar, spelling

and/or referencing  contain frequent errors

Meaning apparent but language not always fluent; grammar,

spelling and/or

referencing may contain

errors

High standard of conventional English;

grammar, spelling and referencing mainly accurate

Very high standard of conventional English;

grammar, spelling and referencing accurate

Sophisticated use of English employing an academic style; grammar, spelling and referencing accurate
COMMENTS:      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

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