Zoran is an experienced commercial and dispute resolution lawyer (with more than 10 years of licenced legal experience). He is the litigation partner of a commercial law firm in Brisbane City. Prior to establishing the firm, Zoran practised law as a qualified commercial barrister and nationally accredited mediator, specialising in court advocacy, evidence and civil procedure. Zoran has graduated with a Master of Laws (Dean’s Honours) from the University of Queensland.

Zoran’s doctoral research will examine if there a recognised duty, whether arising as a condition of acting in good faith, or as an independent concept, principle, doctrine or other source of obligation, in its own right, to act not just “honestly” but also “reasonably” in the performance of one’s obligations under a commercial contract in Australia. If not, then what is the likely future direction of the law in Australia relating to an extant or emergent duty to act reasonably in relation to the performance of one’s contractual obligations?

Zoran’s research will:

  • investigate whether there is a recognised duty at common law (or under statute) for parties to act “reasonably” in performing their obligations under a commercial contract in Australia, and if so, the content of that duty, how the scope is determined and the circumstances in which the duty is deemed to arise (whether as a matter of law, fact, by reason of custom or a course of dealings between the parties, or as a generic sort of implication, akin to the ‘duty to cooperate’, for example); and
  • endeavour to contribute to our understanding of the standard of conduct expected of parties to a commercial contract in Australia, in the hope that it will lead to greater care being undertaken by the parties in preserving the agreed (and typically, mutually beneficial) bargain of the contract and to fewer instances of preventable harm and loss being suffered by the parties, which inevitably culminate in taxing, protracted and costly disputes, if not litigation.

HDR project title:  The Source, Nature and Limits of a Duty to Act Reasonably in Australian Contract Law

Supervisors: Professor Rick Bigwood, Dr Ryan Catterwell