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Business and Corporate Law Assignment

Answer 1:

Exclusive powers are those which can be exercised solely by the Federal Parliament of Australia.

Examples:

  1. Prohibition on the Government from imposing customs and excise duties (S. 90)

  2. Prohibition on states from raising military or naval forces (S. 114)

  3. Prohibition on states from minting their own coins (S. 115)

Concurrent Powers are those which can be exercised by both, the state, as well as the Commonwealth. However, if the laws of a state are inconsistent with the Federation’s laws, the laws of the Federation will be accepted, in accordance with S. 109 of the Constitution.

Examples, as found under S. 51:

  1. Trade with other countries

  2. Taxation

  3. Marriage

  4. Divorce

Residual Powers are those which can be exercised by the states only. They are called residuary because they were the powers left to be allotted after allotting powers to the Federal Government. These powers are found under S. 108 of the Constitution.

Examples:

  1. Law and order

  2. Industry and commerce

  3. Education

  4. Public health

  5. Housing

Answer 2:

a) Yes, a contract was entered into.

The products on display in the Vending Machine were available at a fixed price of $3.50, thus effectively forming an offer/proposal.

By putting in the asking amount of $3.50, the buyer provided acceptance to the said contract.

The considerations for either side were the sum of money ($3.50) and the packet of chips respectively.

Further, both the object, i.e., purchasing the packet of chips by paying a small sum of money, as well as the considerations involved were lawful.

As regards the intention to create a legal relationship, the existence of the same can be derived from the fact of the machine displaying snacks as an offer for sale and giving the same to anyone who can pay the asking price for the same.

On the issue of ‘Competence’, to enter into a contract in the given case, the only measure of competence on the customer’s behalf is the availability of the asking price of $3.50. The other party would be the vending machine company, or ‘XYZ Vendosolutions’, which supply their customers with snack upon successful payment of a fixed sum of money.

It is pertinent to note that in case of vending machines that are selling items consumable by individuals of nearly all age groups, the obvious necessities for a party to qualify as competent to enter into a contract, such as having attained the age of majority, being of sound mind and not being barred by law from entering into a contract are all irrelevant since the solitary requisite need for concluding the contract with the vending company is to enter the amount of $3.50 into the machine.

Looking at the possibility of performance of the contract, the contract was a possible one as its performance was simple and very much possible. The certainty can be explained through the simple mechanism of performing the act of inserting money into the machine and retrieving the pack of snacks from it afterwards. The amount of money was also certain and so, its certainty lies in the simplicity of its execution.

Coming to the final parameter for measuring the lawfulness of the contract, i.e., through evaluation of the free will of the buyer in the given facts, it can be expressly derived that the buyer was, in no way, forced or coerced into purchasing the said snacks from the vending machine. The customer entered into the agreement of his own free will.

Therefore, it can be said with surety that a valid contract was entered into as regards the given case.

b) The contract was entered into between the buyer and the vending company, that is, XYZ Vendosolutions Proprietary Limited.

When the buyer entered the money into the vending machine, he paid to the owners of the said vending machine, XYZ Vendosolutions, the sum of $3.50 for the purchase of the lack of chips in question.

Therefore, the liability as to the packet of chips being below the required qualify standards lies on the ones who have the title to the vending machine, i.e., XYZ Vendosolutions, since the buyer was exchanging consideration through their property, the vending machine, and not with the food company. Further, the vending company is the one offering snacks for purchase, not the food company.

As regards the liability of the manufacturers of the snacks in question or the “food company”, their liability would extend to the contract existing between them and XYZ Vendosolutions, and the buyer in question would not have a direct contractual relationship with the food company.

This, the contract was entered into between the buyer and XYZ Vendosolutions and he can seek a refund from the vending machine company, for it was their responsibility to ensure that the quality of the products sold through their machines was not below the legally acceptable norms of the law.

Answer 3:

As regards the position under Common Law, a contract entered into by a minor is generally voidable, and they have a limited capacity to contract.

The Goods Act and the Supreme Court Act enlist the exceptional cases where a contract with a minor is deemed valid.

S. 7 under the Goods Act of 1958 provides that a minor can enter into a valid contract to buy and sell commodities which fall under the category of ‘Necessities’. These ‘necessities’ here refer to items suitable to the life of a minor and which are required by him on an utmost essential basis.

Case in point being the case of Nash vs Inman (1908) wherein a contract pertaining to the purchase of expensive clothing was deemed invalid as the items were not an essential need of the said minor.

A minor can be a party to a contract for his employment where the conditions of service are fair and not oppressive in nature. It is a notable trait of contracts with minors that they can be both oral and written, and further, that they can be repudiated on the minor’s achieving the age of majority.

Contracts which involve permanent acquisition of land or continuing liabilities have their validities dependent on the consent of the minor, i.e., they remain enforceable in law until they are revoked by the minor.

S. 49 of the Supreme Courts Act enlists contracts which are absolutely void and where a minor was one of the parties. These are:

  1. Contract for the repayment of money lent

  2. Contract for payment of a supply of non-essential goods.

Nevertheless, S. 49 does not affect the contracts mentioned previously, i.e., for the sale of land, for employment and for provision of essential goods and services.

S. 50 of the same Act states that in the event of a minor affirming a contract as he turns 18 years old, a fresh contract must be entered into.

Lastly, S. 51 of the Supreme Court Act says that where a person enters into a contract for a loan and agrees to repay the amount borrowed under the former void contract, the subsequent agreement shall also be void.

Answer 4:

The Contra Proferentem rule is a doctrine states that any clause which is considered as an ambiguous one, it must be interpreted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the party which caused the inclusion of the said clause.

To gauge the importance of this rule in the present, one can refer to the case of Persimmon Homes vs Ove Arup (2017 EWCA Civ 373) which hails from the England and Wales Court of Appeals.

The court stated the following points as regards the doctrine-

  1. That Contra Proferentem is, in present day, with much-restricted strength in cases of commercial contracts.

  2. That Contra Proferentem was applicable largely to indemnity clauses and not as much to exclusion clauses under agreements of commercial nature.

The Court’s attitude in the aforesaid case reflected the restrained attitude employed by the Courts as regards the application of a more restrictive rule as the Contra Proferentem, and its advocacy of the polar opposite judicial trend of freedom of contract and to stand by the parties’ commercial intentions or the literal meaning of the vocabulary placed in the contract.

A similar attitude against the doctrine of Contra Proferentem was witnessed in the recent case of Bank of Queensland vs Chartis Australia Ltd. (2013 QCA 183), where the Court observed in point 38 that the Contra Proferentem rule came second to the rule of construing the contract for drawing inference as regards the parties’ intention.

Further, Contra Proferentem was tagged as a “rule of the last resort”; one which must be turned towards only when and if all other rules of construction failed.

Answer 5:

An individual contract of employment exists between the employee and each one of his employees, immediately subsequent to their agreement and assent to enter into an employment relationship.

A breach of an employment contract during a dismissal may occur in the following cases:

  1. When the employee is dismissed without the notice period, or equivalent remuneration in the alternative.

  2. When the employer terminates fixed term contract without cause before the end of the term of employment.

  3. When employee is terminated over misconduct, redundancy or poor performance on arbitrary findings.

  4. The employees is compelled to resign due to the bullying, harassment or discrimination faced by him in the workplace.

For a dismissal to be fair, the reason must be seen to be sufficient, and the process must also be fair. This includes making sure that the employee understands the reason for the dismissal enough to respond to it.

A further consideration when evaluating cases of a breach of a contract of employment is whether either the employer or the employee failed to honour terms of the individual employment contract.

Applying the aforementioned points of consideration to the provided fact-set, one arrives at the conclusion that no breach of the contract of unemployment took place. The only thing that can in fact be confirmed from the given set of facts is that Bryan was to join one month subsequent to the date of intimation of the termination of his employment with Amina as a delivery man. However, in light of the fact that Bryan had not yet begun working for Amina, it cannot be said that he was her employee, despite his being hired by Amina.

The termination of the services of Bryan was not baseless since the reason for the same was one cause by external forces, which, in the present case was the economic conditions prevalent at the time.

A monetary slowdown in the matters of trade might result in there being a drop in the output of a factory. If that requires fewer employees, some posts see shall become redundant. In the same way, an upgrade in the technology employed by a company might cause some employees to lack the necessary skills to operate the new technology, or some jobs might no longer be required to be done in light of their having been displaced by novel technology.

In these circumstances, the position affected is said to have become redundant. It is the position rather than the person that becomes redundant.

Further, where a genuine redundancy causes a net subtraction of the number of employees required, or alternatively if the change means that employees are improperly polished or qualified, they require to be relocated in the event that alternate agreeable posts are available and can be found. Where this is not the case, the redundant workforce might have to go under.

A regards the notice period, since Bryan was informed a month prior to his joining of the termination of his agreement to act as a delivery man for Amina, the period of one month between the informing and the original date of joining can be considered as a notice period, although the requirement of a notice period shouldn't be a question because Bryan had not yet effectively joined Amina at the workplace.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Business Law Assignment Help

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