La Trobe University
LST2BSL: Introduction to Business Law and Ethics
BU; AW; BE; MI; SH; DN – Semester 1, 2020
Common Law Assignment INSTRUCTIONS
1. This assignment is worth 20% of your final mark for this subject.
2. Your assignment must be submitted by 11.59 pm (midnight) on Sunday 26 April 2020.
3. All questions must be answered.
4. With regards to formatting, your assignment must be typed with 1.5 or double spacing, and with margins of at least 2cm on all sides. Size 12 font must be used.
5. The task is a common law assignment, so you are NOT required to discuss any legislation at all. It is essential that you cite relevant authorities (cases) wherever possible to support your reasoning in each answer.
6. Your work must be appropriately referenced, using footnotes. Where you state a legal principle from a case, you must provide a citation for that case. If you are stating a legal principle that is covered in the textbook or lecture and which does not have a relevant case provided in the textbook, you should cite the textbook. You are not expected to use any materials beyond the lectures and the set textbook. But if you do, you must provide appropriate citations. No bibliography is required. Format your citations according to the citation guide at the end of this document.
7. Your assignment must be 1,500 words or fewer, excluding all footnotes. This word limit is strict: you should not need the 10% leeway. You must state the word count on the front page of your assignment. (If you fail to provide this, the marker will be forced to estimate the word count, and this may lead to penalties.)
8. You must also state the details of your seminar on the front page of your assignment. This includes the day and time and location of your seminar, and the name of your seminar leader.
9. Assignment submission is electronic only, via the link on LMS. Do not email your assignment to your seminar leader or the subject coordinator. Your assignment will not be marked unless and until you have completed electronic submission. You should receive an email receipt confirming your submission. You are responsible for ensuring submission is successful. Should any technical problems arise, and you are unable to provide an email receipt, we will assume that you never attempted to submit an assignment.
10. You can only submit your assignment once. Submission is final. You will not be able to access your Turnitin originality report. Teaching staff will be checking these reports.
11. You must not plagiarise. To avoid plagiarism, make sure you acknowledge all your sources with appropriate citations. You may discuss the questions with other students, but all written work must be your own: do not show anyone your written work for this assignment, and do not view anyone else’s. Academic misconduct is taken extremely seriously at La Trobe University. Further information about plagiarism and academic misconduct is provided in the Subject Learning Guide.
12. You may use a bilingual dictionary, but you must not use any online tools for changing or translating
13. Further information about policies on late submission, applying for an extension, etc. is available on the LMS, and in your Subject Learning Guide.
Sinclair and Roman are very good friends. They have been friends for over 20 years having met during their undergraduate studies at La Trobe University. Sinclair and Roman try as much as possible to have lunch together once a week to keep up their friendship.
On one of those occasions, Sinclair discussed his intention to buy a second-hand car for his 18 years old daughter, Nikola, who is now studying accounting at La Trobe University. The family live about two hours away from La Trobe Uni and access by public transport has been extremely difficult. Roman tells Sinclair he has an old car which could be useful for that purpose and he is happy to ‘let go’ of the car to Sinclair. Roman invites Sinclair to his house to inspect the car. Sinclair and Nikola visit Roman’s house and were shown a Toyota Corolla, 2010 model with registration number ANT 202. Nikola doesn’t quite like the car as all her friends drive brand new cars, but she says nothing.
Sinclair informs Roman that the car looks quite good and would serve Nikola’s purpose. All she needs is a means of transportation to uni and when she starts working, she could save up to buy another car. Roman replies saying he feels the same way and that he had the car checked by a mechanic and serviced and that cost him about $2,000, so the car is in good condition and ready to go. Sinclair and Roman discuss the market value of the car which they both agree is about $5,000. Roman presents a roadworthiness certificate to Sinclair and hands over the key to Nikola. Roman says he is happy for Nikola to drive the car away on the day and that himself and Sinclair would conclude the deal. Sinclair has since registered the car in Nikola’s name.
Six months later, Nikola’s 17 years old friend, Hayden tells her he needs to buy a car and that his parents have agreed that he could buy one. Since Nikola doesn’t quite like the Toyota Corolla, she decides to sell it to Hayden for $3,000. Hayden pays Nikola $1,000 and promises to pay the balance in 2 weeks. It’s now over two months and Hayden has yet to pay the outstanding sum of $2,000. Nikola does not want the car back since she has used up the initial $1,000 as deposit for a new car, and in any case, Hayden had an accident with the car, and it is no longer in good condition.
Meanwhile, Roman has been quite unhappy with Sinclair. Sinclair has also noticed a change in Roman’s attitude and their friendship has soured. Roman claims that Sinclair has made no payment for the car he sold to him and has in fact said nothing about it. He says he had waited as a good friend for Sinclair to say something for months. He says on occasions, he had indirectly requested for payment, but Sinclair had always pretended not to understand him. Roman says he called Sinclair three days ago after months of no contact and demanded that Sinclair pay the $5,000 outstanding on sale of his 2010 model Toyota Corolla, ANT 202. Sinclair says he does not owe Roman a cent.
1. Is there an offer between Roman and Sinclair and who made the offer? (4 marks)
2. Was the offer accepted and how was acceptance expressed and communicated? (4 marks)
3. Was there an intention to create legal relations? (4 marks) 4. Was any consideration provided? (4 marks)
5. Is there any particular reason why there might not be a valid contract between Nikola and Hayden?
Guide to citation for the common law assignment
Legal citation is different to other styles of citation, such as Harvard or other in-text citation. Legal citation involves providing the most relevant legal authority for any statement of legal rules or principles. Citations are provided in footnotes. (If you’re working in MS Word, simply go to the ‘References’ tab and click on ‘Insert Footnote’.)
For the purposes of LST2BSL Introduction to Business Law and Ethics, we do not expect you to learn the Australian Legal Guide to Citation, which is the usual approach to legal citation in Australia. That Guide is incredibly complex. Instead, you can simply follow these instructions for citations in your common law assignment.
As stated above in the Assignment Instructions, where you state a legal principle which comes from a case, you must provide a citation to the relevant case. You are not expected to read the cases themselves: as long as a case is summarised in the textbook, you can cite the case itself. An example of this would be if you said this in your assignment:
If a letter of comfort includes statements which are not promissory, then it probably was not intended to be legally binding.
Alternatively, you could mention the case name in the sentence of your assignment itself, and just put the case citation in a footnote, like this:
As in the case of Commonwealth Bank of Australia v TLI Management Pty Ltd a letter of comfort with only non-promissory statements was probably not intended as legally binding.
Either way, we expect you to provide a citation to the relevant case for the legal principle you are stating.
If you are stating a legal principle that is covered in the textbook or lecture and which does not have a relevant case provided in the textbook, you should cite the textbook. An example of this would be:
If an agreement is executed as a deed then there is no requirement for both parties to provide consideration.
Finally, remember that footnote citations do not count towards your word count, so don’t hesitate to provide citations for any statement of legal principle. If in doubt, provide a citation.