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MLC101 – Law for Commerce Assignment

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Added on: 2023-04-17 06:57:13
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Description

Purpose

This assessment provides you with another opportunity to formalise written answers to legal problems (hypothetical fact scenarios - HFS), albeit at a more advanced level, with an expectation of legal research and consideration of laws/ethics from an international perspective (Scenario 3). This assessment is the second step in acquiring and demonstrating the skill of legal argumentation, which is set as a discipline-specific skill with which to enhance your writing abilities, as well as to provide a deeper understanding of the workings of law for commerce (ULOs 1, 2, 3 and 4/ GLOs 1, 3, 4 and 8).  

Tackling hypothetical real life legal problems will enable you to understand how laws are applied and from where certain rules of law are derived, and this will allow you manage risk as a business manager/ executive and also understand that risk from the perspective of a client or consumer. 

Context/Scenario

For this task (like all your HFS questions), assume you are a lawyer, giving advice to a potential client, about their legal rights and obligations in relation to their situation (you should tell the client about all the possibilities, and then advise what is more likely to occur if the case goes to court).  Scenario 3 involves principles from the UN Global Compact, which are not binding, however you are expected to address how those legal/ethical principles might influence a decision maker from the perspective of the parties in that case.

Specific Requirements 

Your task is to provide interpretation and analysis of the legal issues posed in the case studies (HFS), drawing on the legal principles covered in Topics 3, 4 and 5. These scenarios (except for Scenario 3) are based broadly on your course materials from these topics; however, further research (beyond the textbook) for all scenarios will most definitely enhance the quality of your submission and help you to score a high grade for this assessment. You must correctly reference (Harvard referencing) for this assessment.

Please do not reference power point slides. Cite cases in full (you may abbreviate using only the first name after the first full citation), but you need not cite the source of the case. In other words, if you research the facts from our textbook or the library database such as Westlaw AU, you only need to cite the cases, not the textbook or the website.

The overall word count for this assessment is 1500 words (including in-text citations, headings, sub-headings – but not including the references in the reference list). There is NO leeway for this assessment. In other words, please ensure the maximum word count is 1500. Submissions beyond the word count may be penalised. 

*** You cannot access the dropbox for this assessment until you have completed the Legal Research for Commerce Module in the Content tab in CloudDeakin***

Scenario 1

James Jones is a very wealthy investment banker living in Sydney.  After separating from his wife of 40 years, Jones befriended a young Bolivian, Isabella Sanchez, living in La Paz, online via a dating app, in March 2021.  Isabella was only 19 years old, from a relatively poor family, and had only completed primary school education before starting to work as a cleaner.  Isabella only spoke very basic English.  Despite this, their online relationship blossomed over the course of a year, and Jones decided that he wanted to marry Isabella.  Isabella moved to Sydney in February 2022, with the wedding set for June, 2022.  In May, only two weeks from the wedding day, Jones told Isabella that they needed to visit his lawyer to sign an agreement, explaining to Isabella that if she did not agree to signing the documents, that the wedding would not go ahead.  Isabella agreed to sign the agreement.  The following day Jones took Isabella to a different lawyer to view the agreement.   The lawyer advised Isabella at that time that she should not sign the agreement, because it would provide little benefit to Isabella if she were to divorce Jones.  Isabella felt that she had no choice but to sign the agreement; especially with the wedding approaching so quickly.  She signed the agreement and the wedding went ahead.  Three months into the marriage Isabella became aware that Jones had been cheating on her so she decides that she wants to leave him and Australia to return to Bolivia.  Isabella has come to you for advice on the validity of the pre-nuptial agreement.  She reveals to you that she also signed a similar document three weeks into her marriage with Jones, after he locked her in a room and threatened to beat her if she did not sign.    

Advise Isabella.

Please use case law to support your answer. (10 marks)

Note: Research is required for this scenario. You may rely on the course materials to answer this question but it is expected that you also research beyond the course materials..  

Suggested word count: 500 to 600 words

Scenario  2

Piermont Hotels Pty Ltd (PH) owns the Buccaneer Hotel in Mornington, Victoria.  PH decided in November 2020 that it would like to sell the Buccaneer to further their investment interests in hospitality businesses closer to Melbourne city.  PH signed a contract with Triumphant Hotel Group (THG) for the sale of the Buccaneer in December 2020, which stated that the settlement of the contract would take place on 29th July 2021.  Just before the settlement date, THG contacted PH to inform PH that they were not willing to follow through with the completion because the contracted sale value of the Buccaneer Hotel had been severely diminished due to the Covid-19 pandemic public health orders issued by the Victorian government.  The contract of sale provided the following clause 48:

From the date of this contract until Completion, the Vendor must carry on the Business in the usual and  ordinary course as regards its nature, scope and manner and repair and maintain the Assets in the same manner as repaired and maintained as at the date of this Contract and use reasonable endeavours to ensure all items on the Inventory are in good repair and in proper working order having regard to their condition at the date of this Contract, fair wear and tear excepted."

THG argued that since the recent restrictions the Buccaneer had laid off many staff and were only selling food and beverages for pickup and delivery.  For this reason PH had not fulfilled their contractual obligations under Cl.48.  PH responded to this by serving a notice of completion on THG.  THG refused to complete the contract.

At trial the court decided in favour of PH that THG had no grounds to avoid the contract.  There has been a long delay since that hearing but the case is now in the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal.  

Advise PH.

Please use case law to support your answer. (10 marks)

Note: Research is required for this scenario. You may rely on the course materials to answer this question but it is expected that you also research beyond the course materials..  

Suggested word count: 500 to 600 words

Scenario  3

Joan is a junior manager of Solar Storage Ltd. (SCL), a solar battery installation and service company in Melbourne.  SCL sources its batteries and parts from its overseas suppliers, one in India (OneSun), and one from China (Yangyong Ltd).   When visiting the outskirts of Chennai on a recent business trip to meet her suppliers, Joan became aware of a local newspaper article about protests occurring outside OneSun’s rural battery factory.  Local rights activists were protesting against child and forced labour in the factory.   The batteries from OneSun are significantly cheaper than those produced by YangYong, but are also comparable in quality.  Yangyong has a good reputation among battery manufacturers globally, and is known to pay its workers fairly and work with local communities.  Joan has been under pressure by the other owners of SCL to keep costs down, so she is conflicted about the situation.  She calls her direct manager about the situation, who tells Joan to simply find the reporter and pay them to stop reporting on OneSun’s factory.  Joan is not comfortable with this approach.   

Imagine that you work for Global Compact Network Australia, and are presenting to small to medium size businesses (SMCs) in Melbourne.  Drawing on your experience and understanding of the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, how would you advise Joan about her situation.  More specifically, which Principles would you advise Joan pay specific attention to, when Joan asks you how she should approach the situation with OneSun and their factory.

Please cite specific aspects of the principles in your advice.

Note: Research is required for this scenario. The course materials WILL NOT be sufficient to complete an answer for this scenario because of the global perspectives component, which is not taught formally.  This particular question focuses specifically on ULO4 – which requires students to recognise that international legal standards have a bearing on commercial practises in Australia.

Suggested word count: 200 to 300 words

Please note that the facts provided in the hypothetical fact situations are purely fictional and any similarity to real life events are purely coincidental.  You are not expected to consider any other related laws or legislation, only legal principles from the set Topics.

 

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  • Posted on : April 17th, 2023
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