3.1 public and private law


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3.1 public and private law

  1. 1. Classification of LawPUBLIC LAW
  2. 2. Criminal Law Administrative Law Constitutional Law Public Law refers to the “general standards of behaviour expected in society” 3 BRANCHES OF PUBLIC LAW
  3. 3. Laws (usually statute-based) restricting behaviours which “harm” all members of society CRIMINAL LAW Classifications Examples Crimes against the state Terrorism; treason Crimes against persons Murder; assault; rape Economic crimes (“white collar”) Tax evasion; fraud; computer hacking Drug offences Possession (eg: of marijuana) Driving offences Speeding; running red light Public order offences Riot; public drunkenness Crimes against property Theft; vandalism
  4. 4. Relating to operation of the government and its different departments  Eg: Education Act 1990 (NSW)  Sets out the structure of the Board of Studies and establishes the Board‟s powers ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
  5. 5. Relating to: Division of Powers (Federal / State laws) Separation of Powers (Parliament, Executive, Judicature) High Court hears challenges ACT marriage equality Malaysia “solution” Cases must be brought to the High Court‟s attention (High Court cannot decide to investigate) CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
  6. 6. Classification of LawPRIVATE LAW
  7. 7. Property Law Contract Law Tort Law (aka Civil Wrongs) Private Law refers to the “legal relations between individuals and/or organisations” Often referred to as “civil law” 3 BRANCHES OF PRIVATE LAW
  8. 8. Regulates the processes involved in buying or selling any items  Eg: Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) Fair Trading Act 1987 (NSW)  Both laws govern the behaviour of businesses involved in property transactions PROPERTY LAW
  9. 9. Controls behaviour and protects individuals who have created a legally binding agreement with one another Contracts can be written, verbal or implied, but valid contracts must have:  An “invitation to treat”  An “offer”  Consideration (i.e. benefit to both parties)  Acceptance Both parties must enter a contract “in good faith” (i.e. with the intention to act fairly) CONTRACT LAW
  10. 10. NOT criminal matters (even though many people think of them this way) Involve incidents where one person has inconvenienced or breached the rights of another. TORT LAW (CIVIL WRONGS) Negligence Nuisance Trespass Defamation
  11. 11. Common tort Key concept is of „duty of care‟ Everyone has some legal responsibility to ensure that they do not cause harm to others or their property Established through the case Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) [the snail in the bottle] NEGLIGENCE
  12. 12. DonoghuevStevenson (1932)  Mrs Donoghue met a friend in a café; the friend bought drinks for them both – ginger beer.  The café owner poured some ginger beer into Donoghue‟s glass; Donoghue drank this, then poured the rest of the bottle.  A half-rotted snail fell out of the bottle into the glass. Donoghue became physically ill as a result of this.  Donoghue launched legal action against Mr Stevenson, who made the ginger beer.  Because Donoghue did not buy the drink, the initial decision was that she had no contract (either with the café or the manufacturer) so could not sue.  Donoghue appealed, and the case was eventually heard in the British House of Lords
  13. 13. DonoghuevStevenson (1932)–FINALDECISION  The judge decided that individuals should be protected against products which are not of an appropriate standard (and should be able to seek remedy if they are harmed in this way).  The judge also decided that there was an implied contract between Stevenson and Donoghue – it was reasonable for Donoghue to expect that the drink she consumed would be safe, even though she did not purchase it herself.  Stevenson, the softdrink manufacturer, was proven to have a duty of care to produce a product that was safe to drink.
  14. 14. Involves one person interfering with the rights of another Eg: a neighbour playing very loud music late at night (causing a nuisance) Often heard in Community Justice Centres (not courts) NUISANCE
  15. 15. Involves on person interfering with the property of another Usually involves entering someone‟s land without permission Cal also involve trespass against the person (but this will usually fall under Criminal Law) TRESPASS
  16. 16. Involves damaging another person‟s reputation Eg: publishing or broadcasting misleading information about a person AND this information damaging the reputation of that person NOT defamation if: The information is true The person‟s reputation is unharmed (i.e. people don‟t think less of them because of the statement) DEFAMATION