Archive for January 4th, 2012

Law of Contract online book & recorded lectures

Law of Contract

I have published my Law of Contract text online for some years.  I am updating it now to include some caselaw from 2010 -2011 and plan to complete the series of recorded lectures for each chapter shortly.

It is FREE to read and download. The lecture widget takes about 20 seconds to load where there is a lecture for the topic.


1. What is a Contract

2. Intention to create legal relations

3. Offer

4, Acceptance

5. Consideration

6. Promissory Estoppel

7. Terms of the Contract

8. Exclusion Clauses and the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

9. Remedies for Breach of Contract

10. Misrepresentation

11. Product Liability

12. Mistake

13. Illegality and Restraint of trade

14. Discharge of Contracts by Breach, agreement, Frustration

15. Waiver and Promissory Estoppel

16. Duress and Undue Influence

17. Key cases


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Guilty of murder

Inevitably, there was a hint of knee-jerking on twitter  at the ‘short’ sentences handed down to Dobson and Norris for their part in the murder of Stephen Lawrence.  One can understand the views expressed by some that the sentences were too short.

A number of points arise:  (1) The judge made it clear that he was constrained by Parliament. (2) The judge had to sentence on the basis of their juvenile status when the murder was committed (c) Article 7 European Convention on Human Rights  prohibits retrospective punishment, that is punishment using law which was not applicable at the time of the crime. – the sentences had to reflect the law prior to the change in 2003.

Mr Justice Treacy made it clear that he was obliged to give reduced sentences reflecting the juvenile status of Dobson and Norris,  applying the law applicable at the time of the murder 19 years ago and  noting that no discount could be given for contrition, no contrition being shown.

It is important to note that the sentences are ‘life sentences’ – or ‘detained at her Majesty’s Pleasure’ in the case of juveniles. This means that the sentences of 14-15 years to be served as a minimum (lower than the minimum of  30 for an adult under the law today for a racially aggravated murder) while apparently short, may not prove to be in practice.  Commentators have observed that automatic parole will not be applicable because of the lack of contrition. They have also noted that it is rare for parole to be given at the first opportunity.  Further, the Parole Board will not release a prisoner on licence if they form the view that the prisoner continues to be a danger to the public. It is argued that the racism of Dobson and Norris is embedded in their personalities and this will be a significant factor for the Parole Board.  It is likely that Dobson and Norris will serve more than the minimum sentences handed down – perhaps significantly more?

Adam Wagner, writing in the Guardian, has an excellent analysis.

Mr Justice Treacy’s sentencing remarks

Change in double jeopardy law led to Gary Dobson’s retrial

Joshua Rozenberg explains the change to the double jeopardy law: Change to rule allowed Dobson to be retried for Stephen Lawrence’s murder

Stephen Lawrence murder: reaction to sentencing of Gary Dobson and David Norris

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Metal Company Prosecuted after Worker Loses Hand
BY first4lawyers.com

RDB Fabrication and Engineering Limited, a metal fabrication firm based in Bradford, has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive, following an accident at work involving one of its employees.

Appearing at Halifax Magistrates’ Court, the company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000, after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, which states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken which are effective (a) to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”

The accident occurred when 22-year-old worker, Jamie Raynor, was operating a hydraulic press brake when the top pressing tool came crashing down on his arm. The tool sliced through Mr Raynor’s wrist and completely severed his hand. The casual worker suffered the accident after the firm requested he attend work on the Saturday in order to maintain productivity levels.

An investigation by the medical negligence executive, revealed that RDB Fabrication and Engineering Limited had failed to ensure that an electronic motion guard, designed to stop the movement of the machine in the event of a person entering the danger zone, was working properly. In the event, the guard failed to operate correctly as Mr Raynor extended his arm into the machine.

Personal injury claims involving accidents in the manufacturing industry are common in the UK, with many such accident claims arising after employees have been exposed to dangerous or moving components of machinery. Until employers take their health and safety obligations more seriously, accidents of the kind endured by Mr Raynor will continue to occur.

Paul Newton, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, said: “A young man has had his life changed forever by a terrible, avoidable accident. The dangers of working with press brakes are well known in the industry and there have been many instances of workers being seriously injured.”

Mr Newton added: “That’s why these machines are fitted with guards to prevent access to the danger zone. In this case, the company’s failure to ensure these guards were effective had tragic consequences. Contact with moving machinery is one of the main causes of fatal injuries to workers and the third highest cause of major injuries. I hope this serves as a reminder to employers of the importance of safeguarding their employees.”

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