This Assignment comprises two compulsory hypothetical problems
Problem 1: Suppose you are a Magistrate presiding over the Armidale Local Court. You hear the facts of a case, which are as follows. Mrs Andrews and a friend went into a local café in Armidale. The friend ordered a gingerbread latte for both of them. When their orders were delivered, both consumed their lattes. However, Mrs Andrews became alarmed when she noticed a dead cockroach at the bottom of the glass of her latte. Mrs Andrews has brought a claim against the owner of the café for negligently causing her to suffer severe gastro-enteritis and nervous shock.
As a Magistrate, can you use any binding and/or persuasive precedents to hold the owner of the café liable? Explain how the precedents that you have used are relevant to the facts of this case.
Problem 2: Assume, hypothetically, that the following Act exists. Road Safety Act 2017, which contains the following sections: An Act to protect public safety on the roads; to amend or repeal certain legislation; and for other purposes. [Assented to 1 February 2017] 3 Objects of Act The objects of this Act are:
to protect public safety on the roads, … 4 Definitions In this Act “traffic sign” shall include all signals, warnings, signposts, direction posts, or devices. 2 48 Endangering public Any person who deliberately obscures any traffic sign or any part of a traffic sign shall be guilty of an offence.
Penalty: $200 fine and/or disqualification of driver’s licence for up to six months. Sam was a keen motorist and also a practical joker. She decided she would like to have a bit of a joke one day so she acquired some yellow phosphorescent paint and painted some rude drawings on a number of large white diamonds which had been painted on the road to warn motorists that they were approaching a pedestrian crossing. She was just about to finish the drawing on the seventh diamond when she was apprehended by the police and charged under s 48 of the Road Safety Act.
You are a solicitor and Sam now seeks your assistance. What advice would you give her? In providing your advice to Sam, you should keep in mind that Section 15AA of the Commonwealth Acts Interpretation Act 1901 provides:
In interpreting a provision of an Act, an interpretation that would best achieve the purpose or object of the Act (whether or not that purpose or object is expressly stated in the Act) is to be preferred to each other interpretation.