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Law Assignment: Statutory Interpretation and Solicitor's Ethical Duties

Question 1: Statutory Interpretation and Road Traffic Act 1988

Complete All three Questions - Question 1 is worth 40% of the overall marks. Question 2 is worth 50% of the overall marks. Question 3 is worth 10% of the overall marks. Questions 1 and 2 must be fully and accurately referenced and contain a bibliography for each answer. Work is assessed on the basis of research and sources used, referencing, structure, clarity of presentation including grammar and spelling, and accuracy of content.

1. Many road traffic offences are set out in the Road Traffic Act 1988. For example, a person is guilty of an offence if they drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit contrary to the Road Traffic Act 1988 s 5(1)(a). Similarly, a person is guilty of an offence if they drive a motor vehicle on a road while disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence to drive contrary, to the Road Traffic Act 1988 s 103(1) (b). 

Write an essay on statutory interpretation explaining how “road” and “road or other public place” are defined under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and how the courts in Scotland have interpreted these terms in at least three and no more than five Scottish cases.  You should also explain the rules of statutory interpretation in your answer and state which rules you consider the courts used in reaching the decisions. Your answer should also include reference to a journal article published in a UK law journal. (40 marks) (800 words)

2. Ronni is a newly qualified solicitor employed by Law Firm of Stipe, Mills and Buck LLP (SMB LLP) in their office in Edinburgh.  She is part of the commercial law team acting for SWALTMAC the biggest supermarket chain in the UK. Representatives of the company have instructed SMB LLP to renegotiate all their existing contracts with their Scottish suppliers to increase the time permitted for SWALTMAC to pay their accounts from 30 days to 120 days. If the supplier does not wish to agree to the change, then the contract will be terminated, and the supplier will be ‘free to take their business elsewhere’. There is no economic necessity for the changes, but SWALTMAC are under pressure from major shareholders to increase its dividend payments. SWALTMAC currently has a 75% share of the UK market and is already highly profitable. SWALTMAC’s instructions are lawful.

Ronni is privately very concerned about and opposed to the client’s intentions. She comes from a rural area in which many of the local farms supply milk, fruit and vegetables for supermarkets including SWALTMAC. She understands how dependent they are on the contracts for their survival and the stresses the suppliers face. Her parents run their own business, not connected to supermarkets, and she is aware of the importance of cash flow. She has read of otherwise viable businesses failing because they were not paid regularly by their customers and is concerned that the same thing could happen to people, she knows. Ronni asks you as her senior colleague and mentor whether it is possible for her to act ethically in her role as solicitor for SWALTMAC, and whether she should tell anyone about their plans to change the contract which could leave many small and medium sized businesses facing ruin.

As her mentor, advise Ronni of her duties to her client with reference to the Law Society of Scotland Practice Rules and any other relevant authority and whether she is permitted to disclose the information to anyone. Do those duties enable or prevent a solicitor from acting in accordance with deontological or consequentialist ethical theory? (800 words) (50 marks)

Question 3

Write a 250-word reflective statement explaining how you have learned to use OSCOLA to attribute your sources this semester, and why it is important for law students to use OSCOLA or any other recognised system of referencing 

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