Constitutions may be ‘written’ or ‘unwritten’, and unlike the majority of states, the British constitution is largely unwritten and uncondified. Allied to their written or unwritten character, constitutions may also be classified as rigid or flexible. A rigid constitution is one in which amendment is very difficult, requiring special procedures to be employed before any changes can be made. By contrast, the British constitution is essentially flexible. Parliament – the supreme law-making body within the United Kingdom may theoretically alter the constitution at will, although in practical terms this can only be done with the support of the people. Where constitutions were devised by their founders as a complete statement of arrangements for the future, it will generally be difficult to amend them. For example, in the USA, the constitution of 1787 requires that for any amendment, the proposal must have been made by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress (the Senate and the House of Representatives) and also approved by a three-quarters majority of all the State legislatures. For this reason it is particularly difficult to amend a written constitution: it is ‘rigid’, rather than ‘flexible’ in nature.
Public or Administrative Law deals with complaints mechanisms and legal mechanisms designed to regulate the relationships between citizens and state organisations carrying out government business that directly affects the interests of the individual. The principal areas discussed below are Judicial Review and the various Commissioners such as The Parliamentary Commissioner for England and Wales and the Equal Opportunities Commissioners. During the past century, there have been an ever-increasing number of administrative tribunals, making decisions in specialised fields – such as immigration, tax, social security, pensions and education. Administrative Tribunals are established by an Act of Parliament, which regulates their function and jurisdiction. In broad terms, they are concerned with the legality of the exercise of governmental power in defined fields. Government has allocated to administrative tribunals the task of determining a large number of disputes.
Crimes are characterised, and are distinguished from other acts or omissions which may give rise to legal proceedings, by the prospect of state punishment. It is this latter feature which distinguishes the criminal law from the civil law and other methods of social control such as community morality. The formal threshold at which the criminal law intervenes is when the conduct in question has a sufficiently deleterious social impact to justify the state, rather than any individual affected, taking on the mantle of the injured party. In a sense, then, the rules of criminal law are contingent. The contingency may be the enduring and universal need to ensure that human beings treat each other as human beings rather than as objects. Or, from another perspective, it may be to secure the continuity of existing patterns of power. Often, however, the contingency is nothing more than historical accident, owing little to enduring themes of human depravity or class and much more to political expediency.
Private law is a pervasive phenomenon of our social life, a silent but ubiquitous participant in our most common transactions. It regulates the property we own and use, the injuries we inflict or avoid inflicting contracts we make or break. It is the public repository of our most deeply embedded intuitions about justice and personal responsibility. Private law is also among the first subjects that prospective lawyers study. Its position in law school curricula indicates the consensus of law teachers that private law is the most elementary manifestation of law, its reasoning paradigmatic of legal thinking, and its concepts presupposed in more complex forms of legal organization. Consequently, an inquiry into how we are to understand private law opens onto the broadest vistas of legal theory and practice. At issue are the nature of legal justification, the limits of the judicial role and judicial competence, the difference between private law and other kinds of legal ordering, the relationship of juridical to ethical considerations, and the viability of our most basic legal arrangements.
A Contract is a legally binding agreement. That is an agreement which will be enforced by the courts. Sir William Anson, in his Principles of the Law of Contract defined a contract as “Legally binding agreement made between two or more persons, by whom rights are acquired by one or more to acts or forbearances on the part of the other or others” More domestics or social agreements are not usually intended to be binding, and therefore are not contracts. Ex: A promise by a husband keeping allowance to his wife does not create a contract. When making a contract there are few things must be prove those are.
An offer may be oral, written, or implied from conduct. An implied offer is made by a bus company when it sends its buses along the street and steps them at fixed places to let people get on. An offer may be specific to a particular person or group, or general. A specific offer can normally be accepted only by the person to whom it was made. A general offer can be accepted by anyone and usually without prior notification of acceptance. The offer must be communicated to the offeree before it can be accepted. Thous, if a seaman helps to navigate a ship home without informing the owners in advance he cannot insist on payment, since the owners have not had notice of his offer, and therefore no opportunity to accept or reject it.
Acceptance may be oral, written or implied from conduct. But if a particular manner of acceptance is required the offered must accept in that manner. Elison v Henshaw. Acceptance must be unqualified and must correspond in every detail with the terms of the offer. A counter offer or conditional acceptance operates as a rejection of the offer and causes it to lapse. Thus, Where a house is offered for sale at 1000A£ and the offeree offers A£950 the offer lapses. Similarly a conditional acceptance subject to a formal contract being drawn up causes lapse of offer. There must be active acceptance more passive intension to accept is ineffective. Thus, an offered by letters counting the words.
“If I hear no more, I shall consider the horse is mine” is incapable on its own of constituting its own acceptance. There must be some positive act by the offeree.
A binding contract is usually in the nature of a commercial bargain, involving some exchange of goods or services for a price. But even such a bargain will not be legally binding if the practise do not intend it to be so, Ex : do not intend to create legal relations. Thus, if a written commercial agreement describes itself merely as an “honourable pledge” and states expressly that it is not “to be subject to the jurisdiction of any court” it is clear that the parties do not intend to create legal relations and the agreement is not a contract.
The legal capability to form a binding contract. A number of classes of people lack contractual capacity, and these include minors, the mentally challenged, those under the influence of an intoxicating substance and incarcerated convicts.
The courts will not enforce a simple contract unless it is supported by valuable consideration, which is therefore an essential element of most contracts. It has been defined as “The price for which a promise is bought” – Sir Fredrick Pollock Consideration itself means “Some right interest, Profit or benefit accruing to one party or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other” Currie Misa Consideration therefore means the element of exchange in a bargain and in order to satisfy the requirement of English la it must be voluble Ex: Something which is capable of being valued in terms of money or money’s worth however slight. And Contract should be obey the public law and offeree cannot force to other party to accept the contact.
The Norman French word “tort” means simply a wrong. In England law it is used to denote wrongs committed by one citizen against another, serious enough to merit the word of compensation to the injured person, but not serious enough to amount to breaches of the criminal law. The law of torts is therefore concerned with civil liability as distinct from criminal liability. Early English law like most primitive systems made no distinctions between crimes and civil liabilities. Certain acts were regarded as wrong and were punished by the local community of which the offender was a member. Later as the central government grew stronger the Norman kings set up Royal courts which took over the punishment of the more serious offences against law and order, these more serious offence came to be called crimes. Less serious offences were still only punishable by local courts at the suit of the person injured. During the later middle Ages, The Royal, or Common Law, courts took over the jurisdiction of these local courts but adopted the principles that such lesser offence, called “torts” should be punishable only at the suit of the injured party. Distinction between Crime and Tort Series wrongs are called crimes and are punished by the state. Lesser wrongs are called torts and are not punished by the state. Instead compensation in the form of damages is awarded to the injured party, after the offender has been sued by the person he has injured. The damages awarded by the court are paid by the offender to the injured person Scope of Torts Civil Liability The law of torts is sometimes called the law of civil liability.
It covers most cases of injury, falling short of crime and not arising from breaches of contract or of trust.
Assault: an attempt or threat to apply force to the person of another, whereby he is put in reasonable fear of parent violence Battery: means touching another however slightly, directly or with a missile woth hostile intent and against his will. False Imprisonment: an unauthorized total deprivation of the freedom of another, with or without his knowledge.
Trespass land means without lawful justification entering or remaining on land in the possession of the plaintiff, or depositing any material object thereon.
Trespass lies for direct injuries to person or property and is generally actionable. Nuisance lies for indirect injures.
Public Nuisance: An unlawful act or omission which endangers, inconveniences, or damages the public in the law exercise of rights common to all. As well asa a tort. An individual can sue for the tort of public nuisance only if he can show he has suffered some damage beyond that suffered by the public as a whole. Privet Nuisance : Some unjustifiable use of one’s own property which causes damage to the property of another, or some unauthorized interference with another’s enjoyment of his property causing damage.
In Law negligence can mean merely a state of mind in which certain torts can be committed. a separate tort developed since the beginning of the 19th century The tort of negligence means breach by the defendant of a legal duty of care, which causes damage to the plaintiff. Negligence is the widest and most rapidly expanding tort today.
In some cases the law imposes strict limits on a man’s freedom of conduct and if he exceeds those limits he does so at his own peril. If his action results in any damages to another the defendant is absolutely liable, irrespective of any fault or negligence on his part. .
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