Home > law, seng4921 > SENG4921 – Lec 05 – Introduction to Law and Contracts

SENG4921 – Lec 05 – Introduction to Law and Contracts

There are two sources of law.

  • Statutory Law:
    In Australia Statutory Law is written law set down by parliament. Before a law can come into force, the Bill must pass through both Houses of Parliament.
  • Common Law:
    “Common law refers to law and the corresponding legal system developed through decisions of courts and similar tribunals (called case law), rather than through legislative statutes or executive action.
    Common law is law created and refined by judges: a decision in a currently pending legal case depends on decisions in previous cases and affects the law to be applied in future cases. When there is no authoritative statement of the law, judges have the authority and duty to make law by creating precedent.” –Wikipedia

Statutory law trumps common law.

In Australia, the legal system can be broadly classified into 4 different jurisdictions:

  • Criminal Jurisdiction
  • Civil Jurisdiction
    • Contract Law
    • Tort Law
  • Administrative Jurisdiction
  • Equity

Litigation refers to the process of a lawsuit (when you take someone to court).

  • The burden is on the party bringing the action (the Plaintiff)
  • Litigation can be costly and something to be avoided
  • Consider mediation and arbitration for civil matters

Punitive damages (in contrast to compensatory damages) are damages not awarded in order to compensate the plaintiff, but in order to reform or deter the defendant and similar persons from pursuing a course of action such as that which damaged the plaintiff.

In the area of Contract Law, clicking an OKAY button on a webpage or during installation is legally binding!

In the lecture we took a look at the Microsoft Windows Vista License Agreement. Though I think the iPhone License Agreement is worth taking a look at too.

References

Ho. Peter S. 2009. Introduction to Law and Contracts.

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