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ACBUS201A Commercial Law Case Study Assessment 3 Questions Answers

ACBUS201A  Commercial Law 


PART A – Case Study – 1000 words (20 marks)

Audrey is employed as the Events Manager for NSW Wealth Managers Association headquartered in Sydney and she has the responsibility for arranging the annual member’s conference. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘investment and superannuation’ and Audrey’s role is to ensure that all of the delegate’s requirements are met including accommodation, food, clothing, and travel.

The annual conference will be held in Surfers Paradise, QLD this year and Audrey has to organise everything.

Audrey starts by looking up the website of XYZ Tours in order to book a bus for the purpose of the delegate’s travel to and from the hotel to the conference centre during the 5 day visit to Surfers Paradise. The website clearly states that all bookings must be online. Audrey telephones the company on 1 February 2020 and has a general discussion with Tommy, the company representative, about the availability of a bus, the dates and prices. She does not specifically confirm a booking or pay a deposit in that conversation.

A week later on 8 February 2020, Audrey posts a letter to XYZ Tours’ office in Surfers Paradise stating that she wishes to proceed with her booking as discussed with Tommy.

In addition to the ‘booking’ that she makes with XYZ Tours, Audrey books all the accommodation and other conference and travel activities through ‘A Class Travel’ a travel agency. In August, Audrey realises that she has not yet organised any of the specially made jackets which the delegates will wear during the conference. She goes to ‘DEX Outfitters” to make these arrangements. She orders the jackets to be made with ‘NSW Wealth Managers Association – Annual Conference 2020’ embroidered on the pocket. Audrey agrees to buy the jackets for $275 each after the shop owner says “Trust me, I have been in business for 20 years and my clothing is made from the finest quality cotton and workmanship. You will have no problems with the clothing. Look at this quality. I promise you that nothing will go wrong.” Audrey is so stressed that she has left things to the last minute and tells the shop owner that if he does not provide the clothing within 14 days she will destroy him and his business. When the clothing finally arrives Audrey discovers the jackets are not made from cotton and the logo says “2010” rather than “2020”.

One week before the delegation is due to travel from Sydney to Surfers Paradise, the QLD Premier declares a state of emergency as a result of the worsening coronavirus pandemic and spreading infections, and decides to close all the borders. All flights are cancelled and all roads into QLD are closed. As a result, all event gatherings are prohibited until further notice.

Required: Based on the above information and your knowledge of Australian contract and consumer law, answer the following questions.

  1. Outline and describe any legal contractual issues in relation to Audrey’s booking with “XYZ Tours” and whether or not she/NSW Wealth Managers Association has/have a contractual arrangement with them. Use relevant cases to support your answer.
  2. Outline and describe whether or not Audrey’s conduct towards the shop owner at ‘DEX Outfitters” has any impact on the contract she has agreed to for the manufacture of the delegate’s jackets. Use relevant cases to support your answer.
  3. Advise Audrey if her contract with ‘A Class Travel’ is enforceable, given the state of emergency declaration, worsening coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of all event gatherings. Use relevant cases to support your answer.
  4. Due to great disappointment following the cancellation of their annual conference in Surfers Paradise, the NSW Wealth Managers Association decides to reschedule the conference to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains region of NSW. Unfortunately this trip is a complete disaster, as the travel agent Audrey used failed to make bookings adequately to accommodate the whole delegation, didn’t book enough tickets to the scenic mountains tour and failed to adequately cater for all attendees at the closing dinner.

With reference to this additional information, outline whether or not Audrey and/or the NSW Wealth Managers Association may sue for damages? Fully explain your answer and use relevant cases to support your answer.

  1. For the purposes of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) discuss whether or not Audrey would be a Consumer in her dealings with ‘DEX Outfitters’.
  2. Has the shop owner of ‘DEX Outfitters’ committed a breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in relation to his statement “Trust me, I have been in business for 20 years and my clothing is made from the finest quality cotton and workmanship. You will have no problems with the clothing. Look at this quality. I promise that nothing will go wrong” and the circumstances surrounding the jackets received by Audrey? Use relevant cases to support your answer.

PART B  Research Task  500 words (10 marks)

Is common law and precedent still useful in regulating modern business practices or should we simply use legislation? Discuss this statement by:-

  1. comparing the characteristics of common law and legislation and the role of the courts and legislature in relation to the regulation and facilitation of business conduct; and
  2. contrasting the role of precedent and judges in dispute resolution, in civil law systems.



  1. There was no offer in the prescribed manner between Audrey and XYZ Tours. Audrey had the telephonic conversation with Tommy who was the representative of the Company but she didn’t give her acceptance, so there could not be contract between them. So, the both parties cannot enforce it (Edelman, 2012). In a relevant case of “Entores Ltd v Miles Far East Corporation [1955] EWCA Civ 3”, Lord Denning held that there should be a communicated acceptance to form a valid contract. 

Audrey was the employee of NSW Wealth managers Association, so there was no formation of contract between XYZ Tours and NSW wealth managers Association. Audrey posted a letter for confirmation of booking but according to the policy of XYZ tours, the booking must be online, so the contract cannot be formed.

  1. An agreement was formed between NSW Wealth managers Association and DEX Outfitters for manufacturing the jackets for delegates who will participate in the conference. But the shop owner delivered the goods below the standard and quality as decided at the time of formation of contract. NSW Wealth mangers Association is not bound to accept the performance of the contract. Audrey can repudiate the contract as the shop owner has not abided by the obligations of the contract. This contract would be considered as voidable contract (Twyford, 2007). In a relevant case of The Sibeon and The Sibotre [1976], the negotiated rates were set aside by the parties on the grounds of economic duress.
  2. There was the contract between “A Class Travel” and NSW Wealth Managers Association and it is a valid contract, so the travel agency can enforce the contract but due to supervening impossibility, the contract cannot be enforced before the court. So the booking and facilities can be cancelled as the contract cannot be performed as there was the condition precedent for performance of contract. To deal with such condition, the legal principle of doctrine of frustration can be implemented (Doneley, 2018). In the case of “Dickson v James B. Fraser & Co Ltd [1944] AC 265”, it was stated that if enactment of legislation makes the contract illegal then it can be considered as a cause to frustration of contract. 
  3. There is the breach of contract by the tour agency in making the appropriate arrangements for the accommodation of delegates as the association thought to reschedule the conference at Katoomba in Blue Mountains regions of NSW.  The tour agency breached the contract; hence the association can claim the damages. The association can bring an action for damages for inconvenience made to the delegates due to inappropriate arrangements in the accommodations (Mawdsley, & Cumming, 2008). These damages for the inconvenience in contract can be punitive, compensatory or incidental damages.
  4. There was the valid contract between Audrey and DEX Outfitters for manufacturing of jackets for the delegates who will participate in the conference. So the Audrey on the behalf of NSW Wealth Managers Association is considered as consumer. As per section 3(3)(a), a consumer includes any person who renders the services or supplied the goods of worth $40000 or the goods or services availed or rendered for personal, domestic or household use or any vehicle or trailer acquired for transportation of goods by road. There is one clause that if the goods or services are acquired to resupply or using it in trade or commerce. So the NSW Wealth Managers Association shall be deemed as Consumer (Bowley, 2019).
  5. As per section 54 of ACL, the acceptable quality of goods should be delivered to the consumer. It was described in section 54 (3) (c) (d), for the purpose of matter of acceptable quality, any statement made about the goods or a representation made for their label or packaging by the manufacturer or supplier shall be regarded as the promised quality of goods which should be delivered to the consumer. Here, the shop owner represented that he would manufacture the jackets in the good quality and cotton fabric but he has not provided the goods in the standardized quality as promised at the time of the formation of contract. The shop owner manufactured the goods below the standard quality and embroidered the 2010 instead of 2020. So the shop owner has committed the breach and he would be liable to pay the damages under the contract law as well as consumer law for protection of the rights of consumers (Fleming, 2017).


  1. The Precedents are the judgments or decisions of the higher court which are given by the interpretation of common law provisions and stated after reviewing the present and dynamic conditions of the society. The precedents are also termed as stare decisis.

Common law is also known as case law and depends upon the detailed view of the case studies because the case laws come before the court for the interpretation of law in case of ambiguity in the provisions of the law. This law comes from the opinions and interpretation of judges. The ultimate goal is to set the results by application of standards of interpretation. While the precedent varies according to nature of the case and jurisdiction of the court. The jury interpret a case on the basis of the merits of the case. Common laws are used to formation of new legislations which are to be written.

Hence, the common law and precedent are useful for regulation of modern business practices. Originally, the legislation is applied and then, if there is any ambiguity in the legislation, the jury would analyse the cases and legislation and establish the harmony between the objects of the legislation and the provision of law (Winfield. 2016).

  1. Precedent is the legal case that set up the principle or rule. These rules or principles are used by other judicial bodies or court when deciding the cases. The precedent is the external source of the interpretation of the statutes and it helps to establish the principle interpretated by the jury or judges. In the disputes, the judges analyse each fact minutely and decide the cases by establish the principle or rule. The judges make the precedent for the other judicial bodies or court which are lower in the judicial structure. Precedents are given on the basis of facts of the case and judges analyse the legislation and its relevant provision. Whether there is any preamble or object of the provisions. The judge sees the current scenario of the society and suggest the necessary changes to be made in the legislation. They compare the provisions of the legislation with the current position of the remedies the general public intend to seek from the law (Keeton, 2017).

Hence, the judges play an important role in the interpretation of the provisions of the statutes and apply them in the modern business practice. They made the precedent according to the changes required as the time is changing so the business practices are changing according to the time. The judges made the precedent as per the case require and by applying the principles of the natural law of justice and give the remedies according to the common law. The legislatures are responsible to make the laws according to the nature of the law (Eldridge, 2019).

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