Home > Professional Skills Practice

Professional Skills Practice

Question: “Yes, intercepting voicemails is a crime and it's an invasion of personal privacy, but it's not the most serious crime and nor in most cases is it even at the more serious end of the scale of possible privacy infringements.” Discuss.

K. Mathieson, “Phone hacking in the UK: distinguishing the truth from the hyperbole” (2011) Ent. L.R. 167

Interception of Voice mails - PSP Assignment

An assignment that looks at the Interception of Voicemails and the extent to which it qualifies as a serious crime.

Answer: With the Media giant; News International admitting to intercepting calls and voicemails belonging to the rich and famous; the dead and the missing and those with political influence, one asks: “When does...

Read more of the answer →

Details: - Mark: 69% | Course: Professional Skills Practice | Year: 1st | Words: 1603 | References: Yes | Date written: November, 2011 | Date submitted: December 05, 2011 | Coursework ID: 702

Question: Module code and title: LW4004 Legal Method & Skills

Review the passage below and then correct the referencing and citations by using footnotes. You should also correct the formatting of quotations and include a bibliography.

Note: You are not required to comment on the actual content of the following passage, which has been drafted to provide practice in footnote referencing, formatting quotations, and writing a bibliography correctly.

Passage: Save for contracts to create of transfer interests in land, which are required to be in writing (as per the 1989 Law of Property Miscellaneous Provisions Act, section 2 subsection 1), the traditional view is that there are only three requirements for a valid contract in English law; an agreement, an intention to create legal relations and consideration from both parties.
In Currie v Misa (1875 LR10 Ex 153) Justice Lush stated at para. 162 “a valuable consideration in the sense of the law, may consist of either in some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss, or responsibility, given, suffered, or undertaken by the other.”
The doctrine of consideration is the embodiment of the idea that English Law will only enforce bargains, not mere promises that are given ‘for free’. Each party must ‘give’ or ‘provide’ something in return for the promise given otherwise there is no enforceable contract.
As Ewan Mckendrick points out in Contract Law, Text Cases and Materials (Chapter 5 , p147) consideration is an important distinguishing feature between contract law in civil jurisdictions and common law jurisdictions.
However, this clearly does not justify the doctrine and there are plenty who would question the place of the doctrine in the modern law. In an article entitled ‘Judicial reform of privity and consideration’ (Journal of Business Law, November 1986 , 466-473. Para. 466 & 467), Edward Jacobs offered two fundamental criticisms that are arguably still a problem today. First, the law as stated in textbooks and in some of the judgments in the area do not reflect how it would actually be applied in the courts. Secondly, even if this was not the case and the law was applied in accordance with the doctrinal theory, it would still not work satisfactorily.
Ewan Mckendrick (as per the reference above) highlights 5 criticisms of the doctrine: (i) it narrows down too far the scope of promises that can be enforceable, (ii) it has become too technical, (iii) it has become divorced from commercial reality, (iv) it is difficult to reconcile with modern theoretical models of contract law and (v) that it is over-broad and its work could be done by more specific doctrines (such as duress).
One example of the problem of the doctrine becoming too technical is in the area ‘Pre-existing duties’. Although the traditional view that an obligation already owed to someone cannot be good consideration (Stilk v Myrick (1809)) seems clear, subsequent cases have muddied the waters. Williams and Roffey [1991] is perhaps the best example of how the law has developed in an unsatisfactory, over complicated way. In Williams, Mr Williams was already under a contractual obligation to Roffey Bros. (Roffey) to carry out carpentry works as part of more general renovation works relating to several flats, but due to financial difficulties could not complete them. To ensure that they were completed on time (which was important to Roffey) Roffey agreed to pay an additional sum per flat on top of the original agreed price. Accordingly, Williams did not appear to be giving anything in return for this new promise by Roffey but still sought damages for money he said he was owed as a result of the agreement to pay an additional amount. As stated by Anne Street on the University of London International Programmes Undergraduate Laws Programme blog (http://laws.londoninternational.ac.uk/2014/12/29/consideration-part-2/ accessed on 15th September 2016), ‘any good law student given the facts of Williams v Roffey Bros would have made a reasonable conclusion that the claim by Mr Williams was doomed to failure’ . However (clearly to the surprise of those law students) Williams was found to have conferred a ‘practical’ benefit in agreeing to complete the contract on time, despite the fact that this was a pre-existing obligation. As a result the law has become unclear as to what will and what won’t be a ‘practical’ benefit for the purpose of valid consideration.
In defence of the doctrine M Chen-Wishart justifies the requirement of consideration as a reaction to ‘our deep instinct for reciprocity; an instinct which enhances co-operation and division of labour, whilst preserving the social equilibrium…. By requiring the reciprocation to be explicit, the consideration doctrine keeps the state away from the private domain where external coercion would distort the practice of gift-giving and so destroy much which is valuable about it’
As long ago as 1937 that the Law Revision Committee suggested the doctrine of consideration should be significantly re-considered (6th Interim Report of the Law Revision Committee (statue of frauds and the doctrine of consideration), Cmnd. 5449 (1937) and despite the arguments of a few academics, to my mind the case for change is stronger now given more recent developments in the law and in commercial practices than it was in 1937.
It is also clear from the non-binding treaty on the Principles of European Contract Law that the direction of travel in the commercial world outside of England and Wales is away from a requirement of consideration. For example, the treaty provides at Art. 2:101(2) provides that ‘a contract is concluded if: (a) the parties intend to be legally bound, and (b) they reach a sufficient agreement, without any further requirement.

Answer: Save for contracts to create of transfer interests in land, which are required to be in writing, as per the ‘Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act’, the traditional view is that there...

Read more of the answer →

Details: - Mark: Not available | Course: Professional Skills Practice | Year: 1st | Words: 1103 | References: Yes | Date written: November, 2016 | Date submitted: November 28, 2016 | Coursework ID: 992

New user?

Registering is fast
and easy

Welcome back

Gain access

  1. Register with us
  2. Pay for instant access
  3. Or submit 3 pieces
    of your work for
    free access


Adobe Reader is required to access all coursework & essays. (pdf)
PayPal handles payments on our behalf. All major credit cards and currencies accepted.
A PayPal account is not nessesary.