Geoffery Jack vs Wessex City Council - Coursework Example

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The study explores the case of Geoffery Jack vs Wessex City Council. It would aim at answering these research questions: What were the material facts in the case? Which technique(s) of statutory interpretation, rules of language and/or presumptions that Lord Hoffmann employed in the case?…
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Geoffery Jack vs Wessex City Council
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Download file to see previous pages According to the research findings, it can, therefore, be said that the legal issues, in this case, were as follows: first, the council argued that under Section 41(1) of the Highways Act 1980 it was only under a duty to maintain the highway and this duty did not extend to, as Mr. Jack alleged, keeping the road free of snow and frost at all times. Second, the issue was to construe the exact meaning of the word “maintenance” and whether it could contain the duty to keep the snow and ice off the road. Third, the issue was the scope of the duty that had to be attributed to the local authority to maintain the highway. Was it an absolute duty? Was it based on negligence on nuisance? Fourth, whether the council at that point in time when the accident occurred was under a duty to maintain (meaning according to the one decided upon earlier) and did it breach that duty. It is likely that Lord Hoffman stuck to the literal rule of interpretation. When construing the meaning of the word “maintenance” he laid down the possible meanings of this word, alluding to “repair” whether that included maintenance or not. But he also mentions in line 218 that regardless of what meaning is attributed to the word “maintain” the material issue in this question is that of whether the council had a duty to ensure that no ice has been present on the road that morning. The purposive rule is seen applied where Lord Hoffman tries to observe the intention of the parliament (or the draftsman) and looks at the entire historical context to hold that as far as maintenance was concerned, the council was already carrying that out. In rules of language, it could be said that Lord Hoffman made use of the ‘Ejusdem Generis’ as he quoted different meaning of maintenance in line 44. In determining whether a duty existed or not, the court clearly applies literal rule in holding that the council did not owe a duty to make sure that there was no snow – and it held that a duty to maintain only includes maintaining the fabric of the road and not to make sure no snow was ever present on the surface. Lastly, from line 156 to line 190 the court seems to be operating on the presumption that the common law has not changed and no legislation (1959 or 1980) purposed to change the common law, instead of subsequent acts only codified it. There is evidence that Lord Hoffman referred to the long title of the Highway Act 1980 and that constitutes an intrinsic aid in statutory interpretation. Other intrinsic aids that he alluded to were the definitional section contained in the act itself. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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