A legal principle or a legal doctrine is a set of rules or a systematic which is often precedently established in the common law. It forms a basis through which a judgment can be made in a legal case. In the case of Steven vs. Mr. Brodribb, it was established that the both Mr. Gray and Steven were independent contractors contracted by Mr. Brodribb to perform a given piece of work. In the second case of Hollis vs. Vabu, Hollis had been contracted by the Vabu Company as a courier. However, his contract was a contract of service as opposed to Mr. Grays and Stevens contracts which were contracts for service.
Thus according to the case law, the following principles of contract can be clearly identified and understood in order to make an informed and a fair judgment. 1) Agreement Most importantly is an agreement between the parties involved. There should a clear and definite offer made by one party which should in turn be agreed upon by the other party. Thus both the employer and the contractor ought to arrive at a precise agreement before signing the contract. 2) Capacity The Australian law expects that both parties in a contract should bear the necessary mental understanding on what they are supposed to do.
According to common law, as much as anyone has the right to get into a contract agreement, some groups of people are considered not to bear the full capacity to do so to a given extend. These include; Persons under the age of eighteen, people with mental impairment (includes any disability in intellectual reasoning), drugs abusers and alcoholics. However, for one to avoid a contract on grounds of mental incapacity, it should be evident to the other party that the person in question was unable to understand the terms of agreement during the time of signing the contract.
Thus the party seeking to withdraw from the contract should prove that his or her disability is well known to the other party. 3) Genuine consent This forms an essential element when entering into a contract. The two parties should get into a contract of their own free and goodwill. This principle may however be affected by a few issues when two parties want to get into an agreement and may include factors such as undue influence during the negotiations.
This arises when the parties involved are not equal in power thus the weaker party doesn’t enter the contract voluntarily but its stand and decisions are largely influenced by the dominant company. This type of contract maybe set aside by the court on ‘undue’ grounds. Another issue which may affect the consent factor is mistakes. This occurs when the implementation of the contract is not as per the agreement and these mistakes may arise from a lack of understanding of the terms of the contract. This type of contract should also be declared void by the court.
Misinterpretation can also influence the consent factor . it involves the giving of some kind of false information by one party which induces the other party to get into the contract. Thus after entering into the contract one party will feel deceived by the other party and can claim for cancellation of the contract by court. Other issues may include duress which means being threatened to obtain a given contractual promise. The weaker company may also seek to declaration of the contract as void by court.
Each of the above factors indicates that the contract was not issued with the full freewill of each of the parties but decisions were influenced by external factors (Walsh, 2006). 4) Intention As entailed by the Australian law, each person entering into a contract must be ready to be bound by it. This is without an exception of what the individual parties feel they want to after signing the contract. Justification of legal issues in the context The above mentioned legal issues are depicted in the cases mentioned. Each of them can be identified in the case and can be used to raise legal questions on the agreement between the involved parties.
This part of the essay now seeks to point out the specific legal issues that are in the case. Princinciple of agreement In the first case, it can be established that the two parties i. e. Mr. Steven and Mr. Brodribb were bound by a legal agreement based on the Australian Employment law that the later would enjoy services of Mr. Steven but not on an employees terms but as an independent contractor. The independent contractor is under a contract for service, this means that “he is his own boss”. The recipient of the services has little control over the manner the job is carried out and this.
The prosecutor Mason J spoke a lot about the Bush Boss’s role in particular he was persuaded by the fact he had no authority to direct Stevens or Gray in the management of the equipment. This shows that both parties respected the agreement. It is however clearly noted that despite the agreement, Mr. Steven however violates the principle of Australian estoppel principle in employment law. It is expected that Mr. Brodribb would be left out of the case since it involves two independent contractors but he is sued over the issue.
The judge argues that the accused was free of liability hence beating reason as to why he had to pay for damages. Although the law of vicarious liability comes into play, it should be noted that these are two independent contractors. The argument presents two opposing sides of the case whereby one is responsible for his/ her wellbeing in an organisation but on consideration of the Occupation Health safety Law, Mr. Brodribb was supposed to provide a safe working environment. This led to a loose end from which Mr. Steven would argue from in his case. In his defence, it can be argued that Mr.
Brodribb was free of blame due to the terms of the agreement. Mr. Brodribb had no control over his workers in this case as bound by the employment law and issues pertaining to maintenance, remuneration; holidays and payment of taxes were beyond his scope. The judge however seemed to have considered the OH&S law in his ruling against the accused. In the second case on the other hand, the agreement was on independent contractual terms, however employee terms were applied. Legally, Hollis was an independent entity in Vabu Company. He catered for his maintenance, insurance and tools of work.
Vabu ought to respect the agreement and acknowledge Hollis as an independent contractor, for this reason, he describes his employer as being ‘stingy’. The breach of the contract legally requires that Vabu be responsible for the breach. On the other hand, Mr. Hollis undertook his normal duties ignorant of the fact that Vabu was overstepping his mandate by assuming he had signed him a contract of service not for service. If analysed as per the agreement, Hollis was ignorant of the agreement too. This is because he had to wait for the accident to realise the breach.