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Structure of legal arguments

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When you are developing your response to your problem question, you need to develop legal arguments.

Study these paragraphs below taken from Part 2 of the sample assignment. These two paragraphs should be combined as they both contain the legal argument concerning the implied term of fitness for purpose.

Question 1

What are the types of information or the 'moves' in the following legal argument?

10. The next implied term that has been breached is fitness for purpose under section 71(2) of the Trade Practices Act. Second-hand goods such as the photocopier are generally expected to not be as fit as new goods (Atkinson v Hastings Deering (Qld) Pty Ltd [1985] ATPR 40-625). Also under this term the buyer must rely on seller's skill and judgement.

11. Patricia described to the salesperson that she needed the photocopier for her business of copying theses, and asked whether it could do a number of specialised tasks. The salesperson said that it could do all this and more, Patricia relied on the salesperson knowledge and therefore signed the contact (David Jones Ltd v Willis [1934] 52 CLR 110). However the photocopier was not fit for the purpose that Patricia described to the salesperson and she had to replace the lens and hire photocopier for 14 days.

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Information relevant to this legal argument

The issue for examination (fitness for purpose)

The law about fitness for purpose

The facts that are relevant to this area of law from the problem

Interpretation of the facts in relation to the law

The outcome of the analysis of the relevant facts in relation to the law


Question 2

Do you think that these aspects are components of a legal argument?



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If you answered yes, you are correct. In a legal argument, you must always identify the area of law you are investigating, tell your reader what that law says, look at and interpret the relevant facts from your problem in relation to the law. Arrive at a conclusion of the situation when you have done this.


Question 3

Match the points listed below to the types of information appropriate to a legal argument.

However, photocopier not fit for the purpose that Patricia described to the salesperson; she had to replace the lens and hire a photocopier for 14 days.
Second hand goods such as photocopier: not expected to be as fit as new goods (Atkinson v Hastings Deering (Qld) Pty Ltd [1985] ATPR 40-625)
Patricia: told salesman that she needed photocopier for her business (copying theses), and inquired if photocopier could do several specialized tasks. Salesman said photocopier could do all this and more.
Next implied term breached: fitness for purpose, section 71(2) Trade Practices Act.
Under implied term fitness for purpose for second hand goods, buyer must rely on seller's skill and judgment.
Patricia relied on salesperson's knowledge and signed the contract (David Jones Ltd v Willis [1934] 52 CLR 110)

Question 4

Using this information above, see if you can re-organise it and form it into a legal argument.



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See if your response is similar to the legal argument below, which is a suitable way of organising and expressing the information in a legal argument.

The next implied term that has been breached is fitness for purpose under section 71(2) of the Trade Practices Act. Second-hand goods such as the photocopier are generally expected to not be as fit as new goods (Atkinson v Hastings Deering (Qld) Pty Ltd [1985] ATPR 40-625). Also under this term the buyer must rely on seller's skill and judgement. Patricia described to the salesperson that she needed the photocopier for her business of copying theses, and asked whether it could do a number of specialised tasks. The salesperson said that it could do all this and more, Patricia relied on the salesperson's knowledge and therefore signed the contact (David Jones Ltd v Willis [1934] 52 CLR 110). However the photocopier was not fit for the purpose that Patricia described to the salesperson and she had to replace the lens and hire photocopier for 14 days.

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