Part A: Media Report Analysis
a) Areas of Law Evident in the Media Report
There are various legal issues arising in the chosen media report. The chosen Media Report shows reported presented to the court regarding Boat crash driver who was fishtailing.
In the present media report, Tort Law was violated because the court had to apply civil proceedings in order to relief Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr who had suffered harm from the wrongful acts of Mr. Woollard. Woollard wrongfully went behind the wheel while he was drunk and this caused over speeding and eventual accident (Kate, 2012). In the current case, Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr suffered the injuries because of the tortious conduct of Mr. Woollard and therefore they are the plaintiffs in the case while Mr. Woollard is the defendant. In this case, the court had to apply various civil proceedings in order to relief the plaintiffs.
The other area of law that applies in the reported case is criminal law. This kind of law relates to crime. It usually defines the conduct, which is not allowed in the society because it is known to threaten, endanger and harm the safety of people. The law sets out the punishment to be imposed to each criminal offender. Mr. Woollard is involved in a crime because he went behind the wheel while he was drunk and this made him to cause an accident leading to severe injuries to Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr (Kate, 2012). Criminal law also applies in the present case because Mr. Woollard was over speeding with his boat, which made him to cause an accident. In this connection, he has to face criminal law for being involved in the crime of going behind the wheel while he was drunk.
The property law also applies in the present media report. This law governs the ownership of personal property. It does not put a distinction between the movable and the immovable properties owned by a particular person. In the current case, Mr. Woollard was driving a boat owned by his mother, Independent Mp Janet Woollard and father Keith Woollard. Even when the people in the boat noticed that he was drunk and they wanted somebody to take control of the boat, Mr. Woollard refused and told them that the boat belonged to his father (Kate, 2012). As a result, he over sped and caused an accident. His family had to acknowledge that their son and property had caused serious injuries to Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr. This explains why the injured women wanted Mr. Woollard and his family to offer financial, moral and emotional support to them while they were in the hospital.
In the current case, we can assume Corporations Law to be there because the boat can be taken as a corporation. It is owned by Mr. Woollard’s company and therefore they need to control it as their family corporation.
Mr. Woodlands is facing a criminal law because he did not perform his corporation’s duties effectively. Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr feel that Mr. Woollard intentionally caused the accident by going behind the wheel when he was drunk (Kate, 2012). Instead, he should have used his powers well and discharged his duties to his people well and as per the interests of his father’s corporation. The corporation’s director should have made sure that his obligations are imposed into the company and that they are adhered to by all the people. In this connection, Mr. Woollard’s failure to control the boat well was a breach of regulation, which could result to corporation’s law.
Various functions of the law
Allows people to organize and plan
The law allows people to plan and organize with great certainty. The Tort law is a good example of how the law can allow people to organize and plan. Through this area of the law, it was possible for the Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr to ask for the payment of their medical expenses by Woollard’s family because he had caused the accident by driving while he was drunk (Kate, 2012). It enabled Ms Campbell to ask for compensation for the past and future medical expenses. If it is not through the law, the people involved in this case cannot plan and organize for the payment of the medical bills of the affected people. In addition, the Tort law also makes Mr. Woollard to visit Campbell when she is in the intensive care unit in the hospital. In this connection, the court had to impose civil proceedings in order to relief the affected women of the pain.
The injuries incurred by Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr also allowed the psychiatrist to organize and plan for their treatment. For example, Psychiatrist Adams informed the court that Ms Campbell needed validation and Mr. Woollard’s family to acknowledge her suffering (Kate, 2012).
Permits, Encourages and discourages particular activities
The issue of Mr. Woollard being given an 18-month jail suspended term and two hundred hours of community service for causing bodily harm to Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr shows this function of law. It was illegal for Mr. Woollard to go behind the wheel while he was drunk. As a result, he had to face the criminal law because driving while drunk had made him to cause bodily harm to the passengers. The criminal law permits people to go behind the wheel when they are sober in order to prevent accidents. However, it discourages certain activities such as driving while drunk and over speeding. In addition, the criminal law also discourages people from boarding travelling vessels, which are driven, by people who are under the influence of alcohol. In the present report, Ms Kerr says that she knew Mr. Woollard was drunk but chose to use his boat because it would have been more risky to travel in a car, which was driven by a drunkard (Kate, 2012). In this connection, the criminal law discourages people from driving while drunk or boarding a travelling vessel, which is driven by a person who is under the influence of drugs.
Creates rights and duties that can be enforced
The law creates rights and duties, which can be enforced to people. The Corporations area of law is one area of law which best illustrates the above function of law in the media report under study. According to the Corporations area of law, people do not have the rights to drink and cause health and social side effects to themselves and other people. It is this area of law, which makes Woollard guilty of an offence because he caused health issues and social side effects to the passengers in his boat (Kate, 2012). The law should create rights and duties to be enforced on Mr. Woollard to make him cater for the medical expenses of Ms Kerr and Ms Campbell who suffered injuries in the boat accident.
However, Mr. Woollard claimed that the injured women knew that he was drunk and accepted to take the risk of using his boat. Ms Campbell feels that the court should enforce the responsibility of paying her medical bills to Mr. Woollard for intentionally injuring her body (Kate, 2012). She also needs Mr. Woollard and his family to acknowledge she had gone through a terrible experience and take responsibility of her treatment expenses.
Provides Remedies when rights are interfered or duties are not discharged
The law offers remedies when rights are interfered with or duties are not discharged. The failure of Mr. Woollard to offer emotional, financial and moral support to Ms Campbell interfered with Ms Campbell’s rights. She had to get the right treatment from Mr. Woollard because he had intentionally caused body injuries. It is this function of the law, which made the judge to determine the case by making Mr. Woollard pay for the bad use of his father’s property. As a result, Mr. Woollard had to be given an 18-month suspended jail term and 200 hours of community service when he pleaded guilty of causing great bodily harm to the affected Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr (Kate, 2012). This would act as a remedy to Ms Kerr and Ms Campbell’s anger because of the pain of the injuries.
b) Why it is important to know the law in these circumstances
In the circumstances presented in this media report, it is important to know the law in order to know the rights and duties of each of the people mentioned in the court. The case involves an accident and it is important to know what the law says about accidents caused by drunkard drivers. It is also important to know the law in order to know the health benefits that people can claim from people who intentionally cause bodily harm to other people. It is by knowing the law that people can know what the law encourages and what it discourages.
Part B: Case Summary
1. The reported case was decided in a West Australian District Court Civil Trial.
2. The decision will be treated as binding by a Western Australian State Supreme Court because Mr. Woollard will have to serve an 18-month jail and 200 hours of community service for his offences.
3. The name of the Judge who heard this case is Judge Phillip McCann
4. The Full names of the parties are Ms Kate Campbell and Mr. Luke Woollard. Ms Kate Campbell is the complainant because she is the one who launched the case against Mr. Woollard while Mr. Woollard is the defendant who is trying to plead guilty of the case tabled against him.
5. The material facts of the reported case are that Ms Campbell and Ms Kerr had suffered injuries from the accident. Mr. Woollard was also over speeding from the effect drugs and this serves as a material fact for the reported case.
6. The main legal issue to be decided was the adequate financial, moral and emotional support, which Mr. Woollard had to give to Ms Campbell as well as serving an 18-year jail term and 200 hours of community service (Kate, 2012).
7. The decision of the court was to have Mr. Woollard serving an 18-month suspended jail term and 200 hours community service after pleading guilty of the offence.
8. The ratio decidendi of the reported case shows that the judges were considerate of the health problems caused by the defendant to the complainant. Apart from giving moral, financial and emotional support to Ms Campbell, it was good for Mr. Woollard to serve a jail term for his mistakes. In this connection, I feel that the judges were fair in deciding the case.
9. I can identify two precedents. One of them is when the court confirms that Mr. Woollard had given financial, emotional and moral support to Ms Campbell in the hospital (Kate, 2012). The other is when the court gives an 18-year suspended jail term and 200 hours of community service. These decisions are important because they would help the complainant to know that her problems were addressed appropriately.
Kate, Campbell. Boat crash driver 'was fishtailing', court Told. 2012, West Australian, February