2,000 word legal advice regarding statutory interpretation problem solving – Introduction to law
Subject- Introduction to law
Consider the following hypothetical scenario:
In 2013 the Federal government signed up to the International Agreement for the Preservation of Structures of Historical Significance.
Article 19 of the agreement states:
Each state party to the agreement shall take reasonable steps to protect and preserve unique buildings of historical significance.
Article 20 states:
The members agree that any building that was the place of important historical events is a building of historical significance.
This year, in pursuance of the obligations under that treaty the Federal Government introduced the Preservation of Significant Historical Buildings Bill 2015. In the Second Reading speech the Minister for the Environment stated:
“We in the Government are committed to implementing our obligations under the new International Agreement for the Preservation of Structures of Historical Significance. We are thoroughly committed to preserving what remains of our nation’s precious heritage buildings. This legislation will introduce hefty fines and potential imprisonment for people who deface or degrade buildings that are part of Australia’s national historical heritage. It will also protect other buildings of significant cultural value, like our places of worship, our war memorials and other buildings that reflect the cultural diversity of our country.
We also seek to oblige owners of historical buildings to maintain them in a good state of repair. We have become aware of cases in which unscrupulous owners have intentionally allowed historical buildings to deteriorate to the point that they have to be demolished. We are introducing stiff penalties in this act for people who do not maintain their premises where these premises have a significant historical or cultural value.
These measures will ensure we can protect our precious historical buildings and other structures of significant cultural value in our community. “
The following bill was passed and gained royal assent on 10 July 2015:
Preservation of Significant Historical Buildings Act 2015
The object of this Act is to protect buildings of historical significance.
In this act the following definitions apply:
“building” means any man-made structure including a house, shed or enclosure.
“damage” includes causing permanent and significant alterations to a building.
“historical or cultural significance” means having historical or cultural value to a significant proportion of the population.
3) Failure to maintain an historical building
It is an offence for an owner of a building of historical or cultural significance to fail to maintain or keep that building in a reasonable state of repair.
Penalty: Maximum $5000 fine or 1 year imprisonment.
4) Causing damage to a historical building
It is an offence for any person to damage, destroy or otherwise interfere with a building of no historical or cultural significance.
Penalty: Maximum $20 000 fine or up to 2 years imprisonment.
5) Obligation to notify
An owner of an important historical building must notify the Minister in writing at least 14 days before any renovations, alterations, repairs or any work whatsoever is carried out on the property.
Penalty: $500 fine.
Consider the application of the Preservation of Significant Historical Buildings Act 2015 in relation to the following scenario:
Wallace owns a pub in Alice Springs called The Outback Hotel. Built in the late 1980’s the pub building is an unremarkable brick construction that hasn’t been renovated for some time.
Last year the famous pop group, Two Directions, were in Alice Springs to shoot an advert for Tourism Australia. They turned up to The Outback Hotel one night and played an impromptu gig. Unfortunately there was a freak lightning strike during the gig and one of their most popular members, Henry Giles, received a shock through his microphone and died instantly.
The death caused an outpouring of grief amongst teenagers all over the world and ever since the death they visited The Outback Hotel in their thousands to pay their respects and leave flowers and cards.
Wallace hadn’t done any general maintenance for many years and the pub is falling into disrepair. Wallace has plans to renovate to improve the business involving a full refit of the interior. On 12 August he commenced the refit by removing the stage on which Henry Giles died. He has since faced an angry backlash from teenagers all over the world on his social media account.
Wallace also owns a large cattle property and homestead on the outskirts of Alice Springs. The homestead was originally built as a prison and is the place where Wiradjuri, an Aboriginal leader who fought against the English settlers, was hung in 1892. On 1 August 2015 Wallace undertook extensive renovations of the homestead, including removing an external wall and glassing in the balcony. On 2 September 2015 he put a skylight into the roof and did some landscaping of the front garden. Wallace was talking about the renovations to a patron at the pub and the patron told him he might be in breach of the new regulations. He didn’t think anything more of it until he received a summons to appear in court.
Wallace has been charged under s 3 in regards to failing to maintain the Outback Hotel. He has also been charged under s4 and s5 with regards to the pub and homestead renovations and the front garden.
Wallace comes to you for advice. He says he didn’t know about the new act and he would have complied with any obligations had he known about them.
You are Wallace’s lawyer. Using principles of statutory interpretation and IRAC, outline the submissions you will make in court on Wallace’s behalf.
Description/Focus: 2,000 word legal advice regarding statutory interpretation problem solving
Value: 50 %
Due date: Plan of Issues and Rules due for submission in tutorial Week 5 (not formally assessed but feedback provided in tutorial as preparation for actual assignment)
Full assignment due End of Week 7
Length: 2,000 words
Presentation: Use a clear font (such as Arial), double spaced.
You must comply with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
Use a logical structure that follows the IRAC method as provided in the learning materials.
Assessment criteria: See table below:
Criteria Criteria description
Number of marks To gain high marks for this section the essay will:
1: Content Describe and demonstrate
understanding of the relevant law 25 Demonstrate a highly accurate and comprehensive knowledge of the relevant law, and a high ability to analyse and apply the law and other relevant material to answer the question asked; demonstrate originality or flair; work is interesting, exciting, challenging, well read or scholarly.
2: Persuasion Formulate an argument to support a proposition
20 Clearly and elegantly establish a central argument (and supporting arguments if appropriate) that is continued throughout the text in a persuasive manner (although the examiner does not need to personally be persuaded by the argument)
3: Citation Citations in accordance with AGLC 2 Every piece of information that does not come from the problem, or from the student’s own life experience, is footnoted, regardless of whether the information is paraphrased or quoted directly. The footnotes contain appropriate legal authorities. The formatting of the footnotes follow the Australian Guide to Legal Citation exactly. Pinpoint citations are used whenever possible.
4: Language Style and structure 3 Writing is logically structured using subheadings. Sentence and paragraph length assist readability. Language is clear, concise and precise. Assignment is free of spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.
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